This was the jam…
Title: The Author Blog: Easy Blogging for Busy Authors
Author: Anne R. Allen
Print Length: 176 pages
Publisher: Kotu Beach Press
Publication Date: December 4, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
*I received a copy of this book as a gift from the author*
*Due to the high volume of reads I am behind on, reviews will no longer be restricted to Fridays. I will be publishing reviews on whatever day I get them out until I am caught up*
Anne R. Allen is no stranger to the blogging world. Writer’s Digest named “Anne R. Allen’s Blog…with Ruth Harris” one of the “Best 101 Websites for Writers”, and the blog made The Write Life’s list of the Best 100 Websites for Writers for 2017. Her advice and suggestions are shared daily by bloggers and authors such as myself. As her book is targeted, I am a busy Author but I also love to blog. Blogging. It has become one of the things I must incorporate into my schedule. I love interacting with the WordPress platform, networking with other authors, readers, and bloggers and being able to share my post on social media. In short, if there was a book out there for busy author bloggers, I am definitely one of them which is why I definitely knew I was going to need this book. I was not disappointed.
This book is extremely easy to understand which I think makes the “Easy” in the title so critical. It helps to guide those authors who are new to blogging in a way that leaves no stone unturned. Whether it is Blogger or WordPress, if you are an author (even if you’re not a busy one) Allen’s book will give you the tools you need to make blogging part of your platform. What I loved most of all is the information on how an author blog is different than a business blog. I also enjoyed the part on writing an author bio, which I applied immediately. What I loved least is some of the information on author newsletters.
While I don’t think everyone should do it at all (and I also agree with the author on some of the focus of some newsletters), I still think the email list can be beneficial for staying in communication with an author’s target audience. While my blog is more interactive and people can subscribe and also get email notifications of new posts, the email list helps me to organize exactly who the people are who are subscribed. I do not think the email list is for hard-selling (it doesn’t work) or anything most people tell you it is for but I do think it can be helpful to know who your supporters are more intimately. I love my blog. I have more interaction, feedback and more subscribers but I don’t know who everyone is, who is actually reading my content or what percentage of them are no longer paying attention. With an email list, I know exactly who is active, who is inactive, who clicks links, who open emails and who doesn’t. People who are no longer interested can also unsubscribe, giving me, even more, insight into the people who care and the people who do not care.
Nonetheless, there are still some really good pointers here so my disagreement with this part didn’t downgrade my thoughts on the book. Allen brings up some good pointers, such as: not using your list to advertise hard sell, promote or spam. How blogs show up on search engines, can be shared on social media and is interactive. I also like that she brings up the Street Team newsletter where everyone is treated as members of the author’s team to help to review and promote the work. I don’t like the idea either and have always thought there should be a separate list for this.
I wouldn’t recommend this book just for busy authors. I recommend this book for author bloggers in general. It’s an easy read and gives all the tools you need to start your author blog today.
Entertainment Factor: 5/5
Thought Provoking: 5/5
Authenticity / Believable: 5/5
Anne R. Allen is the author of nine comic novels. THE GATSBY GAME, FOOD OF LOVE, and THE LADY OF THE LAKEWOOD DINER are available singly or in a boxed set called BOOMER WOMEN. She’s also the author of the hilarious Camilla Randall mysteries: THE BEST REVENGE, GHOSTWRITERS IN THE SKY, SHERWOOD, LTD., NO PLACE LIKE HOME, SO MUCH FOR BUCKINGHAM, and THE QUEEN OF STAVES. She is currently published by Kotu Beach Press.
She also has a collection of short stories and verses called WHY GRANDMA BOUGHT THAT CAR.
She’s the co-author of HOW TO BE A WRITER IN THE E-AGE…A SELF-HELP GUIDE, written with Amazon #1 seller, Catherine Ryan Hyde.
Her latest book is THE AUTHOR BLOG: EASY BLOGGING FOR BUSY AUTHORS.
Writer’s Digest named “Anne R. Allen’s Blog…with Ruth Harris” one of the “Best 101 Websites for Writers”, and the blog made The Write Life’s list of the Best 100 Websites for Writers for 2017.
Anne is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and spent twenty-five years in the theater–acting and directing–before taking up fiction writing. She is the former artistic director of the Patio Playhouse in Escondido, CA and now lives on the foggy Central Coast of California with an imaginary cat and a lot of fictional people.
You’ve finished your book. This is admirable (because so many people never finish) and worthy of celebration. Congratulations!
But, while this is an accomplishment worth celebrating, you are not done. Do not pass go and do not collect $200.
A rule of thumb is that you do not publish a book you just finished writing. After you’ve finished writing your book, your manuscript is now considered the First Draft. It’s called the First Draft because it is the first copy of the book ever in existence where no changes have been made. It is a rough draft of the story straight from your mind to the page. According to Innovative Editing:
“In any piece of writing, whether a novel manuscript or a blog post, the first draft is also known as a rough draft. From start to finish, it’s technically a complete piece. It has a beginning that moves to a middle that concludes with an ending. But it’s a messy complete piece. There are still thoughts to ground, sentences to be revised for maximum reader engagement, and spelling errors to fix. Which is why a rough draft should never, ever, ever be your final draft.”
Once you’ve finished the actual writing part, it’s a good idea to let the manuscript sit for awhile. Take a few weeks off from the writing and go do something else. In a few weeks time, return to it with fresh eyes to begin your self-edits. A strange but helpful thing for me when self-editing on the computer is to turn my document into a PDF. For some reason, I catch mistakes easier this way. It’s the electronic way of printing the book out (which at some point you’ll want to do with your highlighter and pen ready.)
It may also help to take out a notebook and go chapter by chapter (maybe this week is Chapter One and maybe next week is Chapter Two.) This is what I did when self-editing Renaissance. I looked at each Chapter one at a time and wrote about it in my notebooks (things that didn’t make sense, add up, were inconsistent, contradictory etc. I am preparing to do the same with Book Two, which I’ve let sit a long while so it’s time to get back to it.)
The idea is to take the manuscript through enough revisions so that it starts to make sense and then you can send it in to be big edited but please, do not publish that first draft. It will need to be revised first. It is a rough draft.
I AM SOUL, my short collection of poetry, is now available.
Working Toward the Vision
I AM SOUL is now available (CLICK HERE). I am dog tired but this was fun. I wanted to release this on the low but it did better than I thought it would (still holding on at #11 in its category and this week, we got down to number 7. Not number one I know but you gotta crawl before you walk! I try to always appreciate the little things). This has been one challenging year for me and working part-time now meant I had to get up early to write and then stay up late to write. This book was birthed over cups of coffee, scripture reading, and glasses of wine. Birthed while folding laundry and frying chicken. I say this to say that when it comes to having your own, nothing compares but it takes more than just passion and dreams. It takes commitment. Passion means nothing without commitment. Every day I get up hours before I have to just to write or to blog or to do something for my business and I go to bed late doing the same thing. These are the critical, personal and private moments that matter the most. Over the years I’ve learned that growth is not always what you can see. These are the moments of growth. You may need to sacrifice sleep, that favorite TV show and movie night just to meet your deadline but in the end, you will be thankful that you put in this time.
My biggest accomplishments have not been broadcasted and it is because of these personal milestones that I’ve been capable of producing these books. Here’s to the entrepreneurs who are brave enough to work for themselves regardless of what they are going through personally. Here’s to those who do the work and in the process, bring forth fruit. YOU ARE SOUL.