Tag Archives: author blogs

#WW Blogging Tips For Authors

20 Apr

On Monday, I discussed how to enjoy blogging as an author. Now that you’re in love with blogging as much as me—insert winky face—I thought I’d discuss blogging as an author with more in-depth tips and advice. Blogging, after all, can be difficult, but it can also be a lot of fun! This covers how to stay focused but enjoy yourself even more.

1. Understand Your Brand

This is the core of any social media posting. Know your brand and stick with it. Posting about too many things all over the spectrum can be confusing and conflicting. Readers come to websites for certain topics. So, choose what you will focus on. This lets readers know what they can expect from your website the moment they arrive. For instance, my “brand” focuses on three things: books, coffee, and cats. I do this because my life revolves around those things, but my blog has its own special formula. While I mainly focus on writing, I have put aside a day—SATurday (because my initials are SAT)—where I’m simply me. I update fans on what I’m writing and publishing, and I talk to fellow readers about what I’m fangirling over. I even post what I’m baking and other geek-related news. But each day has a set expectation, and that brings me to my next point…

This is not the reaction you want to get.

This only works in Seinfeld

2. Set a Schedule and Stick with it

I write every post and schedule it two weeks in advance. This helps me more than anything else. Why? Because I write blog posts when I feel up to it—maybe five at a time—and then the rest of the month I can stay focused on other things. That way, on Tuesday night I’m not forcing a blog post for Wednesday. If a topic comes up I have to cover NOW, even better. I post it then and push everything back, and now I have an extra week covered. Knowing when you are going to post means your readers will know when you are going to post. That way, even if you are lost in their feed, they’ll remember a certain day as your day. (Ex. SATurday = SAT = Shannon A. Thompson.) Another way to save time is to consider co-authoring a blog or allowing guest posts focused on topics you also cover. If I have guest posts, they’re always on Mondays, and they always cover reading or writing, just like my Monday posts would cover. Despite being a different writer, my readers are still coming to my website knowing what to expect and when. Plus, it helps connect everyone! Above all, start small and gradually grow so that you know what you can handle. Don’t burn yourself out, and when necessary, make changes accordingly, but be sure to communicate changes with fans.

giphy3. Topics

Now that you have your schedule picked, it’s time to write. Topics tend to seem limiting, but really, topics are limitless. Think about what you would want to talk about with your favorite authors. Think about what you would want to talk about with your fellow fandom readers. Think about anything to do with your brand mentioned above. Now go.

200-54. Above All, Be Professional

Being an author can be HARD. That doesn’t mean you write a blog post blasting a book you hate or a publisher who rejected you. I see negative posts WAY too often, and while I think there is a time and a place, being more positive than not is key. Rant in your diary or to your friends. Discuss and have fun on your blog. Keep trolls out as best as you can and have fun along the way.

200-45. Connect Genuinely

Blogging is not about how many followers you gain or comments you get. Don’t get me wrong, higher numbers can be really exciting, but if you’re focused on numbers, you probably won’t love blogging, especially right out of the typing gate. Genuinely read what others are saying. Tell them what you think. If you’re really inspired, write your own article and link back to their article as inspiration. Read, write, connect. Make friends, not followers.

200-2

Okay. Maybe don’t stalk people.

And keep on blogging!

~SAT

BIGGEST ANNOUNCEMENT:

If you’ve been on Twitter, you might have seen the #CleanReads hashtag and the article CLEAN READS, A Publishing House that Deems #LGBT “Dirty”. While my publisher’s name, Clean Teen Publishing, is similar, Clean Teen Publishing IS NOT associated or affiliated with Clean Reads, nor does Clean Teen Publishing have restrictions. I love my publisher, and my publisher supports all types of stories, characters, settings, situations, etc. Please feel free to share our company’s clarification via Twitter or any other social media outlet. Thank you!

#AuthorinaCoffeeShop Episode 16 starts this Thursday via Twitter’s @AuthorSAT at 7 PM CDT. What is #AuthorinaCofffeeShop? Just how it sounds! I sit in a coffee shop, people watch, tweet out my writer thoughts, and talk to you! I hope to see you there.

event5Clean Teen Publishing is hosting a #AskCTP Giveaway on Twitter April 27! I’m REALLY excited about this live author-reader Q&A, and I really hope you all can make it. You can even win a CTP Mystery Box, which includes 1 to 2 print books, swag, and more. And that’s not all.

If you love free stuff, Minutes Before Sunset, book 1 of The Timely Death Trilogy, is FREE right now. Recommended to YA paranormal romance fans who want new creatures never seen or heard of before. Thank you for making Minutes Before Sunset hit #4 in YA Paranormal and #5 in YA sci-fi yesterday! You all are the best.

