Sunday, March 15, 2009

Words of Wisdom

As writer's we're told to create a blog to garner interest in who we are and what we do. The point is to generate PR and market ourselves and our works. Yes, we are selling who we are and what we do on a weekly or daily basis. The question is how do we do that with the least amount of effort?

The answer- know yourself and know your audience.

A good example is my friend Carrie Lofty. She loves to write historicals set in unusual places. She created the blog Unusual Historicals. Where she gathered other authors who write so called "unusual" setting and reached fans of historical romances with unusual settings. (By unusual, we mean places outside the publisher's marketing research of Scotland and England. Places like Spain, Germany, Africa and the Middle East.) Simply by knowing who she is and what she writes, she has succeeded in reaching and building an audience with her blog.

Sherilyn Kenyon created a whole world based on vampires and some say she is responsible for the huge wave of vampire stories now. When she first started out there was no interest in the subject- but she created a dark website and built a community of loyal fans who demanded her stories.

When thinking about marketing and where to begin or how to revamp, you should think long and hard about what it is you want to do and who it is you want to read your work.

It is simply, really, know yourself, what it is you do, where it is you want to go and know your audience. Everything else stems from there.


~Sia McKye~ said...

Sheesh,, Nancy, I hit the links and then get lost. Bad nancy, lolol!

"The answer- know yourself and know your audience." I think this is true. Not always easy, knowing your target audience. We tend to think of writing something we'd like to read. I think it's a thin line, between writing to the market and writing what we enjoy reading.

Knowing ourselves means knowing our capabilities. What are we good at, what efforts are we willing to put into fulfilling our capabilities.

I enjoyed your article, Ma'am. :-)

Jessica said...

Eek! Well, I know I love books, that's why I started BookingIt, even though I love to talk writing too. So hmmm, not sure my blog is the best marketing tool for me. (and yet, I'm hopelessly in love with my blog).
Your friend's unusual historical blog sounds really interesting. What a neat idea, and very smart.

Nadine said...

True... unless you use your blog to be a little self-indulgeant and write short pieces about what happens to be eating you that day. I don't think my blog would feel as authentic (to me at least) if I limited myself to one theme as opposed to using it as a soapbox/ranting forum/announcements page. Of course, I'm not exactly working marketing miracles with it either... maybe I should maintain 2 blogs?... Hmm...

Helen Ginger said...

Great advice, Nancy. And thanks for the examples!

Marilyn Brant said...

You're so wise, Nancy :). I always think of a writer's blog as not only a sample platter of that person's prose, but also to glean a sense of his or her worldview. My only real "test" is whether or not the writer's words seem genuine to me. If what they say makes me believe them. So your "know yourself and your audience" advice rings very true!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Very professional and very interesting. We old uns can't half learn off you young uns if we try.

Anita said...

Good advice, though, like Jessica, I don't know that I'm really following it!