Sunday, August 31, 2008

I have to do WHAT? Blog?!?!


Blogging has become something we're all used to now- but I know not so long ago, there were some of us that hadn't the slightest inclination to write something for literally the whole world to see, and for the purpose of promoting, of all things, romance novels...

But surprisingly, blogs, author interviews, character q&a's, etc. have become an ideal, easy and CHEAP way to connect with your readers. Not only are readers given an opportunity to find out random, interesting facts about their favorite authors, but they also get to see yet another aspect of your profession of author.

I think that blogging bridges a gap that's often between readers and authors- so often as a reader, I find myself wondering about the stranger who wrote the literature I'm enjoying. The offbeat anecdotes or heartwarming mentions of family that come up in these blogs make authors seem hum- a far cry from the superhero writing machines that churn out books every season.

As your publicist, I get asked a bevy of questions, but the ones that frequently come up are concerning the blog: What do I blog about?

One rule of thumb to ALWAYS remember--whether it's for a blog post, in a comment or in an interview--THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING. I don't mean to bring up ideas of civil protest, but don't forget, if it is on the Internet, chances are that one person you don't want to read it, WILL.

But on to the fun stuff: Blog ideas!

"The Call"--tell us about what happened when you found out you were on your way to becoming a published author!
Your inspiration--we've had some wonderful examples of where we find our inspiration lately on the blog. Thanks for sharing!
The Unexpected--what has happened so far that completely shocked you? Were you amazed or horrified?
Ways you De-stress--Deadlines, revisions, and oh yeah, that pesky day job. What do you do to take a minute for yourself when things get crazy?
Characters--Where did they come from? Are they based on anyone (you don't have to name names)? What made you know that this was THE character you had to talk about?
Current Events--Even for those who write paranormal or historical, current events can often play a huge part in what you write. Maybe an incident in the local news fueled your writing along and changed the course of your novel. Or maybe you read about something so insane you just have to share it!
Your Favorites--we all have favorite authors, books, movies, foods, etc. So for those days when it's a little quiet on the promotion front, tell us the ultimate indulgences you love!!

As you can see, the possibilities are endless, and you can even do a Google search of "blog topic" and you'll find lists MUCH longer than my little one!

My number rule, when it comes to all PR--HAVE FUN! If you aren't having fun, it shows and we don't want to read that (I'm being honest here!). If you're having the worst day and you realize you have to write a blog--don't sigh and roll your eyes and fret over it. There's an amazing (aka bitingly sarcastic and often snarky) group of 15 women (and bunch of readers who have yet to show their commenting support) all anticipating your contibution to our humble (aka OMG coolest ever) group blog.

I hope you all have a great Labor Day Weekend. Does this mean summer is over? Say it isn't so!! Talk to you all soon!

Danielle

6 comments:

  1. Great advice, Danielle. Thanks for always thinking of ways to make the most of our PR opportunities. I've had a few blog owners say to me recently, "You all have your OWN publicist?" To which I always reply, "Sure do, and she's fabbbbulous!" Hope you're enjoying a great long weekend.
    Marie

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  2. Right you are, Danielle. I used to be a blogging-doubter, unsure of what use it was or what good it could possibly do, but the last few months have made a believer out of me. And you are right, when the enthusiasm isn't there, it shows, and when the writer is having fun, it shows tenfold.

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  3. Thanks for the suggestions, Danielle. I admit I've had a hard time with blogging. The very word seems to cause total brain wipe.

    Still I always enjoy it once it's done, and I like everyone else's blogs very much!

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  4. Hi Danielle,
    Let me echo Marie's FABBBULOUS! I am so grateful that Sourcebooks had the foresight to "give" us our own publicist, and that YOU were the one!

    And lest anyone forget that the Internet IS Forever, here's a personal story that really brought this home for me. Not too long ago, I wanted to see if my pen name and my "real" name were linked, so I googled my real name. One of the links that came up was an All County Directors letter I'd written when I worked for the Department of Social Services in 1998! Some county director had posted it somewhere and there it was for all the world to see, even though I left Dept. of Social Services in June 1999!

    So whatever you post, don't be surprised to see it again, YEARS later, in very unlikely places!

    AC

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  5. How funny Cindy! The same type of thing happened to me. I Google my name and generally it is related to the Darcy Saga, but I occassionally get one that has to do with a certification I have through the hospital! The really odd part is that the certification is an internal affair, so why it comes up on a Google search is beyond me!

    As for blogging... I really enjoy my website and the stuff I write. I jus thave fun with it and try not to let it bog me down. In fact, although I know the term 'blog' is the accepted vernacular (sp?), I just like to think of it as my website. Don't know why, but it seems more professional or something. Weird.

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  6. Hey Ladies--

    Sorry I was not on the blog yesterday; a Sunday afternoon adventure popped into my vision and I just had to see where it took me!

    Thanks for reading!! I hope my "advice" blogs are helping out in a little way to help you understand all the crazy things I make you guys do. Blogging is just a tiny part of the bigger picture, and I think as more and more books launch, we'll really see the results of a lot of hard work!

    Happy Labor Day!

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