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#1 Midnight Whimsy

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:09 PM

It's pretty commonly accepted knowledge that blogging is an important marketing tool for a writer. And yet, everyone seems to have a blog. How could I, unpublished as I am, compete in the world of blogs? I have some interesting (maybe) things to say, but not enough to post something every day or every other day.

 

I'm not a big blog reader, but some of the most interesting blogs I've visited aren't written by one person. These blogs have mulitple contributers who post in a rotation, with guest blogs and whatnot thrown in there too. I really enjoy the various perspectives, experiences, and voices the multiple posters bring to the blog.

 

This idea of group blogging appeals to me. Alone, I would have trouble coming up with frequent posts. Alone, I would have trouble attracting and keeping readers. Alone, motivation might be hard to maintain.

 

With a group, however, there would be more posts, more insights, more anecdotes, and more inspiration. Two heads are better than one. Three better than two. Etc.

 

I'm interested in pursuing this idea and was wondering if anyone had any thoughts or was interested in starting up a group blog. I write YA urban fantasy, and I think to be successful a blog has to have some sort of theme, so I'd be most interested in either other fantasy writers or other YA writers who might like to team up -- but I'm totally open to suggestions.

 

I'm not planning to start a blog next week. I'm just looking to open discussion and see what comes of it. Like the idea? Think it's dumb? Know of a really good group blog -- or a really bad one?

 

M.W

 

PS - Is there an official term for "group blog"? I have no idea.

 



#2 Derrick

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 03:28 PM

There are quite a few successful group blogs. From the Write Angle is a group blog from writers who connected via this site. Yatopia is another one.

 

I've considered group blogging myself for various reasons. I'm not really a YA or Fantasy writer though.

 

If you feel like you can't provide daily posts by yourself, you may want to consider a weekly post by yourself if you can't garner interest for starting up a group blog.



#3 TobysMom

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 04:58 PM

I've been thinking about starting a blog for some time now myself.  Not so much because I want to, but because it seems like it is mandatory for writers today.  I do think a group blog is an excellent idea because the thought of having to come up with topics on a regular basis is rather daunting.  But how does one go about starting a group blog?  I have written a YA fantasy (not urban) and want to find a way to promote my book - hence a blog.  Of course a blog must also offer something to readers other than simple self promotion.  But I don't know what to blog about.  I've tossed around the idea of starting something where aspiring authors could share the first page of their manuscript in order to get feedback. I enjoy reading and critiquing and would like to offer a constructive forum for authors to test out their work.  But maintaining a blog would be one more thing to do on top of an already long list.  Just writing a book is hard enough. I know I sound like I'm complaining (maybe I am a little bit) but I'm not sure how best to promote an unpublished story versus one that is published. I don't mind putting a piece of the story out there, but not sure how to get followers.  



#4 Midnight Whimsy

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 05:15 PM

I know how you feel. I don't really want to start a blog either (mainly because of the time demands, not because I don't think it could be fun) but it does seem to be a requirement for writers. Planning out the blog would take some time and effort, but if we had, say, 5 people, we could get away with one post per person a week.

 

I think it's important to think of the blog as a way to connect with readers, not to self-promote. I mean, we're unpublished -- we don't have a product to promote. I think a manuscript first-page spotlight would be cool and maybe make a good mini-event or something, but I think overall the blog should focus more on attracting book readers than book writers. After all, we might not be promoting (yet) but we're trying to get our names out there, so we should be getting them out there to the people who would eventually be buying our books.

 

If a few more people were interested, we could brainstorm about our target audiences and how to cater to them. Obviously if we can't come up with a workable plan, then we can just shrug and say we tried. But from past experience, I know a blog will fail within a couple weeks without a solid game plan at the start -- sort of like a business.

 

M.W



#5 TobysMom

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:07 PM

I think your right about needing to attract readers rather than writers.  So many blogs seem to be geared to writers.  I do think that one of the things that make a blog so interesting is the open discussion, like this forum for example.  So how do you attract readers?  Opinion polls?  That might get a conversation started.  A word for the day?  Fan fiction? 

 

I wonder if a website would be easier.  It could still be updated and offer some back and forth conversation but might not require as much upkeep as an actual blog.  I do think blogging could be fun especially if it's something your passionate about.  Of course right now, my main passion is getting a book deal.  Still if you have some ideas and there are others willing to try this out, I would be game. I heard that no one finds your blog for the first few months and so you don't have to get it perfect before you start.