Read Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, for FREE

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksSmashwordsKoboGoodreads

Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2:

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksSmashwordsKoboGoodreads

Death Before Daylight: book 3:

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksSmashwordsKoboGoodreads

#MondayBlogs: The Stigma of Writing Horror

23 Feb

Intro:

Monday brings us a new blog post by a new guest blogger.

Remember, if you want to guest blog, check out the information below this post, but be sure to read today’s post first! When author Alex Laybourne was asked why he chose to be a horror writer, he responded that horror chose him. Today, he is talking about the stigmas horror writers have to deal with in today’s market, but he goes much deeper than that, and his words are definitely worth the triumph in the end.

#MondayBlogs: The Stigma of Horror Writing

As a writer, I have found that there is a range of reactions that will come from that proclamation whenever anybody asks what I do. Sure, I have an office job, but I always respond with both of my jobs. Writing is, after all, a fulltime endeavour.

However, there is only one reaction that I get when people hear that I am a horror writer. It is usually accompanied by a slight step backwards, and they avert their gaze. Why? Well, I write horror. It must mean that I am about to try and murder them all for the sake of research. I mean, that is what I am, right? I am darkness. I must live in a basement where blood coats the walls and the screams of the damned are the lullaby upon which I drift off into the restful world of nightmares.

Blood of the Tainted ebook coverIn the modern world, writers are more and more approachable than ever, yet I still find that there is a stigma attached to being a horror writer. Maybe stigma is the wrong word, so let’s say that there is a certain level of expectation that comes with it.

To many people, horror is about blood, guts, and gore. What they know of horror is what they see in movies. Why is this? It is, in part, because people only think of slasher movies when they think of horror. Anything else seems to get the label of Psychological Thriller or some other titillating genre twist, which creates a feeling of expectant anticipation in the audience. Something that horror does not give.

Yet the truth behind it all is far different. We horror writers are no different than anybody else that puts ink to paper. We are no different than anybody else that goes to work in an office. Ok, our heads may be programmed in such a way that when we see certain things or hear certain snippets of a conversation we get ideas, but there are for plot and characters, rather than anything darker than that.

There is a very interesting wave of great horror writers out there at the moment, making waves in the indie scene and pushing the boundaries of genre to the limits and then some. I could throw around phrases like ‘ground breaking’ or ‘genre defining’ but I don’t wish to be labelled pretentious. All of these writers, these masters of the dark, are husbands or close to it. They are fathers and damned good ones. Hands on parents, too. They can be found watching cartoons or changing nappies (diapers) rather than hunching over Ouija boards, summoning the devil’s minions to help ensure their souls have the clean black gleam.

Sure, we write things that concern darkness, but what horror often gives, is hope. More often than not they are stories of triumph over adversity. Yes, we deal with the subjects that most people are afraid to think about. Yes, we take readers by the hand through nightmare worlds, but what we also do, is bring them out the other side. We help them face their fears; we allow readers, if only for a short time, to conquer their fears. Whether they do it by closing the book when it gets too much, or by reading it all in one sitting, they are standing up to what scares them, and not backing down.

The next time somebody tells you that they are a horror writer, remember that we slave just as hard over our words as the next Booker Prize nominee does. We have poured as much of ourselves into our work as any other author, and while it may never be a good idea to ask us what we are currently working on, never let the genre fool you. After all, it is nothing but a means by which bookstores can line their shelves. At the end of the day, genre means nothing.

I think it’s only fair that I end this with a quote from Stephen King.

“At parties, people usually approach the writer of horror fiction with a mixture of wonder and trepidation. … Most of us, you see, look and seem (and ARE) perfectly ordinary. We don’t drown houseguests in the bathtub, torture the children, or sacrifice the cat at midnight inside of a pentagram. There are no locked closets or screams from the cellar. Robert Bloch, author of Psycho, looks like a moderately successful used car salesman. Ray Bradbury bears an uncomfortable resemblance to Charles M. Shulz, creator of Peanuts.”

Me

Alex Laybourne

Bio:

Born and raised in the coastal English town Lowestoft, it should come as no surprise (to those that have the misfortune of knowing this place) that Alex Laybourne became a horror writer.

From an early age he attended schools which were at least 30 minutes’ drive away from his home, and so most of his free time was spent alone.

He claims to have been a writer as long as he can remember. With a wild and vivid imagination he finds it all too easy to just drift away into his own mind and explore the worlds he creates. It is a place where the conditions always seem to be just perfect for the cultivation of ideas, plots, scenes, characters and lines of dialogue

He is married and has four wonderful children; James, Logan, Ashleigh and Damon. His biggest dream for them is that they grow up, and spend their lives doing what makes them happy, whatever that is.

Links:

Blood of the Tainted (artwork by Richard van Ekeren)

Diaries of the Damned

Website

Want to be a guest blogger? I would love to have you on! I am accepting original posts that focus on reading and writing. A picture and a bio are encouraged. You do not have to be published. If you qualify, please email me at shannonathompson@aol.com.

~SAT

%d bloggers like this: