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Friday, October 31, 2014
From Glynna Kaye @ The Seekers

 

Seven Words of Writing Wisdom

 

Words of writing wisdom…they were everywhere at the September 2014 American Christian Writers Conference in Saint Louis!

.

Wherever I turned—from the opening address, to the keynote speaker, to workshops, to chats with fellow writers, all the way to the closing remarks—I found “writerly” wisdom to gather and tuck away for later contemplation.

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Since this is Seekerville’s SEVENTH birthday (!), I’ve chosen seven “words” of writing wisdom gleaned from various ACFW 2014 venues to share with you today.

- See more at: http://seekerville.blogspot.com/2014/10/seven-words-of-writing-wisdom.html#sthash.A0TkKLUo.dpuf

 

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From TheFutureOfInk.com

by 

Organization can prove a challenging task for creative people whose desks often tend to be a jumble of papers, sticky notes and books and whose filing cabinets  contain more random acts of filing than anything else.

How To Organize Your Non-fiction Book

(Their computer files are often just as disorganized.) I know I have this problem.

When I settle down to write a non-fiction book, however, I have to force myself to get organized. This is especially true if I want to do it quickly, like when I have a deadline or I take on a challenge such as National Nonfiction Writing Month, also known as the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge.

Non-fiction books can entail a fair amount of research and detail. Keeping all of this material arranged in a systematic way is important, especially if you don’t want to stop writing to find what you need. Sometimes you need that informationto write!

Organization becomes essential if you want to write a book in a month (or less), or if you simply want to get it done as efficiently and quickly as possible.

6 Organizational Tools

Luckily, there’s an organizational tool for just about every writer’s style. Here’s a list of six organizational tools.One might fit your needs:

Read the rest of this article on The Future of Ink:http://thefutureofink.com/organize-your-non-fiction-book/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+tfoi+%28The+Future+of+Ink%29

 

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From the good people at Writers Write

Confessions of a Serial Killer- How to kill characters when you write

I am a serial killer. I have in fact, killed so many people that I have lost count. A special welcome to the FBI who are now reading this post.

I always quote Nora Roberts when I talk about moving plots forward and getting unstuck. She says: “The middles of my books are often the toughest for me to write. If the pacing flags, I deal with the problem by looking around at all my characters and figuring out which one I can kill.”

Even though I know this, I am one of the biggest losers when it comes to killing characters. I hate it when a character dies. I am a sucker for a happy ending. For me to kill someone instead of sending them off into the sunset, hand-in-hand, is hard. But at some point a character must die.

Created by Writers Write at SomeecardsSo many of my favourite characters on TV have been dying lately and the trauma of that made me wonder if I am sometimes too trigger-happy when I offer this advice. Pardon the pun.

In Homeland, Brody died and the series with him. I commend them for that by the way, the series ending. Matthew, from Downton Abbey has died. I was devastated. In The Following they killed Claire; I did forgive them that in the next series. I have not forgiven them for killing Lori in The Walking Dead, but I cheered, loudly, when Joffrey met his foamy end in Game of Thrones.

As a rule I don’t like books where children die or are hurt. This is a personal preference. I don’t read a lot of Jodi Piccoult because of that. Joffrey is the exception to that rule. The same goes for animals. I have never overcome the childhood trauma of Jock of the Bushveld  by James Percy FitzPatrick and just the poster of Marley and Me is enough to reduce me tears. But besides kids and animals anyone is fair game.

How do I pick my next victim? I list of all my possible victims. Then I ask:

  1. Why am I killing this character? If my story works without him, should he be there in the first place?
  2. How long will it take my protagonist to recover from this death and how does it change them?Death is a great way to start a revenge story for example, but a parent losing a child might not be able to move forward for a long time. How does your character mourn? By seeking revenge or by curling up in a dark room?
  3. How does this death affect my plot? Are you creating too many problems by killing off a character?
  4. How do they die? Does it suit the story/genre? Joffrey’s violent public death suited Games of Thrones. Dying in his sleep of pneumonia would not have been such a good match.
  5. Should the death be a surprise? The Fault in Our Stars is a book about kids with cancer. Death isn’t exactly unexpected, but Gus was the healthiest of them all.

