Good Morning. Today I'd like to discuss things we should and should not do when we're writer/authors. I've been around the blogs for a couple of years now. I've followed agents and big name writers, read blogs followed by thousands of people. These people know what they're talking about. I guess. But as with everything, I take what they say with a grain of salt.
We SHOULD blog with captivating content no less than 500 words no more than 800. We SHOULD Tweet and be friendly and engaging. We SHOULD have a Face Book author page and update it once a day. We SHOULD do blog tours when we publish. We SHOULD do this, that, and the other, so our name will be seen and heard and we will sell millions and millions of copies.
Uh, no. We don't. What we SHOULD do is find a place where we are comfortable.
I blog because I like it. I started my blog to meet people, like minded writers who I could engage with. Some of you who have been around with me from the beginning know me. I've written whatever the heck I want. Some days it's about writing, some days it's about romance, some days it's about my daughter, or the fact I'm building another fence. Some days I'm captivating, others I fall flat on my face. But I'm not blogging with specific content because I SHOULD. I'm blogging because I want to.
I've been reading forever about how to do a blog tour when you have a book coming out. You SHOULD set up no less than 15 stops, guests posts mixed with interviews, make sure you reply to every person in the comments etc. etc. I personally, don't do blog tours. Yes, I may do a cozy interview or two when my book comes out, but that's about it. And you know, there have been a couple of books I've released and only mentioned it once on my blog. (One story I never mentioned at all.) But that's me. I don't have time for all that fuss and bother. Sure I might be missing a whole lot of sales, but you know, I'm of the old school where word of mouth sells books. The writing should speak for itself.
I read a big name blogger a few weeks ago who said you SHOULD NOT reply to every single comment on your blog -- she said, it's padding the comments. Makes you look like you have 50 comments when you really only have 25. Now I had a "block comment" system in place for years. It's a pain in the butt sometimes. So I decided to go with "reply" comments instead. But you know, that turned into a pain as well, so I'm back to block comments. I'm making life easier on myself.
I also read over and over how I need to be on Twitter 3 or 4 times a day. I need to "engage" with people. I should be friendly and retweet. Then I also read that I should not retweet anything. Makes me look like a brown nose. I should have a schedule for Tweeting, 15 minutes morning, noon, and night. Uh, no. I don't have time to be sociable. I'm a writer. And personally, I don't think people give a fig what I had for lunch, or if Monster is home from school. I get on Twitter when I feel like it. I retweet interesting stuff if I think someone I know might like it. I Tweet because I want to and when I have the time.
And I've also read over and over how I need to get on Face Book so my "fans" can find me. As I've said before, I will never get on Face Book. In the back of every one of my books is my blog link to my Anne Gallagher Regency Romance Writer blog. I update every Sunday. I share what I'm doing in my books so my readers will know what's coming out next, what I'm doing, what's happening in my little writing world. My readers don't give a flying fig what page line edits I'm on, updating my status every 15 minutes. They just want to know when the damn thing will be finished.
I SHOULD do blog hops to find new followers. I SHOULD NOT do blog hops just to find new followers. I SHOULD follow every single person who follows me. I SHOULD NOT just follow someone blindly because they follow me. I SHOULD do memes and writing themes. I SHOULD NOT put my writing on my blog. I SHOULD use pictures. I SHOULD NOT use pictures. On and on and on.
Let me tell you what I have learned from the SHOULD and SHOULD NOT list. I SHOULD be true to myself and do whatever I feel comfortable doing. I WILL NOT do what every one else is doing. I mean, fish all swim upstream together. Why SHOULD I? I can zig zag if I want to. I'll still get to the same place. Maybe not as fast as the other fish, but I'll get there eventually.
Tell me -- What's on your SHOULD and SHOULD NOT list? What else have you seen on the blogs that you SHOULD be doing but don't? Or are not doing, but SHOULD?
Anne Gallagher (c) 2013