Tag Archives: Blogging

Summer Lane: Writing Belle, Indie and self published authors welcomed

Having published her own book, Snappy Social Networking: How to Dominate the Blogosphere & Everything in Between, Summer Lane loves to connect with other authors online.

She reviews both young adult and new adult fiction on her blog, Writing Belle. A lover of indie and self-published books, she spends a lot of time reading books from such authors.

Miss. Lane has even gone as far as turning the dreadful Monday into something fire-filled and fantastic!

Read below and see how Miss. Lane accomplished such a feat. It will inspire you to create something unique for your own blogs.

Straight from the author’s mouth: Writing Belle, Indie and self-published authors welcomed

Can you tell me about your blog and the objective you hoped to achieve?

I started my blog, Writing Belle, last year because I wanted to create a public platform for myself as an author, but I also wanted to connect with other people who were excited about writing and publishing. The purpose of my blog is to accomplish three different things: to talk about the art of writing and surviving in the publishing business, to review books (especially self-published books), and to have fun!

Can you talk about Indie Mondays?

Sure! Indie Mondays is something I created with the purpose of spotlighting self-published and indie-published authors. I spend a lot of time reading indie books, and I think self-publishing is well on its way to becoming the way for an established author. You don’t have to be dependent on big-time publishing houses because of the Internet, the Kindle, the Nook, the blogosphere, Twitter, and all sorts of other incredible tools at your fingertips. I love self-published books – and I feature them pretty much every Monday on Indie Monday!

As a book reviewer, what do you look for when you consider reviewing a book?

I look for uniqueness and category. I generally review Young Adult and New Adult – and occasionally a memoir or biography if I like the subject matter. I won’t review erotica because that’s just not me – but I adore romance within the YA and NA categories. I also love the author who can look beyond the Edward/Bella storyline and create an entirely new story. Liz Long, Richelle Mead, Colleen Houck, Summer Day, are all authors who are both bestselling or self-published…and their stories are all unique.

I love your blog design, what inspired it?

Thank you! When I first started my blog, I didn’t even know how to center my header – let alone create one. Today my inspiration is summer vacation. I basically like to change my blog design along with the shifting seasons. My mom also taught me to love shabby chic antiques, so I use those colors (minty greens, pale pinks, turquoise blues) on my blog, too.

How did you get your blog started and how long did it take before you saw results?

I started it by accident, to be honest. When I was in High School I had named my blog Writing Belle, but I forgot about it for a few years. After I finished my first semester of college I decided to play around with it – and it quickly became clear to me that it was an amazing platform for anybody interested in writing or publishing. I would say it took about three months before I started getting lots of traffic and involvement from the blogging community.

What are some tips?

Three things: Consistency, consistency, consistency! It’s important to keep posting on a regular basis. Readers want to have fresh, updated information – especially in a world where trending topics on twitter shift literally every 2 minutes. Also, interact with as many other bloggers as possible. Build those friendships. It’s the single best way to become successful.

If you could share a bit of wisdom with aspiring authors who desire to create a successful blog, what would it be?

Be true to yourself. It sounds kind of weird – this is blogging, not high school after all – but as you blog, you’ll find that there is some pressure to do what everybody else is doing on their blogs, from interviews to features. It’s being unique that will make your blog highly successful. I wrote a book about being a successful blogger called Snappy Social Networking: How to Dominate the Blogosphere & Everything in Between. But the most important thing of all is to have fun. I have met people from all over the world because I started blogging, and I’m enjoying every minute of it!

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Blogger Roxie Hanna: Carving out your niche

Some blogs are purely informative, some pure fun.

Roxie Hanna’s versatile blog just happens to be both.

Hanna began the blog with the intent of creating a resource for “no-fee” writing opportunities.

Now it has grown to be a great tool for education and inspiration.

Hanna provides writers with industry news and inspires them by featuring successful authors.

Bothered by writer’s block or stress? No problem. Hanna’s Sunday Funnies will help you unwind.

Become enveloped in the warm voice of Roxie Hanna as she discusses below the journey and growth of her blog.

Straight From The Blogger’s Mouth

Hey Law, thanks for inviting me to your fabulous blog! Let me introduce myself to your readers: I am a freelance writer and editor, specializing in ghostwriting projects. My focus is on my ‘day job’, which like many of you, keeps me extremely busy.

Three years ago, when I began my blog, I thought I would cut down on freelancing work and dive into submitting my stack of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and children’s pieces I’ve written over the years. I adamantly stated I wouldn’t take on any new clients…well those words have been pretty tasty, but they do travel to the bank and that’s important.

Now I submit my work, freelance, and somehow juggle it all, letting a ball slip to the ground but never dropping them all, yet. I serve as judge on short story and poetry contests, contribute to various magazines, sit (stand mostly) as poet-in-residence at a two-year college, and edit students’ book reviews. Occasionally I teach at workshops and conference sessions, and do anything I can to support First Book and The Cheerios New Author Contest.

Can you tell me about your blog and the objective you hope to achieve?