These are starter questions and your story will dictate what you ask, but don’t just go killing characters for the sake of it.

Below is a list of the meanings of the deaths in Harry Potter. I don’t know if it’s JK-approved and if she agrees, but it is interesting to see what the death of a character can mean.

Source for ImageWhich fictional character’s death affected you most?

 by Mia Botha

Mia Botha facilitates for Writers Write. She is also a novelist, a ghost writer, and the winner of the Mills&Boon Voice of Africa Competition. When she isn’t writing, she is the mother of two children and the wife of a very lucky man. Follow Mia on Pinterest and Facebook and Tumblr and Twitter

 

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From the Good People at  Writers Write.

When we teach our Writers Write course, we find that people are often unsure about using dramatic irony

Dramatic Irony – What is it?

Dramatic irony is a story-telling device. It is when you give your reader plot information that the main character doesn’t have until later on in the story. Sometimes you want to keep all the characters in the dark about a major plot point that will only be revealed in the climax.

The Ironic Statement

When using dramatic irony, it should tie in with your theme. The characters must make a statement in the story, through dialogue or action, which throws the absurdity, danger, or emotion of the scene into relief. The dialogue will usually have a changed or opposite meaning. Similarly, the action will be misconstrued in some way, or cause a complication.

The Four Reasons

Here are the four reasons why you would use dramatic irony in a story, together with four examples, and their ironic statements.

1.   To create suspense. Phillipa is young detective is hunting down a serial killer targeting women. She works with her older partner, Rob. She sees him as a trusted mentor. As the story unfolds, we explore the killer’s viewpoint – and realise Rob is the killer. Eventually they arrest a schizophrenic vagrant and she thinks the case is closed. When she finds video surveillance that puts the vagrant in another location at the time of one of the killings, the first person she turns to is Rob and goes to his house, alone. Ironic Statement: ‘I came to you because you’re the only one who will know what to do,’ Phillipa says to Rob. Of course he will know what to do – kill her.

2.    To create romantic tension.  A jealous fiancée, Dani sees her boyfriend, Kyle, sitting cosily with a beautiful blonde in the very coffee shop where they met. Suspicious, she checks his iPad and finds online bookings for a romantic break for two. Meanwhile, when we are in Kyle’s viewpoint, we know the blonde is a wedding planner and he is putting together a romantic honeymoon. They eventually break up because of her misunderstanding. Ironic statement: ‘Don’t think I don’t know what you’re up to,’ an angry Dani says to a confused Kyle.

3.    To create empathy. Gretchen, a widow living in a retirement village, believes her dead husband is sending her messages from beyond the grave when she finds her favourite roses on his grave. However, we know that Klaus, another resident in the village, has been putting the flowers there—he heard her tell the nurse they were her favourite gift from her husband. He forms a friendship with Gretchen but she will only love her lost husband. Ironic statement: After she dies, Klaus brings white roses to her grave in the final scene.

4.    To create comedy. The only job Denise, a qualified but disgraced lawyer, can get is as a cleaner at a law firm. David, a new lawyer, is struggling to settle a case. At night, Denise arranges his books or files with Post-Its that point him in the right direction. As David starts to solve the case, he becomes more confident. Ironic statement: When he discovers her in his office, David thinks she is stealing and has Denise fired—just before she was about to give him the final piece of the puzzle.

Of course, irony is one of those prickly topics in literature and we’ll never get our arms fully around it. The idea is not to have an academic debate about what is and what isn’t irony—but to find plot techniques that will make your story stronger.

