With thanks to Rilke (Ranier Maria, that is) for the title.
The other person I must thank is the author of the post itself, Sunny Frazier, who writes the Christy Bristol Astrological mystery series. If you like strong, star gazing women with your mysteries, check out these books.
Sunny was asked her thoughts on the importance of blogging and answered with the below. I thought both the perspective on new media and the concrete suggestions for people still hesitant to wade into the blogging waters well worth passing on to suspenseyourdisbelief readers.
It’s a kind of boot camp approach to the need to get your name out there!
As always, dear readers, feel free to comment and weigh in with your own perspectives. The only thing I profess to be true about marketing today is that your mileage may vary. Recently I had a conversation with some writer friends about how the introvert/extrovert personality distinction effects marketing efforts. So what works for some may not work as well for you. If it doesn’t, I’d love to hear why!
And now without further ado, Sunny’s thoughts…
Dear [insert emerging writer's name here]:
This is the first time your name has come through my radar. So, I’d say your name recognition is low. What does your Google Alerts say about your profile? How many sites are you on when you Google your name (for the record, I’m up to 240). How do you expect to get book sales when nobody has heard of you?
And why would you ignore any opportunity to build your platform? Right now I’m vetting manuscripts for my publisher and the first thing I do is see if the author is active on the Internet. That’s my litmus test. I’d rather have a strong marketer who is making contacts BEFORE publication than one who sits around and waits until they have a book to promote.
Blogging is not as hard as people make it. First, you are a writer. Writing is what you do. Second, you have opinions. Opinions and attitude are what blogs are good for. Third, you want people to hear your “voice.” Your writing style. Make them want to see it translated into your fiction. Make them WANT more!
So, how do you fit all this into a busy schedule? You take one day, one afternoon. Make a list of five ideas, take them from MMA posts or wherever (we say pretty interesting things on this site). Write 500 words on each idea. Sparkle. Be witty. Check your spelling.
Now, go to all the sites you are on. I’m on 35+. You can post all the blogs and date them to come up once a month or once every two months. There. Done. Forget about them.
OR, take it a step further. Notify friends to come over and check out the clever things you say. Tease them. Ask a provocative question. Invite them to comment.
Be someone they want to read.
I guess the question is, how serious are you about your writing career? How much effort are you willing to put out given your time restraints?
Look, everyone seems to think all this Internet activity is a waste of serious writing time. I remember when there wasn’t anything like this available and the most you could hope for was an article in the local paper. Small press authors had limited money for big promotion. All these sites that have popped up in the last two years are a Godsend to struggling authors. They represent OPPORTUNITY. People like Jeffrey Marks stepped up to the plate and created Murder Must Advertise so people like you and I could connect and communicate. We both know he’s a busy guy, but he did it and the whole mystery community was better for his efforts.
These are just suggestions. You can choose to remain fairly anonymous and wonder why your books don’t sell. You can choose to ignore opportunity and continue to tell yourself you’re too busy. Every day that goes by, someone like me is filling that empty slot.
Okay, I’m stepping down from my soapbox. All of this “wasted” time responding to your post has just given me my next blog! How easy was that?