Ed: I’ll be off for New Year’s, and back on Sunday with This Week in the Blogs, and I can tell you it’s one of the best weeks ever. See you there, and Happy New Year. I wish you great success with your writing and publishing plans in the coming year, and thanks for making me part of your journey.
People who know me ask me about blogging. They know I started blogging about 15 months ago, and that I love it.
When I started blogging Jill told me no one would want to read about fonts 5 days a week. So I switched to 7 days a week. I hated the idea that readers would stop by and there wouldn’t be something new for them to read.
Authors are told all the time to blog. Even big publishers are pushing authors to start blogs. On the other hand, every year, someone announces that blogging is dead.
Here’s what I think: blogging is a lot like self-publishing. What’s the difference, really? I don’t edit as much, I don’t publish a book every day, but there are similarities.
There’s no editorial board, no one to ask for permission. You blog/publish what you want, when you want, for whom you want. You go direct to your market. You are the market. Your market decides whether you succeed or fail.
But I think it would be smart to blog, if you like to write and you enjoy communicating with people. You don’t have to have a book to sell, you just need a story to tell. Or something to teach.
It takes time to find readers. Slowly you build a community around what you’re writing about. I have a client who blogged about an experience he was having for 7 years. When it came time to write the book, he had hundreds of people waiting to read it. That’s called platform.
You Can Do This Too, You Know
If you want to publish your own book, if you want to make a profit from your efforts, you need to market your work. And the best way to find your market is by talking to them. Blogging is a low-cost, easy-to-learn skill that gives you instant access to publishing online.
When I started this blog I had a business helping publishers and authors who are publishing their own books. Book design, production, consulting were what I did. And I loved to write. So I started blogging about the things I’ve worked on for many years, and the incredible changes taking place in book publishing, and in the wider culture.
Keep in mind I haven’t published a book of my own in over 20 years, but that the possibility has been in the back of my mind all along.
Here are some of the things that have happened since I started this blog:
- My articles got re-published by websites like Self-Publishing Review, Publetariat, RIT Open Publishing Labs, and others.
- I got invited to be on a panel at the Commonwealth Club of California and at several publishing-related workshops.
- Other articles were reprinted by the IBPA Independent, the largest print magazine for independent publishers.
- Currently, I’m scheduled to talk to at least two writing and publishing events in January 2011.
- I’ve been signed up to write articles for the CreateSpace community boards, which I’ll be starting in the new year.
- People have offered me several joint ventures, each of which is very flattering, although I haven’t participated in any yet.
- I’ve been interviewed three times, and have a one hour teleseminar packed with tips and information on publishing that I’ll be offering for sale in the new year.
- Just last week I launched the Self-Publisher’s Quick & Easy Guides series, which I expect will eventually grow to 12 or more titles in the next couple of months.
- Behind the scenes, I’m working on some exciting training programs for self-publishers that I hope to test later this year.
Why am I telling you all this? Just blowing my own horn? Not really.
What I’m saying is that you can do this too. After a year of blogging, I have much better insight into the world of self-publishing, even though I’ve been working in this field for years.
You’re an expert on something, too. Putting what you know out there is an incredible experience. You have to own what you know, who you are, where you’ve been—and that’s a big payoff, too. So here’s what you do:
Get writing. Give the best stuff away. Gather the tribe.
I can’t wait to see what you’ll do.
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