If you follow my blog, you may have noticed I’ve been a bit absent lately. Not that I was ever a rigidly regular poster (although that all may be about to change!) I was always more of a write when I have something to say kind of blogger…
Where have I been and what have I been doing?
Why have I changed the name of this blog? What does it all mean?
Stay with me, and all shall be explained.
Firstly, I’ll blame the absence on two things. One, writing books. Or more to the point, struggling with what feels like the millionth draft of one particular pain the arse book…yes, you’ve guessed it, I’m talking about The Tree Of Rebels. Long story short; it still needs more. It needs more detail, more meat, more clarification, and it also needs the sequel to be finished. (More on this another day!)
The second thing to blame my absence on, is actually a person. The brilliantly quirky indie author Shalaena Medford. We connected recently on social media, and got talking about selling books and building an audience. Luckily for me, Shalaena is currently studying book marketing as part of her Writing and Publishing course, and she was happy to share some articles and some knowledge with me. She showed me how she was updating and revamping her blog, making it appeal to the type of readers who would enjoy her work. (Don’t worry, I have roped her in to write a guest post explaining how and why authors should build an author platform. She’ll be able to explain much better than me!) There are many strands to this, and lots of advice to take on board, but the one I’ve been concentrating on is re-branding the blog.
Now, I know that all sounds rather cold and corporate, but it’s actually very sensible and even quite fun! So, why have I re-branded my blog and what does that actually mean?
When I started this blog I hadn’t published any books. I simply wanted a way to share my works in progress with my Facebook friends. I called it Life In Words as a temporary name while I tried to think of something better. A few years later, with published books under my belt, I started to put more effort into the blog, listening to the advice of others, and adding pages and blogging more often.
Anyway, after chatting to Shalaena, I realised that another blog overhaul was badly needed. And this time it had to be serious. I needed to think about what my books had in common. Who were they about? Who were they aimed at? Who would like them and why? It slowly dawned on me that they all had a common theme, which was the main characters being outsiders. They are all, in one way or another, rebels and non-conformists, individuals who aren’t bothered about fitting in. I then had a further revelation. The kind of books I like reading are the same! A whole list sprang to mind, and I realised that it’s always the characters I am looking for, and it’s the quirky, the weird and the rebellious that draw me in. So my work and my reading list had a common theme! It was time to think up a new name for the blog and gear it towards that theme. Now this is not a rigid thing. Just an acknowledgement of a theme that runs through my work, and through the books I read, the politics I believe in, life experiences and so on. It was all already there. I just needed help to see it.
So that’s what I’ve been doing for the past few weeks. Revamping the blog. Re-branding it! Helping to streamline and focus it, with the intention of attracting the kind of people who will genuinely want to read my work and hear what I have to say. I’ve added some new pages! I now have a Recommended Reading page, where you can find my favourite books, old and new. I also have a brand new Character Bios page, where you can find out more about the characters in my books.
And I have goals and intentions!
I aim to blog once a week, every Friday in fact. I’ve been too lazy about this in the past, and of course, it goes without saying, that if you want people to engage with you, you’ve got to show up regularly and put the work in. Every Friday I will post something. It might be about my week, my writing, books I’ve read, thoughts I’ve had, who knows? But I will be here!
There will be guest posts! These will be mostly from writers, but also other people with something to say. There may be extracts from novels, works in progress, and opinions on writing, publishing and marketing.
And I am asking for submissions! I need you too! I need your input. Your book recommendations, your favourite authors, your own thoughts, your own stories. I am open to anything, so just contact me. As long as it is somewhat in keeping with the outsiders theme, OR is generally writing related, then I am interested!
My guest posts will run on Mondays from now on, starting with the wonderful Shalaena explaining how and why she has been working on her own blog identity.
But for now, it’s over to you. Do you have a blog for your writing and if so, how did you choose the name? Does it have a theme that relates to your own writing or not? If you’re a reader who follows blogs, which ones attract you and why? Please feel free to comment below! See you next time!