Four Top Tips to Get the Reader’s Buy-In

  1. Don’t give your character the whole story—keep pieces of puzzle hidden from them until the end of story
  2. Explore the antagonist’s viewpoint so that the reader has access to hidden information
  3. Build your plot twists or surprises around the ironic statements
  4. Find ways to put your theme inside the irony so that it becomes stronger

Find the perverse logic in your character’s dilemma, or create a plot idea that can be turned on its head and you’re halfway there. Give us something that will make the reader take on the emotions of the character – whether it is to cringe or cry, bite their nails or bellow at the page, ‘Don’t go into the basement!’

 by Anthony Ehlers

(If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy The Backstory Battle and Anthony’s Viewpoint Mini-Series)
Anthony has facilitated courses for Writers Write since 2007. Published both locally and internationally, he was twice a runner-up in the Mills&Boon Voice of Africa short story competition. In 2013, his crime short story was included in Bloody Satisfied, an anthology sponsored by the National Arts Festival SA. As a scriptwriter, he has written three television features. In 2014, his short films were short-listed for the Jameson First Shot competition, as well as the European Independent Film Festival. Follow Anthony on Twitter and Facebook.
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Another great post over at BadRedHeadMedia!

Blog

In my continuing series where I answer questions asked by YOU (in this case, this question comes from writer Camela Cami Thompson), staff writer Naomi Blackburn takes on ‘What is a blog strategy and is it important for authors to have one?’ Thanks Camela for a fab question! Here you go….

 

I am always shocked when authors ask me if they have to blog. My resounding YES always leads to, “But I don’t know what to write about!”

Why Blog?

Blogs are wonderful because they give authors an opportunity to take an active role in marketing their works to their readers while also providing a way to network with other authors. Let’s face it. Before an author has name recognition by the public, a chunk of the effort is focused on relationship building with a readership base. What better way than a blog to help to facilitate this?

Develop a Blog Strategy and Calendar

As with everything in the business world, the key to success is always in the planning. Developing a blog calendar and strategy allows for seamless posts and provides alternatives to marketing and social media opportunities besides shouting “BUY MY BOOK!”

First, decide what you want to blog about. Ask yourself:

  • Is it close to the subject matter of my works?
  • What do I want my “brand” to be?
  • Who do I want my target audience to be?

Maybe you want to be recognized as a dynamic professional, such as Molly Greene, who is an author of romantic mystery fiction, but writes a blog specifically focused on blogging for authors. Or do you want to focus on your readers and write on topics close to the genre of your books? For example, maybe you write romantic fiction and want to use your blogs to discuss suggestions for romantic interludes with that special someone.

The next step in your blogging strategy is to plan out a list of topics on a calendar. For example, I have a desktop calendar that has my topics listed for the next three months. Having a calendar with mapped out blog post topics allows me to write ahead. My calendar is based on the topics for my forthcoming book, The Author CEO: The Book. Preplanning also allows for emergency posts and/or guest posts, as needed. Have a new book in the works? Having a blog calendar allows for scheduling pre-release blog posts announcing the new release.

(On this note, I am of the opinion that everyone must have a professional blog, no matter who the target audience is. Since your blog is essentially your corporate image, I always recommend hiring a professional to develop the site that hosts the blog.)

Still Not Sure What to Write About?

One of my favorite posts by Molly Greene that I frequently recommend to clients is 101 Blog Topic Ideas. The post is divided into several categories and Molly, in her own pithy way, addresses numerous topics—from supporting other authors to showcasing one’s own work.

Networking with authors is critical in blogging. It can get very difficult to come up with fresh ideas. Always having that “spot on” blog post can become stressful. Furthermore, the lack of networking and only writing for your own blog can lead to isolation, which not only costs you in terms of visibility, but also in potential lost opportunities for cross-promotional blog posts. So, come up with ways to have guests on your blog, and offer posts to others who may also be looking for fresh or new content.

I know that I am not an “expert” in everything. Being able to host subject matter experts—such as an author attorney writing on Copyright, Fair Use, and Book Reviewers—on my blog allowed me to present my readers with information I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to provide them.

Editing Matters

Regardless of what topics you choose, I can’t stress enough the importance of using an editor or, at the very least, having someone else review your posts. It drives me crazy when I see mistakes in author’s blog posts. This is your business. This is your craft.