#6 Litgal

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:31 PM

It's pretty commonly accepted knowledge that blogging is an important marketing tool for a writer. 

 

Actually there are lots of writers who feel blogs take more time than they are worth and that the blog-o-sphere is saturated.  I belong to two group blogs and have my own blog as well but personally I think the jury is still out as to whether or not blogging actually builds an audience for or sells books.  I have several multi-published friends who have told me that if they had it to do all over again they would not have blogs -- they would merely guest post on the blogs of others.


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#7 RC Lewis

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 07:16 PM

Personally, I'd say if you don't WANT to blog, don't. Like Lit said, it's not proven to be any be-all, end-all of sales success. I've heard plenty of agents say it's a nice thing to have, but hardly critical. And if you don't enjoy it, if you find it to be a soul-sucking exercise, there are plenty of perfectly good, productive things you can do with your time. (Write, research, edit, critique, other marketing efforts, etc.)

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#8 TobysMom

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 07:27 PM

I like the idea of guest blogging.  To be honest, I just want a way to reach readers.  I want to find an agent but from what I've read you need to have a following, a blog, writing cred and who knows what else.  I enjoy reading blogs but since my only reason for starting one is to generate potential sales, blogging probably isn't the way to go. Still, I'm not ruling it out and would do it if I could come up with a good concept.



#9 Litgal

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    In between I became a "hybrid" as part of a group of six authors involved in a high concept novel-in-six-parts called "A Day of Fire" which released in November of 2014. The book, "A Day of Fire," tells the story of the final days of the doomed city of Pompeii in a way you've never read it before.

Posted 17 January 2013 - 07:35 PM

I like the idea of guest blogging.  To be honest, I just want a way to reach readers.  I want to find an agent but from what I've read you need to have a following, a blog, writing cred and who knows what else.  I enjoy reading blogs but since my only reason for starting one is to generate potential sales, blogging probably isn't the way to go. Still, I'm not ruling it out and would do it if I could come up with a good concept.

 

You do NOT need to have a following, a blog, writing credits.  What you need to have is a kick-ass manuscript. Period.


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#10 Derrick

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:17 PM

I agree with Lit and RC. I don't think I've ever bought a book based on an author's blog. I have based on agent blogs and another authors' blogs. But never directly because of the author blog itself. In fact, this little discussion made me curious to see if my favorite authors have blogs. I looked them up (for the first tme). They're not well maintained, let's just say that.

 

I am interested in blogging, but only because I feel I have a certain perspective and something to offer a perhaps niche group of people. I'm actually thinking the reverse of how you are thinking. I feel a blog may actually hurt me more than it is worth it to express myself publically like that. That's why I've been on the fence.



#11 Brighton

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:00 PM

For fiction, blogs have never influenced my book purchases or reading habits at all. For non-fiction though blogs have been a major part in most of the non-fiction books I've purchased in the past year. In those cases I discovered the author because they blogged about something I was interested in and I found their blog interesting that I then bought their book. The other non-fiction book purchases can thank the Daily Show or Colbert Report, haha. 

 

I think the difference is that for these non-fiction blogs is that what i'm reading on the blog itself is very similar to what the book is. When a kayaking blog I read to find out information on their experience running rivers I'm interested in going to has a link to a book river guide they put out, yeah of course I'm gonna buy that, it's exactly the kind of information I wanted when I came to the blog. 


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#12 Midnight Whimsy

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:17 PM

That's a lot of food for thought. Part of the appeal for me is that I think blogging would be fun, but I'm not interested in writing about myself or my life. I'd enjoy writing about topics related to my interests, but at the same time I don't think I have the time or motivation to maintain a blog myself (it would probably look like those poorly maintained author blogs). While eventually being able to self-promote is a bonus, I think I would like blogging even without that. My interest does run a bit deeper than "I think I should because people said I should" but I just don't think a solo undertaking would be successful for me.

 

I followed the blog of a brand new debut author for a while. She wrote lots of post leading up to the release of her book, most of them about her book/publishing experiences, and then after it came out.... her posts dried up almost completely. It definitely had a sales tool feel to it. That's not what I have in mind.

 

Lots to think about, at any rate. :)

 

M.W



#13 TobysMom

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:45 PM

This is why I like this site so much.  The sharing of thoughts and ideas.  I haven't been here in a while but sure glad I came back.  I admit, my only reason for blogging would be to promote my book and I agree - that is not a reason to blog. Just feeling the pressure I guess.  The comment about having a kickass book is so true Litgal.  Another good point was made by Brighton - I never bought a book based on someone's blog.  To blog or not to blog - that is the question and the answer for me at least, is no. Now I must get thee back to writing.

