All About the Authors

Helping edit, publish, and market your book.

Category: Blogging

Why I Write by Peter Golden

Peter Golden is an award-winning journalist, historian, and novelist. His new book, Wherever There Is Light by Atria Books, delves into the little known history of the rescue of German Jews from the Nazis by traditionally African-American colleges. The book is described as a “love story that’s epic and truly felt”. Peter and nine critically acclaimed authors were featured at the Women’s National Book Association Charlotte’s 7th Annual “BIBLIOFEAST” Book & Author Dinner on Mon., Oct. 17.

golden  Time moves, and I find myself, frequently against my will, moving right along with it. I’m a different husband than I used to be, a different father, and a different writer. Where my family is concerned, I’m different because in so many ways, large and small, what your loved ones need from you changes with the passing years. Yet I’m a different writer because the reasons I write have shifted, leaving me to marvel at how naive I once was and, I’m happy to say, how dedicated I have remained to the craft.

As a young teenager, long before I began writing seriously, it occurred to me that I had only one life and writing would enable me to enter worlds that were closed off to me—from pitching in a World Series at Yankee Stadium to residing in eighteenth-century Williamsburg or serving as your newly elected president.

By the end of college, I was familiar with Henry David Thoreau’s observation that most people wind up mired in quiet desperation, and since I was philosophically opposed to sustained misery, I started writing on a daily schedule. Thanks to the enchanting gift the young possess for self-deception, I soon convinced myself that writing was an effective method for bending reality in my preferred direction. Absolutely ridiculous, I know. And in my case, absolutely true.

Less than ten years later, I was earning a living by writing, and I knew that I was lucky to go to an office in my own house and pay my bills by doing work I enjoyed. Still, money, like love, is usually something you think about only if you don’t have enough, and although by my thirties I felt relatively secure in my career, on occasion I asked myself why I got up every morning to face a blank page.

Honestly, I’m not sure I had a good answer to that question back then.

Now, after writing almost every day of my life for over thirty-five years, here is what I discovered: nothing, other than the joys of family and friends, gives me more pleasure than writing a sentence that informs me emotionally or intellectually. Of course, I hope others are touched or informed by that sentence. But if not, at least I tried.

And I wrote the sentence.

Peter Golden was born in Newark, New Jersey and grew up in the suburbs of South Orange and Maplewood, New Jersey, where he graduated from Columbia High School. He attended Ohio University for two years then transferred to SUNY Albany, graduating with a BA in Philosophy. He lives in Guilderland, New York, with his wife, a communication professor at University at Albany.

Want to write a guest post for All About the Authors? We welcome guest posts from authors and those who are experts in the book industry. What is your writing process? Where are you in your publishing journey and what advice do you have? Have you successfully marketed your book and do you have tips to share? All About the Authors wants to hear from you! If you’re interested in submitting a guest post to All About the Authors, please send your information and topic idea to priscillagoudreausantos@gmail.com with the subject line “Guest Post”.

 

Get social in just 30 minutes a day!

Tina Siadak - Wedding Shower 5-3-16 010All of us are working on so many things every day that it’s hard to carve out time to connect with our friends and followers through social media. Let’s face it, some people enjoy social media more than others, and some are just better at it. But, for those of us hard pressed for extra time, what if it’s possible to build our online conversations in just 30 minutes a day?

That’s right, begin each weekday (or whatever time works best for you) with a 30-minute social media program. You’ll find that your social network will build quickly over time and hopefully, using it will be more fun.

Use the channels that are most familiar to you and your fans. And, those that fit your demographic e.g. women ages 25-55.  For example, if Facebook is a good tool in reaching your fans – one that you use frequently — this is a good place to start. I use Facebook, Twitter, blogs and email marketing. If there are others that work well with your book topic such as Pinterest, use those in lieu of these or in addition to your preferred social media.

Here’s a look at a five-day social media plan using just 30 minutes a day:

Monday

  • Brainstorm ideas for Facebook and Twitter posts that your fans and readers will find interesting and that relate to you and your book. Remember that you want to start conversations that others will respond to. Next, draft a few. (10 minutes)
  • Begin writing a brief blog post (300-500 words) about one of the ideas you came up with (10 minutes)
  • Connect/follow with those who have connected with you on Facebook and Twitter and search out new connections. Also, build the trending topics/hashtags into your posts so that they reach larger networks. (10 minutes)

Tuesday

  • Finish your blog post and post it if you haven’t already. Definitely use a picture if you have one or can find one without copyright issues. Make sure that you include a link to the post on your social media posts to gain greater readership. (10 minutes)
  • Respond to comments from readers (5 minutes)
  • Draft an email newsletter in Constant Contact or Mail Chimp with good information about your book topic that augments the information you’ve posted on your blog and that’s meaningful to your reader community. For example, if your book is about hiking in North Carolina, include a meeting of a hiking group or a newly discovered trail. (15 minutes)

Wednesday

  • Connect/follow with those who have connected with you on Facebook and Twitter and search out new connections; build the trending topics/hashtags into your posts so that they are reach larger networks. (10 minutes)
  • Respond to any comments on your blog (5 minutes)
  • Go through your Facebook and Twitter feed to respond to those in your network – be interested in them and they’ll be interested in you! Add new posts of your own. (15 minutes)