Think about your favorite company. What would you think if you were looking at their marketing material and it was laden with mistakes? Would you think less of them? I recently had the chance to review an author’s blog. She had done a wonderful job of coming up with topics. One of the headings was a recipe section that contained some fantastic-looking recipes. As I went through them, I saw that they were loaded with typos, and some even had a couple of ingredients missing from the directions area. What was I to think?

In The End

So, what are you waiting for? Blogging is a must-do marketing opportunity for authors, and is also another outlet for creativity, interaction, and fun. Because I consider blogging to be such an important aspect of every author’s business development plan, I think it is worthwhile to bring in a blogging coach to learn the ins and outs of successful blogging. After all, it’s your business at stake, why not invest in it?

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Great post from LISA LICKEL at AuthorCulture

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2014

Ever wonder where to quickly find some bit of information on the web? You’re in the middle of a great sentence, and–Bam! you realize you need to know when the moon was full? Or which branch of government runs the Witness Protection Agency? Here you go. My latest updated resource list. Feel free to share some of your own, too. This list of one of a number of things I offer on my website in the Tips and Resources page. http://www.lisalickel.com.

OnLine Resources

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The Bait

Posted: September 5, 2014 in Publishing
Tags: , ,

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Originally posted WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2014

By the good folks at AuthorCulture

There’s a reason it’s called a “hook”. We bait our hook with the best story in us, cast it into the great ocean of readers, and then hope to get a bite. I have daily access to nearly 80,000 books (I work at a library). Since the day I heard that writer describe the “tossing” process, I’ve developed the habit of reading the first sentence of many, many books over the course of a work day. The stories that make me want to turn the page all seem to have one thing in common. They create a question that I must know the answer to. Our local writer’s group has hosted a noted western writer as guest speaker several times. His discussion about the publishing process left an indelible impression on me. He spoke of visiting his publisher in New York where he hung around the offices after a meeting. The staff had had a very long day, yet they ordered pizza and then kicked back to go through the slush pile, a huge backlog of unsolicited manuscripts. He said he watched as they “tossed” one manuscript after another. If the first sentence or two didn’t grab them, well, “that’s all she wrote”, so to speak.

Does this make you want to read on? “It dropped out of the sky at 3:41 p.m. central daylight time on Friday, May 10, 1963, into a field in southeastern Oklahoma eight miles west of Tishomingo.”  What, pray tell, dropped out of the sky? That’s the first sentence from Five Days in May by Ninie Hammon.

“I remember…I was supposed to be sad that day.” Why? That’s from Dan Walsh’s The Discovery.

“The screech of brakes split the silence just before the Buick smashed through the guardrail and tumbled down the steep embankment.” Nicola Beaumont’s Silent Witness makes me wonder who wrecked and whether they made it or not.

All three examples caused me to nibble and download to my Kindle.

So, what question are you creating in the minds of your readers with the first sentence or two of your WIP? I’d love for you to post some of your first sentences. Here’s mine:

“Bailey’s not going to like this. Dizziness swirled my brain to jelly the moment I realized I’d have to tell her.”

Go!

 

POSTED BY JODY AT 7:00 AM

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Great post of resources!

· · in Books, Publishing. ·

kindleAs far as I’m aware, this is the most comprehensive list of book promo sites anywhere on the internet. The list was compiled from various online sources, most notably – Rachelle’s Window (go there and thank her! :) she also lists Alexa rankings for the sites) and my own research. As of posting this on August 10th 2014, all the links below are working. Note that I can’t guarantee that the sites themselves are still working, that the forms lead anywhere, or that you will actually get anything for your money.

Majority of these sites advertise books when they’re free, as part of KDP Select or Smashword promo. If you want to promote a paid book, you usually need to pay extra.

If you think I’m missing something, let me know in the comments.

