Resources and tips for the self-published author.

Publishing News Roundup Series: Blog Writing for Authors

by Maureen Crisp •  May 7, 2019  •   Follow

Published in Publishing Tips  •  No comments


A blog is a great way to promote yourself as an author.

Exposure through social media is a crucial step to connect with readers. But what should your blog include? What can you write about to attract an audience?


Telling a story for eleven years

Eleven years ago… Amazon released their first Kindle for general release. (Their first attempt sold out in 5 hours and they took 6 months to get over it.) They needed content to put on their Kindles… and so the miniscule ebook market got an Amazon rocket and the only direction was up. 
I was a debut author wondering all about the publishing industry. 
My fabulous friend, Fifi Colston, this years Otago University Children’s Writer in Residence, said start a blog. I decided that I would find out as much as I could about what was happening overseas and share it every week to my fellow writers. So much has happened in eleven years. 
Along the way the blog has morphed into a curated news collection, has been syndicated and shared around the world and provided a reference resource for conference planners. It provides a rhythm to my working week and an excuse to noodle around on social media. (And I was hugely honoured to be the recipient of the Betty Gilderdale Award for outstanding service to the children’s literature community in part due to blogging weekly for over ten years.)

Lessons learned. 
Always keep a word doc open for snippets for the blog.
It is ok to not make your deadline of 11.59 pm. (I write this at 10.30pm.)
You never know who is reading the blog so don’t assume they know as much as you do.
The world is smaller. Eleven years ago it took eighteen months for changes in the publishing industry to filter down to New Zealand. Now it is less than six months. 
We still need to work on our author collectives to truly make an impact here and overseas.

Thoughts for the future… I’ll keep learning and writing the blog and I hope you always get at least one nugget of rich learning every week. Thank you for the odd cup of coffee or email of encouragement. It does mean a lot to me. 

Now back to the reason you are here – Things that caught my eye this week.

Do you remember Dungeons and Dragons? Hands up if you played it… hmmm. Writers Digest has a great guest article on how Dungeons and Dragons can make you a better writer.

Bologna… Bologna… Attendance was up… exhibitors were everywhere and children’s books were celebrated. Porter has the rundown on all things Bologna – The worlds biggest children’s book fair. 

Bookworks has an interesting roundup of online book creation tools… write and produce your book in the cloud. Pie in the sky thinking?

Rachel Thompson always has an interesting blog of super strategies for authors. This week she wrote about her pre-launch strategies for authors. 

Kris Rusch has a great post that resonated with me on writing for fun. Sometimes we can get so caught up in the publishing world and our personal goals that the fun goes out of the writing. She looks at her long career and talks about what happened when she wrote just for herself. (After having publishers sit on my writing submissions for YEARS before making decisions, I completely agree with her.) 

In The Craft Section,
First Pages and character emotion– Becca Puglisi- Bookmark

16 Villain Archetypes– Tami Cowden- Bookmark

Writing a novel – How to hook your readers– Robyn Murphy

Storyteller Rule Book- Have at least 6  painful decisions– Secrets of Story

7 things to try when writing is hard– K M Weiland- Bookmark

Bonding the character and reader– James Scott Bell- Bookmark

In The Marketing Section,
5 steps to a social media strategy in 2019

5 facebook ad mistakes– Social Media Examiner

2 great posts from the Alli Blog –Narrating your audiobook and Automated Emails for reader magnets– Bookmark both.

Trends- What Bookbub readers are buying– Bookbub blog

How to increase your mailing list– Indies Unlimited – Bookmark

To Finish,
A story popped up on my Facebook feed about a town called Story, that is for sale. A whole town for sale? My imagination went wild. What could you do with a little town… Writers this could be your chance. Wouldn’t it make a fabulous writer’s colony… only $3 million. (Maybe in my next eleven years… LOL)



About Maureen Crisp

Maureen Crisp has been writing her weekly publishing roundups for over seven years. She is a traditionally published children's author as well as indie-published. She lives in New Zealand and is heading the team organising the 4th National Conference of Children's Writers and Illustrators. She is currently trying her hand at writing a children’s book series if she can drag herself away from forever tweaking her Mars novel or obsessing over space.