Over the years, I’ve helped several authors take short nonfiction they’d already written and see if it could be shaped into a book. It’s been fun for me because I love seeing people get excited about new ways to share information with the world.
Since I’ve just finished helping another nonfiction writer created a book out of his existing material, I thought it would be useful to create a podcast episode out of my thoughts on the matter. It’s a bit long – I can’t seem to turn off my teaching brain! 😀 – but it’s good material for anyone who’s been thinking about turning their blog into a book. I hope it helps! Good luck!
I mentioned my first book of 2018 last month when it was published. There will be three more published this year, and the second will be a May release.
It’s PICK AND CHEWS, the fourth in my Barkery & Biscuits Mystery Series for Midnight Ink., and the only one this year that isn’t a romance.
I’ve started publicizing it already, which is always necessary when you have a book published, whether traditionally as mind mostly are, or self-published. This week, I appeared on a panel of other mystery writers at the Altadena Main Library, where several of us talked about the mystery subgenres we write in.
And what else is pending? Well, I’ll be at the L.A. Times Festival of Books later this month. There, I’ll spend some time at the Romance Writers of America booth, where I’ll get to publicize my romances, including the book published last month: the first in my K-9 Ranch Rescue miniseries for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, SECOND CHANCE SOLDIER. I also have times scheduled at a couple of booths for mystery writers, sponsored by local chapters of the Mystery Writers of America.
Next? Malice Domestic, a conference in Bethesda, Maryland, that features cozy mysteries, as mine are. And after that my next conference is RWA National in Denver this year–where of course my focus of publicizing my work will be on my romances.
Then there’s social media. I’m on Facebook a lot.
Is that all? I certainly hope it isn’t. Publicity is something that continues. And, fortunately, it’s mostly fun!
What about for you? Do you do a lot of publicity? What are your favorite resources?
It’s October already, the beginning of a new month. As always, I’m surprised at how fast this year is going. Plus, I’m always both excited and concerned as a new month begins, because I have a lot of blogs to write, particularly early in the month.
Why? Because I’ve committed to write for quite a few blogs over the years. And why is that? Because I enjoy it. Also, I hope to communicate with diverse groups of people about things that I care about, particularly relating to my books and writing.
I started writing for the predecessor of this Slice of Orange in 2007. That’s the same year I started writing weekly posts for Killer Hobbies–you can visit me there each Wednesday. There’s also Killer Characters on the 18th of each month, and InkSpot on the first Monday of each month. And just recently, I started blogging for The Writers in Residence, on Wednesdays about every other month.
Are there similarities? Sure, even though there are also differences. I do sometimes use the same posts for more than one of them, or variations on them.
Would I recommend doing this to others? Sure! For one thing, I enjoy reaching out to the members and fans of the Orange County Chapter of RWA, as I do here. And this is a different audience from those who read, for example, the Killer Characters blog, where each post is from the point of view of a character in a mystery series by whoever is posting that day. Blogs are generally also a different kind of writing from fiction, whether romances or mysteries, more of an or letter most of the time. Writing one doesn’t take terribly long, but it also helps to clear my mind, for a short while, from what I need to write or edit that day.
So–yes, I’d recommend that you, too, blog away, whether here or another blog or a bunch of them. I keep hearing rumors that blogs are now unpopular, but they always seem to be countered by other rumors that they’re now very popular.
Whichever is true, I’m still continuing to blog.
A lot of friends make comments to me like, “You’re always on Twitter.” Well, the truth is, I’m not really on Twitter all the time. My Twitter feed is mostly the result of me sharing the blog posts of fellow tribe mates on a site called Triberr.
If you’re not familiar with Triberr.com, I’ll try to explain, though there are people who can do a better job of it. Triberr is a website where bloggers band together in tribes to share each other’s blog posts. Once you get your blog registered and join a tribe or two, your posts automatically appear in the Tribal Streams of your tribe mates where they can share your post on their Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook feeds. What it means is that your blog posts will get tweeted a lot more than you could manage on your own. (Most people primarily use Twitter for their feeds, as Triberr can quickly overwhelm a Facebook timeline, and I don’t recommend doing so.)