As always, you can express your gratitude by purchasing one of my books :)

 

. URL Free Ad Paid Ad Comments
. 100 Free Books Guaranteed no longer accepted
. Addicted to eBooks Guaranteed registration required
. Ask David Guaranteed
. Author Marketing Club Membership + listing
. Awesome Gang Guaranteed $10
. Bargain eBook Hunter – now Hot Zippy Guaranteed
. Best Indie Books $8-$60, free to premium members Requires registration
. Book Blast Guaranteed  Must be deal, not free
. Book Canyon Guaranteed
. Book Deals Daily $5 $5+
. Bookpinning Guaranteed “Pinterest for Books”
. Book Worm Empire $5-$15 also do paid reviews
. Book Daily Membership + samples
. Book Goodies Guaranteed
. Book Goodies $5
. Book Goodies $25
. Book Goodies For Kids Guaranteed Children only
. Book Matchers Listing + search service
. Bookish Must ask by e-mail
. Book Tweeting Service $29+
. BookBrowse $2-7 pm
. BookBub Various options. $60+ probably most effective right now. Novels only.
. BookBub $40+ May also post deals from other sites
. BookSlut $175-$450
. Daily Free Books Guaranteed $7.5
. Digital Book Today Not guaranteed 4 stars minimum
. Digital Book Today Various options, $30+
. eBook Daily Deals Guaranteed
. Eat Sleep Write Book plugs from $50+
. eBook Impresario $20+
. eBooks Habit Guaranteed
. eBooks Habit $10
. eBooks Grow on Trees $20-$60
. eFiction Finds Guaranteed $5+
. eReader Cafe Guaranteed
. English Books XTME $9-$30 No longer guaranteed. ForAmazon.de
. EReader News Today Not guaranteed Very limited selection, 4 stars minimum
. Fire Department $50
. Fiverr $5 per service individual people advertising your book
. Flurries of Words $4+
. Free Books Hub $5
. Free Digital Reads Not guaranteed 4 stars minimum
. Free eBooks untested
. Free Kindle Books Not guaranteed 4 stars minimum
. Free Kindle Fiction Not guaranteed
. Free Kindle Fiction $5
. Free Kindle Giveaway $10+
. Freebooksy Not guaranteed $50
. Frugal eReader Not guaranteed no longer accepted
. Frugal eReader $50+
. Frugal Freebies $3-$8
. Fussy Librarian Guaranteed
. Good Kindles $7
. Goodreads custom budget largely ineffective
. Hot Zippy Not guaranteed $15 own several other websites
. iAuthor UK £0.6 per click
. iLove Ebooks various options, $25-$300
. Indie Author Anonymous $5-$10
. Independent Author Index Membership + listing $19 one-time fee
. Independent Author Network Membership + listing $25 one-time fee
. Indie Book Promo Guaranteed Four options, $25+ or small options, $8+
. Indie Promotor various options, $25+
. Indie House Books Guaranteed various options, £25+
. Indies Unlimited Freebie Friday, 99c Thursday
. Just Kindle Book Guaranteed
. Kindle Book Promo Guaranteed
. Kindle Book Promo $10+
. Kindle Book Promos Guaranteed
. Kindle Book Promos various options, $10+
. Kindle Book Review Not guaranteed $5+
. Kindle Mojo Not guaranteed $25+
. Kindle Nation Daily Guaranteed
. Kindle Nation Daily Various options, $100+ number of options, effectiveness reduced lately
. Kindle Romance Review various options, $25+ Romance only
. Kindleboards Free post in the thread  One per book
. Kindleboards Guaranteed
. Kindleboards various options, $35+
. Lendle various options, $35+
. My Book and My Coffee Guaranteed On Hiatus
. One Shot Pitch Guaranteed pitch design £5-£20
. Orangeberry Not guaranteed
. Orangeberry Promos various book tours, $29+
. Pixel of Ink Not guaranteed Very limited selection
. Pixel Scroll – NOW HOTZIPPY $5+
. Read Cheaply Not guaranteed Must cross-promote
. Reading Deals Not Guaranteed $5
. Reddit Guaranteed On the day. Must have account.
. Snicks List Guaranteed On the day
. The Cheap Ebook $15+
. YA Book Promo Central Same as Indie Book Promo YA only

