Blogging as a Writer

Scrabble pieces spell out 'blog' and the post title, "Blogging as a Writer" is superimposed on the top.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

My first blog post was in August of 2008.  Along the way, I’ve tweaked the content and changed from Blogger to WordPress.  I’ve also played with the number of posts I run a week.  Aside from that, the blog is pretty much the same as it was nine years ago.

But along the way, I’ve seen lots of changes: some writers who used to blog no longer do.  Some folks never started. Some rarely post at all.  Which leads me to this post.  :)   Should writers blog?  If you decide to blog, how do you keep it up?  And how do you get a blog started?

Why should you consider blogging?

One big reason why I like blogging is because I bring traffic to my website (which also lists my books).  As Belinda Griffin put it in her article, “10 Rock-Solid Reasons Why Every Indie Author Needs an Author Blog“:

Regularly updated websites, ie ones with a blog, are crawled more often by search engines and will appear higher up in search engine results, meaning a website with a blog is more likely to be found by someone searching using Google. Continue reading Blogging as a Writer

Writing a Better Reader Newsletter

Desktop picture showing a computer, mouse, keyboard, speaker, and the post title, "Writing a Better Reader Newsletter" superimposed on the top.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

I’ve mentioned before that I always feel a little apologetic when I send a newsletter to readers. I’m so inundated by emails that the idea of wanting more emails seems impossible to me.  But that’s just the thing we need to remember: readers do want to receive our newsletter.  That’s why they signed up for them.

I only send my newsletters when I have a release, which means that I’m sending a newsletter out about three times a year.  My newsletter include buy-links for the new book, a few recipes (I don’t enjoy cooking, but I like passing along easy recipes), and updates on my life and what I’m working on now.

I’m always on the lookout for ways to make my newsletter better. I came across three articles on the same day and saved all of them for future use since each one had at least one helpful takeaway.  I thought I’d pass the information along here in case it helps others. Continue reading Writing a Better Reader Newsletter

Twitterific Writing Links

Bluebird with beak open and 'Twitterific Writing Links' by ElizabethSCraig superimposed on the image

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

Twitterific writing links are fed into the Writer’s Knowledge Base search engine (developed by writer and software engineer Mike Fleming) which has over 43,000 free articles on writing related topics. It’s the search engine for writers.

Have you visited the WKB lately?  Check out the new redesign where you can browse by category, and sign up for free writing articles, on topics you choose, delivered to your email inbox!  Sign up for the Hiveword newsletter here.

I had a new release last week.  :)  A Body in the Trunk, Myrtle Clover book 12, released on Tuesday.

Continue reading Twitterific Writing Links

Single-Tasking for Productivity

Stressed woman puts both hands to her head as the post title "Single-Tasking for Productivity" is superimposed on the top.

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

I used to think that I was a fairly adept multitasker, as long as one of the tasks was something completely mindless (I could stir things in a pot and make a list at the same time.  I could vacuum and brainstorm).  But after instances  where I’ve spattered supper on the stove and vacuumed up things that weren’t supposed to be vacuumed, I’ve come to the realization that I really shouldn’t multitask at all.

I’ve made an effort to dial it back and become more effective at focusing on a single task.

Is it really multitasking?

In the article “Brain, Interrupted” by New York Time columnists Bob Sullivan and Hugh Thompson, they stated:

In fact, multitasking is a misnomer. In most situations, the person juggling e-mail, text messaging, Facebook and a meeting is really doing something called “rapid toggling between tasks,” and is engaged in constant context switching.

The danger in this, as stated in the article, is that we may never really return to the main task we needed to work on.  The other tasks act as distractions … or maybe, more accurately, deterrents…to our productivity. Continue reading Single-Tasking for Productivity

Finding Silver Linings in Goodreads Giveaway Changes, and 3 Alternatives

by David Wogahn, @wogahn

It seems like indie authors are under siege. First Pronoun, the free eBook distribution service, closed. Then Goodreads announced their free paperback giveaway promotion tool will no longer be free (as of tomorrow, January 9).

I know how upset some authors are about the latter change. But I imagine there are other groups of authors and publishers who see a silver lining.

  1. Producing a quality paperback is more expensive than publishing in eBook format. For those self-publishers who publish in eBook format only, and who want to get in front of the largest audience of avid readers in the world, a high bar has now been lowered.
  2. One of the arguments in favor of KDP Select is being able to give your Kindle eBook away for free, ostensibly to help encourage reviews and build your audience. The new Goodreads program has no such requirement, only that your book is available on the KDP publishing platform.
  1. The program seems to have lost its effectiveness for some people. As shared with The Verge by Lesley Conner of Apex Publications, “We aren’t going to spend the small marketing budget we have on a service that we’ve already noticed isn’t that effective.”

A couple of years ago I read about one self-publisher’s giveaway strategy in the Independent Book Publishers Association Independent magazine: offer one book and do this continuously, well after the release date. Goodreads would give an offer like this the same marketing push as a Giveaway for a new release offering multiple copies.

Could this be a contributor to the ineffectiveness cited by Apex Publications and many others? I think so and I doubt it was Goodreads’ intention that the program be used this way.

2 reasons why I am not concerned

Continue reading Finding Silver Linings in Goodreads Giveaway Changes, and 3 Alternatives