Thanks for asking me back, Kay! I’m excited to be here.
You wear many hats as author, editor and blogger. Which hat did you put on first? Reader, author, editor or blogger?
That’s a long answer. Like most writers I read a lot growing up, though I began writing stories at about fourteen or so before home computers. I hand wrote everything for years and still do sometimes for the intimacy of the craft. Then I got my first computer but it took me a few years to get brave enough to feel comfortable writing on it. I surfed the web, played on it, if you will, made family blogs that I abandoned shortly after creating. It wasn’t until 2005 that I seriously decided to try writing to publish. During that same period of time I created my first version of Pen of the Dreamer. But I started writing my first submitted book shortly before that.
Your blog has amazing visitor traffic of 21,843 visitors and have won many blog awards…Congratulations! Obviously, you are such a giving person, talented author and strong advocate for authors, bringing many visitors, but for those who are newbies or veteran bloggers and would love some inside advice, would you be willing to share your experience as a blogger in ways to increase traffic?
Thank you for the kind words, Kay. I absolutely LOVE my blog, which I’ve dubbed the Ranch, being a horse girl and growing up on one. I put a lot of time, probably too much, into the Ranch to make it appealing to visitors and every time I get an email notice that someone new is following it, I get a funny feeling inside. LOL I love helping writers promote and get their name out there because I didn’t have anyone to help me and it took six years for me to get to this point.
How do bloggers increase traffic? Heck if I know! LOL That’s a blog post in itself. J
One thing I can say is–DON’T wait to start a blog a month before your first book is due to release! That, in my opinion, is the biggest mistake writers/bloggers make.
Huge no-no. HUGE.
Why? Because even though you have a book on Amazon, you are still a virtual nobody. No one knows your name–or pen name if you use one. So what, you have a blog. Nobody cares. They look for names they are even the slightest bit familiar with. I began blogging about everything and anything five years before I wrote or sold Home, my novella, to Wild Rose Press. My name was already out there and I had a decent blog following. Unfortunately, I was in the process of rebuilding my blog/website on WordPress so it still took another year to build a new following–even though I had followers, not all followed me to my new cyber home.
What to blog about it the most asked question I’ve heard and I guess it takes posting interesting topics first of all, writing about more than writing. I wrote one blog about a favorite memory–watching NASCAR with my now passed dad. I associated that post to the NASCAR series Harlequin put out, so my name might click in their head when they hear NASCAR these days.
An editor once said that they want to read about an author in more ways than their writing. I add a little something of my personal life to posts now and then.
Host other authors who already have a large following.
The key is to get traffic to your blog and hopefully they will return. Oh–and REPLY TO COMMENTS! As often as possible, let visitors know they aren’t reading a dummy page no one will ever look at.
You have so many helpful pages from free reads, work in progress, links for authors and the series of ‘Tales of the Scrimshaw Doll’ shown on your TOTSD Book Stampede Page…
How did the series develop? How can a reader get their hands on the series?
Author Alicia Dean asked for Oklahoma writers in our RWA chapter to contribute to this series idea she had. We did and after tossing details around we came up with a Scrimshaw doll that would be featured in every book in some way–from mere mention to main character– and we all set out to write. Home was the first to sell and release, but it is not the first book in the series, that would be Pirate’s Proposal by Diana Layne. That’s one thing I love about it, each book is a stand-alone. You can go to our website to get the whole series titles and links to buy list under the Books and Authors tab. http://talesofthescrimshawdoll.wordpress.com/
Can you tell readers and authors more about Wednesday Wrap Up: Attn: Publishers, Agents and Editors?
I thought it might be helpful if writers could interact with the higher echelon of the publishing industry. All my writing life I felt editors, agents and especially publishers were untouchable beings who could make or break a writer with the flick of a red pen. They terrified me, but I need them! Now that I’m an editor and published writer I know this is not the case, but unpublished writers may not. Those higher ups are people just like you and me. So, being in a position these days to reach out to those behind the scenes, I ask them to let me interview them, or just post something that allows readers to participate with them.
You have made Uncover Monday to post so many beautiful book covers and fantastic book trailers for your fellow authors, to which we truly appreciate…how did this come about?
LOL I got sick and had too much time on my mind! Truly. Last November I got a bad case of the flu and couldn’t do much of anything for a couple of days and my mind went to work overtime. What did you ask me earlier? Oh yes- how to get more traffic to my blog. Well this was my hope of the answer to that.
While under the influence of NyQuill and fever…and desperation, I put the call out on ALL my groups, loops and social avenues for book covers. I made up the call page on my website and it was done. A day later I cried over all the emails pouring in as I tried to make sense of some sort of system. LOL
I never looked back though. In fact, I added to it by including book/author banners and videos a week later. These two, however, aren’t doing as well and if writers don’t send them in, I’ll have to stop promoting banners and videos. I’ve even considered highjacking the awesome ones I’ve seen around the Net, but hesitate to post them without author/owner permission.
So if you write romance and want to promote with me details can be found here: http://calisarhose.com/ranch-guests/un-cover-monday-cover-banner-video-reveal/ I only ask you to please follow the explicit directions to the letter–and tell everyone you know. Word of mouth is critical to any promotion, no matter how great the idea.
What is your favorite hat to wear?
The writer, definitely. That’s the only reason I wear any of the other hats. J
What would your readers and followers be interested to know about you?
Nothing. I’m positively boring! Aside from the OCD and shyness. LOL But they’re welcome to ask questions and I’ll do my best to answer them.