Tuesday, 10 December 2013


Inage courtesy of pixtawan, freedigitalphotos.net

You may well have read what I'm going to write on numerous other blogs and websites. I don't mean my words, but similar advice. I know that when I'm searching for help and guidance - not just on marketing, but on all the various aspects of writing and getting a book published - often the same old chestnuts come up again and again.

And, of course, the ideas and suggestions that do keep appearing, are the ones to take notice of. But sometimes, it's only after you've read a certain piece of advice for the umpty-umth time that the lightbulb goes on, and you realise that the reason people keep saying "this is a good idea" or "defininitely do that" is because those things work.

I would say that one of the most vital things to do is to set up a blog site or a web site. And although I kept reading that this was 'essential' and 'crucial', I procrastinated.

Procrastination is one of my weak points and I freely admit it!  I knew I'd be able to create the blog site, but at the same time I knew I wouldn't find it easy, and that it would be time consuming and that it would probably drive me to distraction. I don't think in a technological way, that's the trouble. So far as I'm concerned, life is too short for fiddling about with bits of html and trying to get my head around things I don't have any desire to understand.

But I could see the sense in having a central focus site for me, and for my book and so, by the end of July this year, I finally got my blogsite up and running. It's probably not a good idea to follow my example - I should have had the site in place before I even put my book up as an e-book on Amazon back in March.  And certainly by the time I signed the contract with Matador in April.

I think of my blogsite as a combination web/blog and it serves a variety of purposes. It's enabled me to let people know about my book, and me; to create an interest in it by writing about the publication process; to put up links to online sellers where my book is being sold, or offered for free as a 'Giveaway' (on Goodreads). I've been able to publish reviews, background and description of the book, make extracts available to read or/and download. I've also shared tips and advice that I've found useful and, hopefully, in time, will read about others' experiences.

As I've said, my blog site has been in existence since July, but it's only now - December - that I'm beginning to notice an increase in the number of people visiting the site. This  is probably because my book came out in paperback last week, and I've been promoting it - and the blogsite - in all sorts of ways. On every leaflet and poster and bookmark I've had printed, I always list my blog site address. On all the emails I sent to friends and acquaintances on publication day, I added it. When people want to know more about the book, I always mention my blog site.

But for the first few months, there were hardly any visitors at all. This is when it's hardest to keep posting. I must admit that at first, I only posted once every 3 or 4 weeks, and it probably would have been better to add something more often. But I did post regularly, and have been writing more often since October - come to think of it, maybe that's why there've been more visitors.

The thing is - don't give up. Even is it feels as if you're talking to no-one, and no-one's listening, and no-one's reading what's taken you so long to write. Even if you feel you can't be bothered, and what's the point anyway. Don't lose heart. Although I did sometimes, I must say. But I continued putting up my posts, and writing about this and that, and offering bits of advice and recommending useful sites. And I realised then that I'm not just writing this blog for other people, but for me, too. And that's the important thing, because, hopefully, your enjoyment and enthusiasm will come across.

It's important to optimise your site so that search-engines (e.g. Google) can find it. Jim Lodico has written an excellent article 6 Ways to Optimise Your Blog for Search Engines which explains things a lot better than I could.

Enjoy blogging, and if you have anything to say, please do add a comment.

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