Regularly writing blogposts has made me a “thinking” author, as well as a “pantser.” I can write using the “stream of consciousness” method, or write from an outline of whatever interests me at the time. I do the research, and the post begins to write itself.
Writing blogposts isn’t that difficult per se, as I can knock one out in less than an hour if I’m fired up about the subject. The real challenge of blogging regularly is finding interesting content. But that is also how you grow in the craft—you become a better writer when you write on a variety of subjects.
The way I handle my blogging commitments is this:
So WHY did I mention making footnotes? Isn’t that just for academic stuff?
Not at all, Grasshopper. We must give credit where credit is due. That is your legal obligation, but there is a moral one here too: if you wrote something good and someone quoted you verbatim, wouldn’t you want to be credited?
First lets talk images:
When we first begin blogging, sourcing images seems like no big deal. You google what you want, see what images pop up, right click, copy, and use them, right?
WRONG! You can get into NO END of trouble that way. A.J. Downey recently pointed this blogpost out, and it bears being referenced here again: The $7,500 Blogging Mistake That Every Blogger Needs to Avoid!
An excellent article on using Creative Commons Images can be found here:
What Is Creative Commons, And Should You Use It?
I use Wikimedia Commons and Public Domain images. Wikimedia makes it easy for you to get the attributions and licensing for each image. Another good source is Allthefreestock.com, where you can find hundreds of free stock photos, music, and many other things for your blog and other projects.
Sometimes I need images I can only get by paying for them, and I go to Dreamstime or Canstock, and several other reputable sources. For a few dollars, usually only two or three, I then have the right to use them, properly licensed.
I keep a log of where my images are sourced, who created them, and what I used them in. I also insert the attribution into the image details on my website so that when a mouse hovers over the image, curious readers can go to the source. (In WordPress, You must be on the WP Admin dashboard. Click on the image and go to ‘edit details’). If you are able to do this, you won’t have to credit them in your footnotes.
We may want to quote another blogger or use the information we have learned from them. Plagiarism is an ugly word, and you never want to be accused of it. To that end, we cite our sources and only use images we have the legal right to use, also citing their source.
First of all, I open a document in my word-processing program (I use Word), save it as whatever the title of the post is in that blog’s file folder, and compose my post the way I would write a story. Composing the body of my post in a document rather than the content area of the blog-template allows me to spell check and edit my work first, and I feel more comfortable writing in a document rather than the content-window.
I keep a log at the bottom of my page of what website, who the author was, the date of publication, and the date I accessed it. I have found the simplest method is the Chicago Manual of Style method:
Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab, General Model for Citing Books in the Chicago Notes and Bibliography System, Copyright ©1995-2017 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved.
Website: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/717/03 Accessed Jan 10, 2017
All of this information for your footnotes can be copied and pasted directly to the BOTTOM of your current document, so everything you need for your blog post is all in one place. When my blog article is complete and ready to posted, this information will go at the bottom of my post beneath a line separating the post from the credits and attribution notes.
When readers view my blog, if my post were one that I did research for, they would see this:
Authors need to blog about who they are and what they do because they can connect with potential readers that way. Using pictures and quoting good sources makes blogs more interesting and informative.
Photographers and artists are just like writers—they are proud of their work and want to be credited for it. Protect yourself and your work by responsibly sourcing your images, giving credit to the authors and artists whose work you use.
Connie J. Jasperson is an author and blogger and can be found blogging regularly at Life in the Realm of Fantasy.
Contributed by AJ Downey
In an effort to maximize your new release’s Facebook post here are some helpful suggestions:
A HIGH RES IMAGE OF YOUR BOOK’S COVER
1) Like it or not, people do judge a book by its cover. Your book’s cover not only tells potential readers about your story but it also tells them about you, the author. If your cover lacks a professional appearance then the public will not be tempted to pick it up or take you seriously as an author.
*** NOW AVAILABLE ON KU ***
2) Display a flashy title for the post that makes your book stand out. eg New Release, On Sale for 99 cents!, Available on Kindle Unlimited (or a new platform it wasn’t originally available on).
#AJDowney #Angels #UrbanFantasy
3) Use hashtags even on Facebook. It makes your post searchable. Enter any of those words in a search and this will be the first post to come up. Hashtags are your friend no matter how much you hate them or how stupid you think they are. I personally love to hate them.
4) Attach a link to your Facebook Author Page. Don’t have one? Create one. Why? To garner more likes so people can follow what you’re up to.
Note: To maximize the effectiveness of a Facebook page's visibility is ridiculous. You need to make 4 posts per hour 24 hours a day minimum in order for your posts to be seen and not hidden - of course, that's unless you want to pay Facebook to boost your posts.
5) Include your website link where potential readers can learn more about you and your books.
6) It cannot be stressed enough. Always, always, always include a buy link. The best buy link you can use is universal buy link. Go to www.booklinker.net to create a free universal buy link. It’s easy. Sure, the link looks weird but it's a universal link meaning no matter what country you readers are in, they click that link it and it automatically takes them to that book's amazon page in the country they are in (versus a plain old amazon link that only takes them to the U.S. site.) This will boost your international sales!
7) Including the back blurb will get people hooked. First thing they will see is your cover, second will be what's special about your book then, if your hashtags are good, you'll get them to click 'read more' if they do that then they will read to the bottom of your post. If you can manage that, you've pretty much either sold your book or it's gone onto their Amazon wishlist for them to buy later.
This next step is optional but recommended.
Include an Excerpt
8) An excerpt is a great way to reel in your potential reader, so make sure you select a portion of your book that will draw your reader into your story and set that initial hook from your synopsis deep. If you’ve done it right, you will notice an increase in your book sales.
If you do post an excerpt, be sure to include the following information at the bottom:
Text Copyright © YEAR your name here
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
All Rights Reserved
What are your New Years traditions? Normally my hubby and I do something a little fun to celebrate, an annual dinner party at the home of dear friends. My sister and her husband also are there, along with my BFF from high school and her hubby and all our close friend. Starting the year with friends who are really family is the best. Jonna always goes out of her way to treat the vegans as well as she does the carnivores.
And as always on New Years Day, I feel good, because I don’t drink alcohol, so no hang-over here.
So what are my goals for this New Year that looms fresh and untrammeled before us?
My goal is to create and implement a marketing plan for my books. This is something I have attempted, but have always become side-tracked by life, and never got back to it. From what I've read on the internet this involves a combination of things:
Here is the link to that page: List Of Top Book Promotion Sites: Free And Paid
I admit I'm pretty lousy at blatant self-promotion. But I intend to make this a good year for honing my marketing skills in such a way that I can sell a few books without annoying my friends. I am taking to heart a lot of what I have learned from Emily (Lee) French and Jeffrey Cook, and also from Thomas Gondolfi.
I see the New Year as a brand new beginning marketing-wise, with endless possibilities. In completing and publishing my books and building the small following I have gained, I've already achieved dreams I never thought possible, and now a new year lies before me. How wonderful to know that anything can happen!
Connie J. Jasperson is an author and blogger, and can be found blogging regularly
at Life in the Realm of Fantasy.