Winner of ANGELGUARD and Bloggy Deep Thoughts

I’ve been pondering something and would love your input…we’ll chat more below. BUT FIRST. The winner of ANGELGUARD is…

Becky Doughty!

Becky, you’re going to enjoy this one. I’ll get your email address to Ian ASAP. And thank you, Ian Acheson, for the great interview and for offering this free copy!

Okay, so I’ve been thinking. As a fiction writer who blogs, I’m wondering–without a book to share with you, what do I have to share? I mean, non-fiction authors build huge platforms, just talking issues. They’re pros in their field.

I can’t say I’m a total pro in any field. Hey, I’m the one who majored in HUMANITIES, so I could take a huge range of subjects, from German to Judo, from News Writing to Abnormal Psychology. 

I’ve written three books. Yes, I’ve researched Vikings and Wicca and West Virginia, not necessarily in that order, for my novels. I could throw all kinds of facts at you, but they’re kind of like boards strewn about on the ground, with no framework. 

As fiction authors, we identify our “brand.” My brand is “Writing Beyond the Vows.” But I don’t talk about marriage in every post. That fire and drive is there, but I pour it into my novels. I enjoy blogging about it occasionally and finding guest bloggers to talk about it on Married…with Fiction.

On this blog, I’ve run a series for Newbie writers, a series for Homeschoolers, a series of classic quotes…I’ve vlogged, I’ve interviewed so many great authors…yet now I feel like I’m coming up empty!

I love this blog, love connecting with you. Just like novels themselves, different posts resonate with different readers. I know many fiction authors have reached this pointWHAT am I bringing to the table? What’s the point of my blog, when I write novels?

If you’re like me, you have blogs you frequent for information, then blogs you frequent because of the blogger. We just want to hitch our star to some blogging friends, to encourage them and bring them all the moral support we can.

Blogging is so important for building a platform and finding loyal followers–I don’t think anyone doubts that. If I find a new author I like, I immediately hunt down their blog. But is that because I’m an author and I want to know their agent/publisher info? Their journey to publication story? Do readers follow their fave authors’ blogs?

Just pondering. What do you think? How can fiction authors best maximize their time? Especially before they’re published? Personally, I’ve found my Facebook author page a fun way to interact, without writing longer posts. Just blips of info and updates to connect.

I’d love some examples of blogs you love–of unpublished authors, in particular–and why you love them. I think once I have a book to offer, it won’t even be an issue. But for now, I don’t want to waste your time!

Please chime in and let me know your thoughts. Let’s hash it out today! Blog readers and writers, UNITE! 

12 thoughts on “Winner of ANGELGUARD and Bloggy Deep Thoughts

  1. Ian! EXCELLENT! I can't wait to read this book – looking forward to it!Heather, I know so many of use who are dealing with the same struggles in the blogging world. Platform has been such a big MUST, but now that the internet is bursting at the seam with everyone and their mother blogging about everything from what the dog ate to their deepest, darkest, vilest thoughts, it's hard to stand alone on any kind of a stage. I know for me, now with Married… With Fiction, the pressure seems somehow relieved from my shoulders. My own site needs to stay active, but by joining forces at MWF, it seems like I once again have something to offer instead of just the rattling of my own narcissistic thoughts inside my head. I also write my serial novel, Elderberry Croft, for this reason – to give any who ARE following me a taste of my writing until the books finally become available. All that said, I think this joint blogging is going to be what brings people to the surface – that whole, united we conquer, divided we fall, idea.Great thoughts – thanks for voicing what I know many are not even sure how to put into words.Becky

  2. It is very hard to blog for readers, much easier to blog for writers. I think that most of us follow author blogs because we are fellow authors, hence the very high ratio of posts about writing, publishing, etc. Like most authors, I find blogging challenging, always coming up with fresh, interesting material, but I do it for several reasons, some of which are practice, connecting and sharing.I actually disagree that blogging is essential for an author platform. A web site is, a blog is not. Most famous best selling authors do not blog, and I have heard of plenty of new authors make it to the big time, writing no more than a couple of posts a year. It doesn't do any harm, and it probably helps, but I don't think it is essential.Count how many readers, yes readers, not authors or friends, you have following your blog, vs. your FB page. I'm sure FB is more effective at reaching readers.Am I anti blogs? No way. I love reading them, and I think the struggle to maintain mine is definitely worth it. My message is this: We shouldn't get so hung up about blogging, and remember that we are authors first. Do the best we can, scribe the best posts we can, and see what happens. 🙂

  3. Yup, Becky. I know, after a while you feel totally exposed, if you tend to be transparent. No mystery! The joint blogs are so helpful–you just have automatic resources, with more brains to brainstorm!And Graeme–great clarification–I think I did mean websites. Those author websites are very important, b/c those who don't have one look pretty outdated. But you're so right–websites don't HAVE to have a heavy blog element. I've definitely admired that setup. It does help so much to have ONE book you can focus on and build your site around–for instance, the locale or the time period. Hoping to narrow mine down some when I figure out which book gets picked up first. And that's assuming one does! Ha.Totally agree–FB draws in more READERS. Esp. if your FB friends have read any of your stuff, but don't have time to read blogposts. And yet blogging is a way to share your writing with readers, like Becky mentioned with the Elderberry Croft.Excellent points, Becky and Graeme! Definitely trying to work through this topic and settle on what is most important. AND writing our books always needs to be the most important, I think, as you said, Graeme.