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Another great post from over at Bad Redhead Media

AUGUST 17, 2014 BY

I asked my Facebook friends last week what confused them the most about author marketing and social media. So for the next several weeks, myself and several esteemed guests will be answering those questions for you! Thank you to all who answered. Here’s the first question:

How do you build an audience before you have a product? MJ Kelley @themjkelley 

Many aspiring authors or bloggers ask this question a lot, and really I see this as a question of confidence more than anything — what do I have to talk about? Why should people tune into my blog or social media channels if I don’t have anything for sale yet? Is this an ‘author platform’ issue?

Let’s deconstruct.

PRE-MARKETING

Many authors start off blogging, so let’s begin there (and if you’re not blogging, you should be!). Your blog is your your home, your place for folks to come in, take off their shoes, have a drink, hang awhile. Get to know YOU, and you get to know THEM. In other words, start building a relationship now (not to mention, it boosts your SEO and SMO, but that’s a whole other post).

Did you hear me mention anything about product, or selling? No, and it’s not because you don’t have anything to sell (because you do — you’re selling you, whether you realize it or not). You are utilizing relationship marketing skills as opposed to more old-school transactional (sales-focused) skills — building relationships for future sales and customer satisfaction. You’re also genuinely and authentically being yourself — letting people know you, and they are letting you know them. This is invaluable foundation building time for whatever it is that you will be ‘selling’ in the future — a product (book), a business, or a service.

I suggest you begin your pre-marketing at least six months to one year prior to the release of your book. Even earlier is fine. Why? Because you are building relationships with your demographic, people who read your genre, people with whom you share a common bond.

WHERE

Where do you pre-market your non-product? I know, it seems kind of ridiculous but… remember, we ‘brand’ the author, not the book. So since we’re marketing YOU, let’s make you easily visible. Twitter, Facebook (you must have a personal account where people ‘friend’ you to manage everything else over there — even if you never use it — so grin and bear it), a Facebook page (required for any product or service), Google+ (you may think it’s silly but Google is the largest search engine in the world, and they own Google+ so…), plus either Pinterest or SnapChat or Instagram or YouTube — pick one.

You may think these new visual apps are silly but frankly, who cares? This isn’t about you or me — it’s about your buyers — your readers. If you are a YA author, you best be on SnapChat because that is where your demographic is. Most importantly, remember that social media is about building relationships, not ‘selling.’ Not having a product to sell is actually an excellent way for you to focus on being a person, not an automaton who constantly spouts ‘Buy my book!’ links, which is a turn-off anyway.

BOOK RELEASE

Once your book is ready to go, you’ve built this base of people who have taken an interest in you, Jo Author. So now, when you tweet or post that your book is ready to go and is anyone interested in beta-reading or reviewing, you will have people READY TO GO. We’ve all seen the desperate, ‘Will anyone, anyone, review my book? Please?’ tweets go by and feel kind of sad for the lonely, misguided soul because clearly, they have done ZERO pre-marketing. Not only that, but by asking anyone and everyone to review their book, they aren’t focusing on their demographic, risking poor reviews by having say, a sci-fi fan review their romance book. Not a good fit. I’ve seen it happen and it’s not pretty.

Here’s why that’s a mistake: it comes across as disingenuous. What’s in it for the reader to purchase and read your book if you’ve never approached them before? Nothing. It’s all about you, the author. But what if that person has known you for six months already, is part of a private reading group or inner circle you’ve created, has signed up for the newsletter you’ve set up after you read this post (hint, hint —Mailchimp is easy to use and totally free), knows that your kitten died, you know that their Uncle Mort just turned 90 and danced on the table at his party even with his arthritic knees, etc. That makes them special to you, and you to them.

That’s what relationship-building is all about!

