This is part 2 of my series on self-promotion and self-publishing.
Every writer needs a blog (web log). It’s like having a public diary, a regular column in a newspaper, or feature in a magazine. Each piece is called a blog post, and can be as long or short as you like. You can also put pictures in and links to other places on the internet, which I’ll say more about later. People will follow your blog because they are interested in what you have to say. Publishers, agents and potential readers will look for a blog to find out about you. It’s much easier than a website, and you can create it yourself. Here you can share your life if you like, hints and tips, information, AND promote your book. Even before it’s written you can share your progress, your research, your challenges. It also showcases your writing style and gives you the opportunity of writing short pieces. Don’t put your work online unless it’s short extracts as it counts as publication. Use WordPress (like this blog) or Blogger.
The name of your blog should be your name and the word Author or Writer. If you call it something silly or clever, how will people find you? My blog was called Ann Marie Thinking Out Loud but is now Ann Marie Thomas, Author, Thinking Out Loud. My second blog Alina The White Lady is now merged with my main blog because two blogs will confuse people.
Set up an About page with your bio and contact details. By the way, create a document with long and short versions of your bio, contact details, and links to all your online pages. Then just copy the relevant bits everywhere you need it. Have a good head shot photo too, but it doesn’t have to be professional – just find a good one in the family snapshots – you can crop it to size in Paint, which is free with Windows. There’s lots of places where you can fill in a profile with all your details.
You can set up other pages too, just like a simple web site. I’ve got one for my Alina book and one about my stroke, because I wrote about it a lot and still mention it.
It’s important to be consistent about your posting: pick a frequency, pick your days, and stick to it. If you can only post once a month, say so on your About page. If you can’t post for a while, post a warning so anyone visiting knows why there’s been no activity.
People can follow you by entering their email address. Every time you post, they get an email. From your blog you can build an email list by inviting people to subscribe. Offer them a regular email newsletter, a free chapter of your book or a short story, or even a free copy of an earlier ebook when you have one. Once you have an email list, you have direct contact with readers who will buy your book. I haven’t done this yet, but one recommended service for managing this is Awebber.
Other posts in this series:
Introduction & Things To Think About Before You Start
Self-Promotion – Social Networking Basics
Self-Promotion – Social Media Shortcuts
Self-Promotion – Social Media – Other Recommended Sites
Self-Publishing – Ebooks
Self-Publishing – Print Books