Thursday

  • Finish and send your email newsletter and then send out social media posts with a link to the sign-up page on your blog or website. (10 minutes)
  • Connect/follow with those who have connected with you on Facebook and Twitter and search out new connections; build the trending topics/hashtags into your posts so that they are reach larger networks. (10 minutes)
  • Go through your Facebook and Twitter feed to respond to those in your network. (10 minutes)

Friday

  • Respond to anyone who’s commented on your blog post or Enewsletter. If they express interest in your book, let them know the publish date or if already published, where they can get your book. Pre-orders prior to publication rock! (10 minutes)
  • Connect/follow with those who have connected with you on Facebook and Twitter and search out new connections; build the trending topics/hashtags into your posts so that they are reach larger networks (10 minutes)
  • Add new fans to your mailing list or CRM (Customer Relationship Management) database so that you can send them announcements about exciting upcoming events or happenings. (10 minutes)

Are you ready to give it a try at least for two weeks? If you get in the social media habit, I think you’ll be amazed at the results. Just remember to check your messages, especially on FaceBook. Your connections and conversations will grow exponentially but you have to keep them going. Bon chance!

 

Guest Blogs: Why they work

9 tips to great guest blogs that build exposure, relationships and influence

Why pursue guest blogging or a virtual blog tour? Because guest blogging gives you opportunities to get in front of the right and different audiences – people who are interested in you and your book. travel pic for siteIt’s like travelling without all the hoopla…from your location to any destination you choose.

1. First, determine your audience and topic. For example, a book about gardening would be a fit on blog sites that discuss gardening as well as organizations – local, regional and national — that offer information about gardening and all the products surrounding it. Often, you can submit a guest blog for free by submitting your idea or written blog for review on the site.

2. Find good blog sites for your posts. Google search is a good way to start. You’re probably also familiar with sites that discuss your topic. This is a good time to do some research that will show you are interested in the site and the message. Try typing in a keyword that suggests your subject and “submit a guest post.”

3. Become familiar with the site and posts. Does the content match yours or your style of writing? Or, will your blog be a unique voice for the site if the owner is interested in different viewpoints? Keep in mind that your goals are to:

• Get accepted
• Attract readers
• Build relationships with new fans and site owners

4. Check whether the blog has engaged readership and also if posts are shared via social media and even better, commented on. Your goal is as much positive interaction with the readers as possible. Remember, guest blogging is a way for the site to keep fresh content on its blog, add a new perspective for its audience, and hopefully get new readers from your guest blogger’s community. It’s a win-win situation!

5. Pick great topics for your guest posts (remember you are the expert in this area). If it’s interesting to you and seems in line with other posts, that’s the path to follow. Play around with several catchy titles and keep the headline fairly short.

6. Pitch your idea or finished blog. When writing your pitch and guest post, make your writing shine. You’re publishing an article on someone else’s website or blog and you want to do an amazing job for yourself and your new fans. What’s a good length for a blog post? There are many opinions on average length from super short posts of 200 words to super long posts of 2,000 words or more. I like posts of about 600 to 1,200 words. Make your post work for you and your host. Often, the site owner will provide guidelines to follow.

7. Link to the post to your blog or website. I suggest using an “ender” that includes your name, book title, website address and social media handles. This can be 100 words or longer depending on the site and blog length.

8. Promote it on your own social media with links back to the post. You are building your fan base and your credibility.

9. Keep the conversation going! Make sure to reply to comments
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Check out my video on Guest Posts and find out why I like Virtual Tours, when to do them and how to plan them. Join our All About the Authors community  Continue reading

5 Keys to a Successful Blog

keyboard_computer_hardwareAs a writer, whether you are published or aspiring to be a published author, it is important to have a blog of your own. It’s a great way to build credibility within the publishing world, practice marketing yourself, and also practice your writing!

Thanks to many great tools on the Internet, creating a professional looking blog is relatively easy. Both Blogspot  and WordPress have nice looking templates available for use, and the website pretty much walk you through signing up and setting up.

Once you have created a place to blog, there are a few things to keep in mind to help it be successful.

  1. Set a schedule and stick to it. Your followers will appreciate knowing when to be on the lookout for fresh content, and it also shows editors that you are able to stick to a deadline.
  2. Publish good content. This isn’t a journal, where you write stream of conscious on whatever pops into your head. Try to make posts interesting and about something people will enjoy reading. It might be helpful to have a theme for your blog, to tie things together. Just don’t make your theme too narrow, or you’ll run out of things to write about in a few months.
  3. Keep it short and sweet. People reading on their computers or tablets don’t like to have to scroll down a lot to read a blog. Entries of 400-800 words are optimal. Some successful blogs even have entries that are only a few sentences!
  4. Add pictures to your entries. Not only does this break up the content, it helps with marketing your blog on social media. Research shows people are more likely to click through to a shared link on Facebook if there was a picture with the link.
  5. Network! Once you have your blog up and running, you want people to read it. Get out there and share it. Use the tools on your blog host to have automatic updates on LinkedIn and Twitter. You can also setup automatic updates on Facebook, but I prefer to post those manually, which gives me more control over what is said. That way you can ask questions or write statements that provoke a conversation or shares, and get people involved in your blog in an interactive way. And of course, use email and word of mouth to let people know you’ve entered the blogging world!

 

For more tips and information on starting a blog, check out my video “Blogging 101 for Writers” in our Author Resource Center.