 

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#14 Alys Cohen

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 01:59 AM

I love the idea of people having their own blogs where they write what comes to them, but also guest-writing for others and hosting posts for others.  It can broaden the readership.  Personally I get excited to see guests posts on blogs I like.  It's like a substitute teacher in class even if you adore the regular teacher.  

 

I'd love it if you would be willing to write more posts I could host.  Any publicity we can all garner by working together and cross-promoting each other can only help us.



#15 DC Rich

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 07:55 AM

... This idea of group blogging appeals to me. Alone, I would have trouble coming up with frequent posts. Alone, I would have trouble attracting and keeping readers. Alone, motivation might be hard to maintain.

 

With a group, however, there would be more posts, more insights, more anecdotes, and more inspiration. Two heads are better than one. Three better than two. Etc.

 

I'm interested in pursuing this idea and was wondering if anyone had any thoughts or was interested in starting up a group blog. I write YA urban fantasy, and I think to be successful a blog has to have some sort of theme, so I'd be most interested in either other fantasy writers or other YA writers who might like to team up -- but I'm totally open to suggestions.

 

 

There are quite a few successful group blogs. From the Write Angle is a group blog from writers who connected via this site. Yatopia is another one.

 

I've considered group blogging myself for various reasons. I'm not really a YA or Fantasy writer though.

 

If you feel like you can't provide daily posts by yourself, you may want to consider a weekly post by yourself if you can't garner interest for starting up a group blog.

 

Midnight,

 

If you write fantasy, you may be interested in the Speculative Fiction's group blog. We started a group blog almost a year ago.  We call our blog Aliens, Dragons, and Wraiths, Oh My! There are about eight or nine of us, with guest posts from time to time.  Check it out and see if it is something you'd like to participate with.  PM me if you have any other questions about the group blog.

 

The name of the blog was a lot of fun to come up with, it reflects the different aspects of Spec Fic, Aliens for Sci FI, Dragons for Fantasy, and the Wraiths for Horror.  We have authors of each Genre represented in the blog as well.  We all take a turn and so the blog has a new post about once a week.  So I'd like to add to the list of AQC group blogs:

 

From The Right Angle

Yatopia

Aliens, Dragons, and Wraiths, Oh My!

 

Happy blogging everyone!

 

DC


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#16 E.B. Black

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 02:00 PM

I just want to add a few thoughts to this thread . . . .

 

One is that although it's rare, I have read people's books because I enjoyed reading their blogs before and/or talking to them on here or some other social media site. A lot of those authors are self-published authors, but some of them are traditionally published. Like Janet Evanovich. She's hilarious. I've read a lot of stuff she wrote online-she doesn't have a blog that I've seen, but I've explored her web-site-and because she's so funny, I read her books. I would never want to pick up a book about a modern day bounty hunter otherwise probably.

 

I'm not going to say that having a blog instantly makes you a bestseller or whatever. But for me it was the difference between some people and zero people buying my book. Even if it's not a whole lot, you do make friends through blogging, those people are supportive of you and it gives you people to sell to who aren't your family. That's how it has worked for me at least. And those people are loyal, so they are more likely to buy your next books when they come out too.

 

Two if any of you want to guest post on my blog or be interviewed on it, whether you've published a book or not, you are welcome to any time. Just PM me on here or e-mail me at deathauthor@live.com

 

I'm also interested in group blogging. I've always wanted to try and I am a fantasy romance writer. I don't write YA though, but I love reading it!

 

Three, is that it's difficult to continue blogging once your book is released. Sometimes you enjoy blogging, but you don't have the time to put into it anymore. I blog still, but not with the same fervor I did before my book was released and this frustrates me greatly.


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#17 MJ O'Neill

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 09:45 PM

M.W. - did you ever do anything with this? I'm just starting to set up social media and debating on a blog. I was thinking that finding a group blog would be best for me but I don't know how to do that. I'd almost given up on the idea when I saw this thread. Was wondering if you ever found anything.


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#18 Midnight Whimsy

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 11:48 AM

I ended up joining a new NA review blog as a co-blogger with four others. However, shortly afterward I got really busy and never actually posted a single thing to the blog. I don't think a review blog was the right path for me -- I don't have much reading time anymore... I still really like the idea of a group blog, but now is not the right time for me.

 

M.W






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