So how do you get started?
First step is to set up your account, which you can do using your Twitter user name and password. This is what my profile looks like:
As you can see, I’m now in 7 tribes, with a total of 198 Tribemates and a total reach of 1 million. And I’ve passed on invitations to join additional tribes. This is all I can handle at the moment.
Once you have your profile set up, go to Account >> Settings >> My Blogs to add your blogs. For this you will need to know the URL for your blog’s RSS feed. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and it’s the way your blog gets shared over the Internet. If you don’t have one, you can easily acquire an RSS feed address using feedburner.com and other similar services. Once you’ve added the information, your account settings look like this:
If you find that Triberr isn’t picking up your blog posts in a timely fashion, you can go to this page and click on Check Feed to update the site. The blue button on the left is to Assign a Tribe to your blog. If you have more than one blog, you can only assign one to each blog. Before I consolidated my websites and blogs into one site, I had to split up my tribes by blog. Now the Reading Room Blog goes to all my tribes and the old Flights of Fancy has none, though I haven’t deleted it, just in case I ever need it again. Yes, I even hoard blogs.
Next step is to add your Social Networks to your account. I chose to only use Twitter, but Facebook and LinkedIn are also possible.
How do you join a tribe?
Start by following the tribe. As a follower, you’ll be able to participate in the community and share member’s posts.
After a week as a follow we’ll email the Chief to let them how much content you’ve shared.
The Chief can choose to promote you to a full fledged member, then your content will be shared by the rest of the tribe.
But first you have to find the tribe. You can try searching at Triberr, but it really helps if you know the name of a tribe or a tribe sponsor. Frankly, I haven’t found Triberr’s search function to be very helpful.
You might start with our Southern California Writers of Romance tribe, of which I happen to be the chief, and which happens to be open to new members. If a tribe is filled, the page will advise you of that fact. You can still Follow the tribe, and if an opening comes up, it will usually go to someone who has been following the tribe and sharing their posts.
This gives you an idea of what a tribal stream looks like. Each blog post appears with the avatar of the blogger at the top. Use the green Share button to add a particular post to your Twitter feed. You can schedule posts to go out as often as every ten minutes or as slowly as every 24 hours. Something in between is probably best. If you hover your cursor over the blogger’s avatar, Triberr will tell you how many posts that blogger shared and wrote in the last week, including whether or not that person shared your posts. If someone isn’t sharing regularly, you are not obligated to share their posts. You can use the little blue Hide button to make their post disappear from your stream. If someone is really bad about not sharing, hit the Mute button and their posts won’t appear in your stream until you undo the Mute. (This is on your Tribes Overview page.)
I hope this explanation is helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments section below.
At a recent meeting, a member said to me, “You’re always on Twitter.” Well, the truth is, I’m not. But I’m on Triberr and I share regularly.
For those who aren’t familiar with Triberr, the “home of influencers,” let me explain. Triberr is a platform for bloggers to come together in tribes to share their posts.
The way Triberr works is every member has a tribal stream of blog posts that they can choose to share on Twitter and/or Facebook. If you have an active stream, it’s best to only share on Twitter, as Triberr can overwhelm your Facebook feed pretty quickly. It’s very cool when you see your latest blog post being shared all over the Twitterverse.
You start by setting up a Triberr account and then following the tribes that interest you.
For some folks, the most confusing part of being on Triberr is getting your blog set up. Author Tara Quan has an informative video on how to do that:
The other important thing about Triberr is that it only works if everyone shares. So please be courteous and share other people’s blog posts. There is a way for them to mute you or hide your posts if you don’t share.
If you are a member of Marketing for Romance Writers, you might want to join one of their tribes. I’m on two.
Last fall, right before my life fell apart, I became the tribal “chief” of the Southern California Writers of Romance tribe started by Skylar Kade. The tribe is about half full, so if you have a blog and want to join, please let me know.
Linda McLaughlin aka Lyndi Lamont
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