Thursday teaser: Blogging for Authors #excerpt


By Barb Drozdowich

This week’s excerpt comes from Blogging for Authors, one of Barb Drozdowich’s series of books to help authors reach audiences.

Why do I need to blog?

THE QUESTION that comes up repeatedly during my discussions with authors — Why? Why do I need to blog? There are several answers to this question.

At the top of the heap, blogging is a writing exercise, another opportunity to develop that writing muscle. The second reason is to communicate with your readers and develop a community. We’ll talk about more reasons as we progress through the chapters of this book.

We all figured out how to make friends in Kindergarten: “Hi, my name is Barb. Do you want to play with me?” As adults in the electronic world, the way to make friends is admittedly a bit more complicated, but not impossible. It goes something along the lines of, “Hi, my name is Barb and I write books. Let’s chat about interests we have in common over a cup of virtual coffee.”

The third reason, as I mentioned in the previous section, is to communicate and share with your community of readers in a fairly permanent way. Unlike the other parts of your platform, your blog posts can be searched and found months or years after they were first shared. So a post that attracted a new reader into having a virtual chat with you two years ago could easily be found today and have the same effect on a new reader.

Your blog is your public face to the world. In today’s society if we want to find out more about a public figure, we “Google” them. Frankly, we expect all public figures including authors to have a website of some sort where we can find out more about them and their books. As we’ll find out in the coming chapters, it’s important to have a blog, but generally not necessary to have a website and a blog. A blog offers an author the ability to add fresh content on a regular basis to their site – something that Google LOVES!

Think of Google as a toddler. For those parents reading this, you realize that toddlers don’t stay interested in anything for long. Even shiny, new toys are quickly abandoned for the box they came in. Google is similar. Google is attracted to new content. A blog that’s posted to on a regular basis provides a steady stream of “shiny new toys” for the Google search engine. This helps a site rise up the ranks in a Google search. While it’s true that the majority of traffic to your blog will initially either come from your friends or be referral traffic from other social media, you want readers to be able to Google the genre they read and find your site in a search. We’ll talk more about this in a future chapter.

I often take people by surprise when I tell them that a country that I sell a lot of books in is India. As I’ll mention several times in this book, as beginner authors, we picture our books for sale in our local bookstore or at most, being sold to readers in our own country. As soon as our books are available online, they are available for sale in most countries in the world. India is considered to be one of the fastest expanding markets for books. I’m not going to be hopping on a plane to India any time soon, but I can interact with my readers in India or any other country by posting to by blog. No leaving the house necessary!

One last comment for this section is about tone and language. As I’ve mentioned previously, I feel that your blog should be a conversation — a dialogue with your readers. A blog post that’s a dialogue with your readers is typically casual in its language and tone, like a conversation between friends. It’s meant to share information as you would over a cup of coffee or a glass of beer with your friends. If your blog post is more formal, it will sound like a dissertation or even a monologue. It may end up conveying information to an audience, but it typically won’t turn your audience into a community. In short, your audience will react differently. Think about how you react when reading let’s say a Wikipedia page. You’re looking for information and you get it. Compare this to reading a chatty, personalized blog post. You’ll have a different internal reaction.

I’ll continue to remind you to keep the word “dialogue” in your mind as we go through this book. I find when you think of something as a dialogue, that is what you create.

About Blogging for Authors

Do you want to find more readers for your book?

Do you feel uncertain about the technology or what to blog about?

Technical trainer Barb Drozdowich has been blogging for the better part of a decade & knows what authors need.

Finding readers is the key to success. One of the best ways to connect with these readers is through the establishment of a blog – one that isn’t just a billboard for sales & releases, but a method for establishing long term relationships with readers.

In award winning Blogging for Authors, Barb teaches not just how to set up a blog but how to turn it into a powerful tool of communication with readers. She brings several decades of teaching experience to help even the beginner author.

In this book you’ll discover:

  • How blogging can help with communication with reader
  • How to create powerful topics to blog about that generate shareable content
  • How to create optimized blog posts that will get people talking
  • How to protect & backup your content to keep your site safe for years to come.

Through a series of free tools & helpful hints, Blogging for Authors helps you choose the right platform, understand the technical aspects & get started today.

If you like an easy to understand book that cuts through the technobabble that exists in many tech manuals, this book is for you!

Pick up this great deal today & start connecting with readers right away. 

Get it on Amazon.

About the author

Social Media and WordPress consultant Barb Drozdowich has taught in colleges, universities and in the banking industry. More recently, she brings her 15+ years of teaching experience and a deep love of books to help authors develop the social media platform needed to succeed in today’s fast evolving publishing world. She delights in taking technical subjects and making them understandable by the average person. She owns Bakerview Consulting and manages the popular blog, Sugarbeat’s Books, where she talks about romance novels.

She is the author of 10 books, over 30 YouTube videos and an online WordPress course, all focused on helping authors and bloggers. Barb lives in the mountains of British Columbia with her family.

She can be found on her

And follow her on  Twitter @sugarbeatbc.


Monday Musings: Writing Advice To Blissfully Ignore


by Kathleen Valentine

Never miss a good chance to shut up.” – Will Rogers

lucyFor several years now I have begun my writing day by creating a little graphic that consists of an attractive photo and a quote from a writer that I find interesting. I gather these quotes from the internet and am frequently amused by the really bad advice I encounter in the process. I’ve always loved Somerset Maugham’s quote, “There are three rules for writing a novel, unfortunately no one knows what they are.” The truth is that over the years I’ve found some books of writing advice that have been truly helpful, but just because someone has successfully written a few books that have done well, does not mean they know how to write. Picasso once said that you should learn the rules of your craft so you can break them like an artist and I think that is good advice.