CHANGE YOUR PARADIGM

Ask not how to build your audience before you have a product, but how can you build relationships leading up to the release of your product. And remember this: your product will change with each book release — but you, the author, will not. Don’t open a new Twitter account or Facebook page with every book — it’s a waste of your time and effort. Focus your marketing efforts on what we’ve discussed here today — say it with me one more time — building relationships! — and you will build a readership that will last through many years, not only one book release.

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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 6, 2014
Another great post at AuthorCulture

I’ve been fortunate enough to interview a lot of authors. Hundreds, in fact. Some were fabulous and I wished I could have crawled through my computer monitor and hugged them. And some? Meh. The problem is the ones that were “meh” are also the ones who seemed to be the most difficult to work with.

Authors really need book bloggers, today, so we can’t afford to leave a “meh” (or worse) impression behind. Here’s some stuff that I personally appreciated when working with authors that left a good impression.

No Drama

There’s nothing worse than getting a last minute request to schedule a post (or worse, review a book) while an author drones on and on about deadlines and how exhausted they are in promoting this book and how busy they are and… sigh…

Know why bloggers hate this drama? Because they have jobs, too. They also have a limited amount of time in a day and while your book is the most important thing to you it isn’t the most important thing to them.

The best authors to work with have been respectful of my time and effort and answered my interview questions without drama.

Personalized Thank You Notes and Even Gifts

Writers are always on a budget, so gifts are a really rare thing, but I was given a couple things by authors and guess what? I remember them fondly. One sent me a cool Elizabeth I notepad from London and Starbucks gift card for being a first reader for her Tudor fiction book. Another sent me an antique coin. Both gifts tied in with their books, and the added effort was noticed and appreciated.

But I’ve also received personalized, handwritten thank you notes from several authors and those meant just as much to me. In fact, I’ve decided to make this a habit for the people that host me on a blog from now on, too. Sending a note doesn’t take much time but it does mean an awful lot to someone who made the effort to put you on their site.

Be Interesting

When you’re doing a blog tour, and answering the same questions over and over, it can be a challenge to be interesting. But resist the urge to cut and paste answers, and really try to make every question, even the ones you’ve answered a bazillion times, reveal something cool about yourself.

Tell a story with your answer. Compliment other writers or the blogger who is hosting you. Add a photo you haven’t shared too much. Find a unique way to interact with readers.

Some of my favorite interviews have been the ones where authors took my boring old questions and were so funny and charming they made me sound like James Lipton.


Follow Their Rules

When you have a book to promote and a blog tour to do, you want to control the show. You might even send an email that says “I’ll do an interview, guest post, and giveaway” but be careful about being too limiting. Some bloggers like to do it their own way.

Several years ago I stopped doing giveaways on my writing blog. My readers seemed to hate them. They enjoyed finding out about new writers but weren’t wild about leaving comments for books, and some even wrote me to tell me they’d like my blog a whole lot better if I didn’t give stuff away.

What did I know? I thought everyone loved giveaways, but if my readers weren’t fans why should I do them? So I stopped the practice but some authors get very testy about this. One insisted I do a giveaway because her publisher required it. (I’m still not sure she had that correct, but maybe it was true.)

I once did an unusual interview where I had to answer a lot of hypotheticals about my dating book that related to pop culture. It was super fun and I got a lot of positive comments on it.  Sometimes bloggers like to mix it up by having you answer questions as your character, or having you answer rapid fire, silly questions… whatever their preference, go with it.

Gratitude

Be sincerely grateful when bloggers are hosting you, because they really are helping your career. One author followed up an appearance on my blog by doing a post on her blog listing the top 10 things she loved about getting interviewed by me. I did mention that my questions are rather boring, right? So this was a clever and creative thing to make the interview stand out, and I was touched that she added that to her site.

However you decide to respond to and thank your bloggers, be sincerely grateful. Your intentions will show in the words and actions you choose, and your bloggers will be happy to welcome you back again when your next book is out.

Cherie Burbach has written for About.com, NBC/Universal, Match.com, and more. Visit her website, cherieburbach.com.

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