Thursday, July 10, 2014

101 Thoughts on Self-Publishing -- 016: Host Your Fellow Writers

This is my blog. It's all about me. You came here to read about me. You want to know what I have to say! Right? Hello?

Well, sure. To an extent. But you're probably also here because you like science fiction or just books in general. You might be here (and reading this) because you're an author yourself. So if all I did was talk about me and my books, well, unless I have a new release or other special announcement, chances are you've already heard it.

So how do I keep you coming back? How do I get you to keep visiting and seeing that list over to the right of all the wonderful books I have available for purchase? Occasionally, I suppose I'll have to blog about something other than me and my books. It's... it's a great burden, but it must be done.

One thing I like to do in particular is host book features for other authors. Unlike writing reviews or conducting interviews, these are really, really easy. In about five minutes you can have a new blog post about another author's book, helping them out, but also increasing the value of your blog's content. Readers get to see something new and, even while they're reading about someone else's book, your name and book titles are right there for them to glance over at (like in the sidebar). Plus, that other author is going to drive traffic to your blog. I've even seen people land on my blog while Google searching for information about the books I've hosted.

I don't mean for this to sound so blatantly self-serving. I really do like helping out other authors, and as solitary an act writing is, once you've been doing it for a while, you'll come to realize just how valuable the connections you've made with your fellow writers really is. We have strength in numbers, and any opportunity to help each other out should not be passed up. But for those of you who, for whatever reason, don't do much of it, I'm just trying to give you a little extra incentive.

So, since people love numbered lists, here's what you need for a quick, easy book feature which will add value to your blog and keep readers coming back for more:

1. The book blurb.
2. Links to the book and the author's website/blog.
3. An image of the book cover.
4. An image of the author (optional)

And that's it. You can organize it in any way you find aesthetically pleasing. If you have read and enjoyed the book, it's a nice touch to add a comment at the beginning saying so.

Also keep in mind that if someone does post a book feature for you, offer to reciprocate. And don't forget to share the post on Facebook, Twitter, etc., whether you're the host or are being hosted. If someone's hosted you, it's especially important to share it far and wide as thanks. But it's good for you, too. Sometimes a reader just needs to see your book presented in a different context to get interested in it. 

So go find an author you like and send them a message offering to host a book feature! I want a 500-word essay on my desk by the end of the week about how mutually beneficial it turned out to be. (That's a joke. Please don't send me essays.)

Until next time,
Michael K. Rose


If you're enjoying the series so far and would like a single page to bookmark, I'll be adding each of my 101 Thoughts on Self-Publishing here. Also be sure to subscribe by email (see the box in the sidebar) to be automatically notified about my new posts.

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