Edgar Allen Poe once wrote that a writer should “include a beautiful woman with raven locks ad porcelain skin, preferably quite young, and let her die tragically of an unknown ailment.” That might have worked for him but it certainly has no useful information for the rest of the writing world. Elmore Leonard said, “Don’t go into great detail describing places and things.” Clearly he was not a fan of Marcel Proust. But even non-Proustian writers can write deliciously thrilling descriptions. One of the scenes that will live in my memory forever is from A.S. Byatt’s Possession. When Roland and Maude go into Christabel’s old bedroom for the first time and find the cradle full of dolls that conceals her love letters, I got a chill down my spine that recurs when I think about that scene.

In addition to that writers are often advised to avoid adjectives and adverbs but anyone who has read writers like Salman Rushdie or Alice Hoffman know how beautifully those words can be used to paint pictures in the reader’s mind. Kurt Vonnegut was not a fan of semicolons. He called them “transvestite hermaphrodites” and claimed all they did was prove that you went to college. Of course, Virgina Woolf, who never went to college was quite fond of them. They worked for her.

Then there are the old canards that many writers accept as true, but are, in fact, not. Probably foremost among these is “write what you know.” It is true that writing out of one’s experience can often create exciting reading, but where in the world would J.K. Rowling have experienced the world she created in her Harry Potter books?

Don’t forget all the advice about creating outlines for stories. To me, this is one of those concepts that may be very true for one writer and a complete disaster for another. Some writers have a gift for “story.” They can sit down and begin to write and watch with fascination while their characters appear and develop, and plots unfold. Their characters can change direction and do crazy, unexpected things and the writer is just along for the ride. Other writers need a road map. One is not a better way to write than the other—what matters is that you know what works for you and write accordingly.

Of all the writing books I own, the one I most often take down to peruse is Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing. In it he says, “Work. Don’t think. Relax and work.” It’s hard to add anything to that.

Thanks for reading.


Teaser Tuesday: Top Advice for Authors Promoting Their Book by Barb Drozdowich


Don’t you just wish you could ask Book Bloggers for some pointers on marketing books?

I did!

And I got 502 responses….


Do you need help with your book marketing?

Take the advice of 500+ book bloggers!

In a survey of 500+ book bloggers, the question was asked: “If you could give an author one piece of advice about promoting their book, what would it be?”

The answers are fascinating! They show authors what is important to book bloggers and what they need to promote your books.

With book bloggers and other online sites being more and more involved in the marketing of books, authors need all the hints they can get. Let these answer guide you through the world of online promotions.

Top Advice for Authors Promoting their book can be purchased from Amazon, B&N, Kobo 

BarbDrozdowichPicSocial Media and WordPress Consultant Barb Drozdowich has taught in colleges, universities and in the banking industry. More recently, she brings her 15+ years of teaching experience and a deep love of books to help authors develop the social media platform needed to succeed in today’s fast evolving publishing world. She owns Bakerview Consulting and manages the popular blog, Sugarbeat’s Books, where she talks about Romance – mostly Regency.

She is the author of 7 books and over 25 YouTube videos all focused on helping authors and bloggers. Barb lives in the mountains of British Columbia with her family.

Barb  can be found on her blog, FB, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Goodreads, YouTube and Amazon




Be real and create a rapport with the blogger before even thinking of asking them. Also, grammar and spelling matter!

In addition to book cover, blurb, and buy link, give out a little personal information (not too private), so that readers can see you as a real person.

Don’t spam. My pet peeve (and it’s nothing to do with blogs at all) is when an author is constantly posting, once or twice a day on a particular Facebook/Goodreads/Twitter page. Those people do not want to read your advert. Again.

Don’t spam! I never accept a review request via Dear Blogger, or from an author I have never interacted with before. And those who send me e-mails, then contact me on Twitter because I haven’t answered their e-mails are authors I will never read.

Use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, to get the word out about your book.

Please use the right name of the person you are emailing.

Don’t ask a blogger to change a review.

Think long term.

Treat book bloggers and readers the same way you’ like them to treat you. If you want respect and kindness, show respect and kindness.

Ask before sending copies of their books in an email if asking for a review. If they require help with a blog tour, then contact bloggers individually. It may take more time, but the personal touch is always better.

Start promoting early. Use ALL social media platforms. If someone posts a review, share the review on different Facebook groups, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Everywhere. Create your Media kit, Make sure your book is mentioned as much as possible. Hand out free copies to gain reviews on other platforms, use Netgalley. Make sure you exhaust all your resources.

Write all your market copy before you even begin writing the book. That’s when you’re most enthusiastic about it and that enthusiasm will show in the tone of everything you write.

Get a social media person to run Facebook, Twitter, and Pin-interest. Someone who is young and trendy and knows how people think.

Encourage people first, then promote, and get to the heart of your theme so it’s easy to find keywords.

If you have a blogger review one of your books – please share the review. Comment on the post. Make a big deal out of it. They took their time to read your story. You should take some time to share their thoughts about your hard work.

Write to me as a human. It takes about 10 minutes to do an individual e-mail and about 20 to do a round robin. Unless you do the round robin right, you’ll get more response from the 10 minutes.

To stop by the blogger’s site or post about their books and comment with something as simple as “thank you for featuring/reviewing my book” (if a review – whether it was positive or not)

Look at my blog first and tell me why your book fits my reading tastes.

Don’t request a review if you don’t want honesty

Find someone who loved a book of yours previously or similar to yours and ask them to help, it works with me, and also don’t give up, keep looking, keep tweeting, keep posting, because all books are awesome 🙂