Oh, good question! When I began Roxie’s Blog I wondered what I could add, how would I be different, unique and helpful to the blogosphere. I saw many people already weighing in on their writing expertise. I considered an alternative angle, topics people might be surfing for based on my own searches. I noticed a void in a bulletin board-type space for writers to become aware of avenues where they may submit work without entry or reading fees.  I began listing these no-fee venues for writers, poets, and visual artists. Then I expanded to spotlighting writers, illustrators, visual artists, and song writers, offering tidbits of knowledge from my experience, as well as information about the market place.

This year, I began a Top Twos-day column, posting the most interesting items to cross my desk in a week. My blog is still evolving, and in the fall my plan is to add a weekly column series. Upcoming topics will focus on editing, agents, publishing, ghostwriting, critique groups, and professional associations plus touch on the basics to cutting-edge ideas and technologies.

How did you get your blog started and how long did it take before you saw results?

Way back in 2009, hehehe, I kept seeing advice from agents and publishers for writers to ‘have a platform’. I searched online and asked people, not necessarily writers, how they established an online presence. Most often I heard Twitter was the ‘it’ venue and WordPress offered the most adaptability for styling a blog. I jumped in with both feet. Now I’m thrilled to say I have a presence on Twitter, Goodreads, and StumbleUpon as roxiewriter, on Pinterest as theroxiewriter, on Facebook as Roxie Hanna, and at NetworkedBlogs. I love company, come hang out with me and we’ll enjoy this networking journey together!

To the second part of the question: I’m not sure what results I was looking for, I was thrilled if someone read my blog! I watched my stats like a hawk and soon found out this was like waiting for water to boil!  I decided I couldn’t make my stats go up any more than I could cause the stock market to increase on any given day. That led me to recall why I began the blog. With my perspective in focus I concentrated on creating the best one I could, and the results have paid off fairly well. Slow and steady like the tortoise and the hare race…I’m not in it to win a popularity contest. But I do enjoy readers’ responses and get a thrill when people push my ‘like’ button, 🙂

What are some tips?

First, be yourself…it’s a crowded world out here, if you can carve your own niche, you’ll be able to sustain the initial momentum. Visit blogs, become a regular commenter following favorite sites, taking note of features striking your ‘like’ button. No one blogger has a formula, nor is there a map to plot out the best way to produce a successful blog. It’s a combo thing.

Also, I believe you should move out of your comfort zone. Innovative expanses may be awkward and scary, but keep your eyes focused on the end goal, why you want to blog in the first place. Learn all you can about your craft, practice to gain confidence and then polish your work so your best becomes your standard.

IMHO it’s extremely important to surround yourself with positive people. You’ll hear enough negative voices in your own head, doubting your abilities, keeping you from moving forward. You can borrow the first rule comedians use, the answer is always ‘yes’ when doing an improv skit, which would allow you to go with the flow and never stress about whatever direction you’re heading.
If you could share a bit of wisdom with aspiring authors who desire to create a successful blog, what would it be?

I guess the best advice I have to offer is to build a blog you’d like to read. And then play around with it, never letting it become stagnant. Try enhancing your style. Find your strengths, play to them, and enjoy communicating with your readers. Have fun. Everyone says it, but are they, really?

Stretch yourself: did you write an historical fiction? You might consider writing posts about various topics that are side shoots from your work. If you did the research for your book, you’ve already done the homework for an interesting article.

Supplement your book: is your genre chick lit or romance? Pick one of the minor characters and explore what she will do in a variety of settings. Play the what-if game with her personality and see where it takes you.

Readers love connecting with authors on another level. Use your posts to share how you developed the book, series, characters, setting, etc. Give them juicy details and don’t forget to add the material you decided to leave out. All the hard work writing a scene and then you cut it…tell them!

Add, add, add to streamline your time. Link up your accounts, if possible, and make a schedule you’ll stick to. If you honor your own deadlines, you become a better writer. This builds confidence. You’ll realize you can tackle a 1500 word piece with just as much ease as a 50 word summary.

Don’t forget to subtract, too. Purge those time-stealers, stuff you keep putting off because it’s like writing those thank you cards after your birthday. Or just do them. Either way, be aware of how much time you’re spending on your blog; you don’t want to be so wrapped up in your platform you forget to create your product!

Connect with Roxie Hanna:

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Blogger Roxie Hanna: Building a following

Roxie Hanna’s blog is a pit stop for “no fee” writing opportunities, quirky tidbits and writers’ resources.

On Sunday, May 6, Roxie will reveal her vision, journey, and blogging tips to building a following.

When scanning the homepage of Roxie’s blog, Sunday Funnies will welcome you into the warm atmosphere of Roxie.

Once you have your “funny bone” tickled, you will not want to leave.

Soon you will be scanning through the motivating author spotlights and reading up on industry news as if it is the one thing keeping the lights on at home and your family at the dinner table.

The blog began way back in 2009, Roxie Hanna told me in an interview.

“I watched my stats like a hawk and soon found out this was like waiting for water to boil!” Hanna said.

Learning she had to take a step back and reexamine why she began the blog in the first place, it led her to creating the best blog she could.

“I’m not in it to win a popularity race,” Hanna said.

Her new philosophy has paid off.

Seeing that blogging is one of the tools authors use to get their work out there, I wanted to provide some useful links on blogging.

Visit Hanna’s blog as well, for her website is a great example on how blogs can be structured.

Also do not forget to check back for her interview this Friday, May 4, and connect with Hanna via her:

Useful links

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