  4. Just to give you more feedback on the blogging question. I admit that I do blog. I also admit that I'm not sure how essential or helpful it is. Quantifying it is like throwing Jell-O at a wall; I hope it sticks. It's beneficial for writers to be writing, so there's a benefit. But the hours I spend blogging are hours I'm not spending on the next novel, which I mentioned to you I'm having difficulty finding time for. Why do I blog? To connect with potential readers, of course. To express my thoughts on various issues to the world. And because marketers and agents say we are supposed to be doing this. But how much is too much? How exactly do we connect with the right readers? Do these blog posts actually translate to growth in sales? So far, I don't have clear answers to any of these questions. For now, I'll keep going, but I've lately also been having difficulty coming up with article ideas. One can promote one's novels and talk about one's novels only so long before you feel like a smelly guy on the sidewalk with a tin can, begging for dimes. So even with a few published novels, blogging can be a dilemma for authors. I'd love to read about what other successful bloggers do.

  5. Adam–was laughing at that jello thrown at the wall image! And I can picture that poor smelly guy, trying to hawk his books…don't worry, you're not like that. But I know. Marketing ourselves is TOUGH, when all we REALLY want to do is hole up and write. I agree, blogging is a great way to let people in on WHO you are and what makes you tick. I know you blog-readers probably know me fairly well by now. But it all comes back to I WISH I HAD A BOOK TO GIVE YOU! A novel shows the most insight into the way I think and write. Adam, you do have the benefit of having two books to let people into your style/writing world, as do many of my other blog readers. I enjoy getting to know you all better through blogs AND through your books. I guess balance is key.

  6. Great questions, Heather. For me, I like blogs that are funny. It doesn't matter what they write about, I just get a kick out of them. I also love blogs with recipes.I enjoy Keli Gwyn's posts on romance. Because I enjoy discovering new ideas for me and my husband.I also love Lisa Jordan's blog about marriage, she ties in great spiritual threads.I blog mostly devotions and Bible study. Why? I'm passionate about the Bible! And even though I don't have a book out yet, it sends the same thing my stories do to readers: Experience HopeI also like to blog random things for the funny factor (humor is subjective so…) because I want readers to get a feel of me and they'll know what else to expect when they read my stuff. Even suspense. 😉

  7. Jessica, I love that I have a flavor of YOU and your writing through your blog. You've done a great job integrating that "Experience Hope" theme in your posts and emphasizing the humor (you always make me laugh, girl!). I look forward to reading your suspense novels someday!!!

  8. I'm in that post-Google Reader drop off the face of the earth pit. I'm pondering not blogging much because , umm, why should I??? BUT, with MWF growing and leaping, I'm drawn more to that , too. GAH!!! Helllllllp meeeeee.But, on the other hand, I have a desire to educate people about The Long Walk, so I'd better keep swimming, right?

  9. Heather, as an unpublished author, blogging is totally up to you, especially the reason why you blog and the direction you want to take it… yet, perhaps you might want to ponder the direction it will take you. Interestingly enough, I say this today on my 2nd Blog Anniversary. I am so grateful to blog. I started it because of the push for an unpubbed to "build a platform" but its take-away value for me is full of God's blessings: I've met friends, have reached out to others, have had others reach out to me, have had a chance to pray for many, have met what I hope will be future contacts in my writing career… and so many more.

  10. Elaine, yes, those are things that are so beneficial–those relationships we nurture through our blogs! Each one of my blog followers is so special to me and has encouraged me so much along the way. I especially love bringing new authors to people via interview, as I know you do too! Thank YOU for all your great interviews and for bringing so many authors to my attention!

  11. Becky, congratulations on winning a copy of Angelguard. I hope you enjoy it.Heather, I blog because it gets me writing for an audience. Even if there isn't one in reality, it's in the public domain. This means there is a degree of vulnerability & I'm further developing my writing voice, both of which are important for a fiction author.Does' it increase readership of my novel? I doubt it.Great discussion Heather and others. I believe there is still much to be said in this debate about what are the best elements for a fiction author's platform, especially newly published or soon to be published authors. Ian

  12. Ian–definitely true. When I first started blogging, I just wrote stream-of-consciousness, and didn't double-check things. I had a small audience for sure. But now I do try to check things over AND my writing has gotten stronger and more careful b/c of blogging. Great point.

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