by Ane Mulligan
In the court of publishing, if story is king, platform is queen. There are a lot of good novels so how do you stand out? By having a ready-made readership before you’re published.
Editors look for Internet presence. When they Google your name, what do they find? I’ve spent a few years building my web presence. Google my name and see what you find. If I’d been trying to keep a low profile, it didn’t work.
Besides Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, having a blog is a good place to start.
Where to find host sites to launch your blog:
Blogger: FREE www.blogger.com
Typepad: Cost for a basic account is about $5.00 a month. www.sixapart.com/typepad
•Networking: You follow blogs; they follow yours.
•Facebook’s Networked Blogs is a useful tool.
•Publishing credits: (as in book reviewer)
•Notoriety: As in “She/he’s all over the web so she/he must be an expert.”
•Teaches you editorial skills and writing consistently.
What to blog:
Tie the blog topic into your writing. For example, if you are a devotional writer, have a devotional blog. If you write westerns, your blog could be cowboy focused, etc.
Romance writers could feature “how they met” stories, etc. Below are ideas of things to include:
• Your journey
• Links to other blogs or news articles
• Book reviews
• Find a niche (eg. review only writing ‘how to’ books, blog just writer’s conference information, all about your favorite writer (make sure this is a big name)
• What have you searched for on the Internet and weren’t able to find?
How to blog:
Decide your blog’s goal. If it’s simply to become a more disciplined writer, and you could care less who reads it, make sure you write something every day. If your goal is to improve your sales, then you need to have a professional looking product.
Buy a one-of-a-kind “blog skin.” This is a template that makes your blog look different than all the other blogs. They are relatively inexpensive and money well spent. www.digerystudios.com
I purchased an iStock Photo. It’s my banner and fits my Southern-fried Fiction.
If you want a strong readership, it takes work and commitment. The single most important thing is to offer content others want or need. Make it useful and entertaining. And above all: Keep it fresh.
• Link to other blogs (networking)
• Lots of content (this doesn’t mean long posts, but fresh & lots of them)
• Feature other bloggers
• Add your blog address to your email signature
• Plug your site when you write articles
• Comment on other blogs.
• Add buttons on your blog to Tweet, Facebook, Google+
WORD OF CAUTION: Be discerning with what you put into cyberspace. The publishing world is incredibly small, and one wrong post can come back to haunt you. When in doubt, cut it out.
Sr. Editor of the award-winning Novel Rocket, Ane Mulligan is a multi-published playwright and humor columnist for ACFW’s Journal, as well as being a three-time Genesis finalist. Besides Novel Rocket and her own personal blog, she’s a syndicated Patch blogger.