I have completed my first novel, done two rounds of edits with a freelancer and embarked on the agent querying process. I've received twelve rejections in the past month, which I've read, is nothing. (I'll admit that it does sting a bit.) One problem is that I have no publishing credits and very few connections. Now I'm wondering if I should I start a blog about writing or my life... or perhaps both. It seems rather self-indulgent because I'm unpublished and have zero followers. Do any of you first timers have blogs or web pages?
I also think it's good to identify exactly what you need to do--do you need to write a blog regularly? or do you just need a website? in which case, a blog can be set up with "pages" and kept minimal to serve as a website. there's no need to become a "blogger" if writing short articles on a regular basis doesn't appeal to you.
I've seen plenty of established authors with very simple, yet interesting websites. the key is to have SOMEWHERE that you exist online. Also, it doesn't hurt to buy your own URL and use that to appear even more professional. it costs fairly little to own your own name, and it's free to tie it to a blogger blog. wordpress charges to do that. blogger has a built-in application to make the change for you, as well. you don't even have to understand what's happening technically.
If you want to buy a url, I suggest GoDaddy.com. Easy to use, and can be used for webhosting in the future if want to do a website that's not blog-based.
I started to write BC and AC learned dos. I have rejection letters dated before many of you were born and they were either typed or the form letters were printed on word processers. Being in the military, and having to get permission to submit articles for publication due to my assigments, no wonder they were rejected. However, with there being limited electronic media at the time, it is amazing anything was accomplished.
Today we take these electronic innovations in stride as though they have been here all our lives when they have been here such a short time…at my age I learned not ask a boss where she was when JFK was shot (she was not born then)…and many of use do not realize the benefits of them. Blogging, using the internet, and the whole electronic communication scene is a fairly new learning curve for me…just as painting with acrylics in my illustrations, using DSLR cameras when making photos. Thankfully I can still purchase 6-speed transmission for my girly off-road truck while my husband drives his manly car.
I started to write BC and AC learned dos. I have rejection letters dated before many of you were born and they were either typed or the form letters were printed on word processers. Being in the military, and having to get permission to submit articles for publication due to my assigments, no wonder they were rejected. However, with limited electronic media at the time, it is amazing anything was accomplished.
Today we take these electronic innovations in stride as though they have been here all our lives when they have been here such a short time…at my age I learned not ask a boss where she was when JFK was shot (she was not born then)…and many of us do not realize the benefits of them. Blogging, using the internet, and the whole electronic communication scene is a fairly new learning curve for me…just as painting with acrylics in my illustrations, using DSLR cameras when making photos. Thankfully I can still purchase 6-speed transmission for my girly off-road truck while my husband drives his manly car…and yes, they are so full of electronics I can no longer maintain them. Even my Service Dog has a chip.
I'm an unpublished novelist (though I've published lots of non-fiction and some short stories) and have my own site about freelance writing. I don't think it's self-indulgent at all. I'm always researching writing related issues, then I share what I learn with others. I certainly don't pretend to be an expert and I think that's important. Just be honest and share what you learn as you go along. It can be hugely useful to someone who's at a slightly earlier stage in the writing process. And it definitely helps to have at least the beginnings of an online platform, way before your book comes out. I've also built up a following of (mainly) other writers on Twitter by tweeting lots of writing related news and links. I also thinks it helps when marketing a novel to have a few published short story credits (I'm hoping so anyway!) Anyone else have a perspective on that?
In answer to your question, yes, you should definitely create a blog and post to it regularly. I post once a week and I "advertise" my posts on several sites including She Writes. For example, this week I'm interviewing author Marilyn Levinson as another installment in my "Getting to know you" series. Some weeks, I pick a topic and write about it, other weeks I do an interview. I have some new ideas for the future. I started my blog nine months before my mystery novel was published. You need to start to create buzz about your book now. Here's a link to my blog in case you'd like to see it. Best wishes!
I think starting a blog is a great idea - so long as you find a way to do it that you enjoy. I hear writers who jump into creating a blog because they feel they HAVE to and it just turns into a dreaded assignment. Write about things you enjoy, things that show your personality and give your readers (or readers-to-be) a taste of what they can expect.
A GREAT resource on blogging for writers is Novel Blogging (http://www.amazon.com/Novel-Blogging-Writers-Guide-ebook/dp/B0082F0PY6) I highly recommend it!
(Sidenote: I haven't even finished my novel and I have a blog which now has a decent following - people who will likely buy my book when it does come out. It's not the reason I blog, but it won't hurt when I do publish.)
Thanks very much for the resource idea - got it on Kindle immediately. Will now look up your blog....
Hi Alison, I think the blog is important especially if you have not been previously published. If you can be consistent with it and provide good info. people will come to read it and potential agents will review it when they receive your query. Without the blog you won't have as much to show publishers. With the blog comes the promotion of your book and your website which can be pretty fun, once you get the hang of twitter and other social media.
I've published my first book which is nonfiction and started the blog several months before the book came out. If you have a passion for writing you will love blogging. My site is http://www.lisathomsonlive.com which includes the divorce support blog. Check it out for reference. Let me know when you get going and I will come by your site. Best of luck!
And just keep in mind that when you're early in your journey, sometimes a blog has nothing to do with future sales or agents. Many times it's just a great way to get into reading other blogs and networking--so that you can LEARN. The more you read about writing, and the more writing you read, the better your craft will be. There's a certain learning curve that must be climbed before you need to worry about sales and agents. Blogging is one way to enjoy that curve. I've found a wealth of info through the blogs I follow. You can find them on the right-hand side of my webpage when you scroll down :)
Also, if any of you are considering attending a writers conference, and aren't sure how to pick one or what it would be like, I have a guest post coming up later this week on that topic by another SheWrites member!
This is such a helpful group... good information and support!
I did set up a web page with a blog (daphneq.com) as I started writing my novel. It's therapeutic and also motivates me to write every night because I want to be sure I don't have to write in my blog something like "I haven't written for three evenings now."
I also joined Twitter and Facebook. Not sure how much help either of them are, but it's free and it doesn't take much time, so why not?
As far as Twitter goes, I recommend following finding tags to follow where you can get to know other writers or people who would be interested in reading your genre.
Since I don't know what you write, I recommend checking out the #amwriting tag. :)