Friday, February 06, 2015

How to Get More Blog Readers and Other Advice

Have you ever wondered how to get more blog readers? Whether guest blogging is a good idea? How I managed to get 900+ followers? Check out Write with Fey where I answer all those questions and more!

Last chance to enter my Valentine's Day giveaway. The Rafflecopter ends Sunday at midnight:

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Wednesday, February 04, 2015

IWSG: Writers Don't Tell You Everything

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the day to post about your insecurities. Add your name to the list to join in!

I had another post planned for this month, but a post from essayist and novelist Ann Bauer derailed my plans. The post was titled 
“Sponsored” by my husband: Why it’s a problem that writers never talk about where their money comes from. It immediately began making the Twitter rounds.

Bauer makes some excellent points. We all pretty much know that most novelists aren't millionaires. We do assume, however, that truly successful writers have more money than they know what to do with. It's what we all aspire to, right?

But as Bauer's post points out, many successful novelists fall well short of a working income. It takes me back to a comment someone made when I first started out. I posted on a forum that I just wanted to make enough to quit my job. 

"Most writers will never be able to quit our day jobs," she wrote in a personal email to me. "Sorry."

At the time, I thought it was an odd assumption for her to make. She had no idea what my situation was. I could have been making poverty-level wages as a state employee (I pretty much was!). I could be satisfied living on next-to-nothing. I could have been married to a super billionaire. Okay, on that last one, I probably would have been able to quit my job without a writing contract, but you get the point!

In her article, Bauer mentions authors who inherit fortunes, marry spouses who support them, and work full-time jobs to support their careers, even while they're assumed to have "made it" as novelists.

Most published novelists I know have full-time jobs. Those who don't are moms, married to husbands with reliable incomes. Some, like me, make an income writing or editing to pay the bills.

Should writers disclose the truth about their incomes, as Bauer suggested? Or is it better for us to assume that anyone who hits the bestseller list is set for life?

What are you feeling insecure about this month? Sign up for IWSG and let everyone know!

Have you entered my Valentine's Day giveaway yet? It includes this prize pack for tween girls (or yourself!):

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Monday, February 02, 2015

Buying Your Way onto the Bestseller List

While promoting my first book, I heard a story about an author who bought his way onto the bestseller list. Apparently he had enough disposable income to buy a bazillion copies of his book at once, shooting his novel's numbers way up.

The story made me think. I always said that if I won the lottery, I'd continue to write. I would also have continued to pursue traditional publication because that was my original dream.

But as I work hard to promote my current book, I notice that someone with money has a decided advantage in book promotion. A wealthy person could, for instance, hire a top-notch publicist to give his or her book the best chance possible.

With enough money, you could pour big bucks into fun promotional products and mail them to every bookstore in the world. You could take out an ad in the biggest trade publication or put up a billboard in Time Square.

You could even try to get it green-lighted in Hollywood. Although money won't necessarily get you far in the land of dreams. Money also won't guarantee the public will like your book, even if you managed to catch the interest of a publisher. Money can, however, introduce your book to a large number of readers who might not have known about it otherwise. Will that lead them to buy it? Read it? Tell others about it?

But say you won the lottery and could afford to push your book to the top of the charts. What would it mean? Chances are, not much if people didn't seek it out on their own.

What would you do if you won more money than you could ever spend? Would you stop working? Authors--if you had more money than you could ever spend, would you buy up enough copies of your book to make the bestseller list?

Have you entered my Valentine's Day giveaway yet? You can win this prize pack for the tween girl in your life (or yourself!).

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