Sunday Roundup: Blog Anniversary, New Releases, and a Link Party

My blog is four months old today! I just passed 50,000 views the other day (the only metric I get), so that’s quite a milestone. 25,000 of those views were in July, so it’s going really well.

I often get emails asking me how I drove so much traffic to the blog in such a short space of time, so I have placed an excerpt from the blogging chapter of Let’s Get Digital along the top navigation bar, where you can also find further excerpts, as well as additional information, on pricing, formatting, covers, and all sorts of other stuff. All those sections will continue to grow.

In the four months since I started, I have posted around 200,000 words to this blog. The nature of the beast is such that recent posts will get a lot of attention for a few days, then slip off the front page into relative obscurity.

That’s fine for “latest news” items such as a publishing deal an indie has signed, or the monthly e-book market share figures, but there have been some “keepers” which won’t date as quickly, and I am continually playing with the layout so that I can find ways to keep that information at your fingertips.

The next section I want to build is a “Resources” section, which will provide a natural home for things like W Brondt Kammfer’s excellent guest post on podcasting basics, which got some views, but was kind of squashed by the big news later that day of Michael Wallace signing a big publishing deal.

Posts like that are extremely useful, and I need to get better at retaining those informative posts and making them easier to find.

I will also be cutting back a little on the frequency of the posting. I had been posting around 5 days a week, sometimes more, sometimes less. I wanted to get a lot of good quality content up quickly, both to build trust with my readers that this blog was around for the long haul, and because there were so many important topics that I wanted to cover.

Most of the basics are done now (although I need to get some more information up about things like editing). Many of the topics I want to cover in future posts (such as the potential of the Spanish-language market, and why e-books are growing slower in Europe) are far more labor-intensive, and in a choice between cutting into my writing time or posting less here, writing is always going to win.

I also have an intensive month’s work ahead of me on my historical novel, five shorts at various stages of completion that are beginning to really bug me, and an idea for a dystopian reality tv show that could make a nice novella. I also have a second historical that I am itching to start, and a couple of other projects I have committed to which I will talk about soon.

I want to get as many projects as I can up in time for the holiday season, so the increase in allotted writing time means I have to cut back a little here. But don’t worry, you will barely notice it.

***

Speaking of guest posts, fantasy author Moses Siregar did a great one a few weeks back that some of you may remember.

Moses has spent the last year carefully building his platform, a key part of which was the release of a novella-length excerpt of his upcoming novel, and pricing it for free.

Well, his novel is out, and is selling like crazy. It’s been in the Top 5000 since it was released, and spent most of that time even higher than that. He must have sold 200-300 copies in the first week. A stunning start.

I’ll have him back at some point this month to talk about all of that, as promised.

***

I did a really fun guest post at the blog of science fiction writer Joe Vasicek. He asked me to present two competing visions of Publishing in 2016, and argue for both of them. A tough task!

***

There are plenty of great blogs you can read when I am not posting that I would like to bring to your attention.

Bob Mayer is a NYT bestselling author, who sold over 1 million print copies of his Atlantis series alone. Since he switched to indie publishing, he is making way more money than he ever did with a publisher. He has lots and lots of experience which he generously shares in his regular posts at Write It Forward.

Mike Shatzkin knows the publishing industry inside out and has a keen eye for spotting trends, and always talks intelligently about where things are headed. He posts maybe once a week on his blog, but it’s always a good meaty read.

Robin Sullivan has started posting regularly again after a brief hiatus in July, and she is doing a great series at the moment on the biggest problem all authors face: discoverability. Her small publishing company is posting huge sales numbers, and it’s always worth listening to what she has to say.

Passive Guy posts several times a day on all sorts of topics related to writing and the publishing industry. His big hitters tend to be on topics such as dodgy publishing contracts, agents moving into publishing, and how tech companies think and operate, but all his stuff is good.

Dean Wesley Smith has a no-nonsense approach and a wealth of experience as a publisher, editor, and internationally bestselling writer under multiple pen names. He has excellent collections of posts on thinking like a publisher, debunking the many, many myths about writers and publishing, and the changes taking place in the industry.

Tom Dupree doesn’t post that regularly, but it’s always worth the wait, and a very pleasurable read. He is an editor who has seen it all, and done most of it too, and he is a fine writer himself.

Alan Rinzler is another editor who has a great take on the industry and how writers can exploit the changes taking place.

Michael Stackpole cuts through all the bullshit and calls a spade a spade, and his posts are always entertaining.

Wicked & Tricksy has some really excellent posts on all aspects of the craft of writing. It has a speculative fiction focus, but the stuff they talk about can be applied to all kinds of fiction.

Kindle Boards is a forum I refer to a lot. It’s like one continual, rolling self-publishing conference. It tends to be the first place you will hear about anything: industry developments, a new writer who is rocking the charts, the latest promotional avenues, new pricing strategies, and it’s fun just to hang out there too with writers of all levels, from those thinking about self-publishing their first title, to writers with decades of experience.

Joe Konrath doesn’t post as much as he used to (he’s probably writing instead), but it’s still the place where self-publishers gather to debate (sometimes with great passion) the big issue of the week.

And there are so many others, packed full of resources. Two on my list for further exploration are Publetariat and The Book Designer. Both are filled with a wealth of great information and I really need to devote time to fully exploring both sites.

Those are the favorites that spring to mind on a sleepy wet Sunday here in Stockholm. I’m sure there are tons of great ones that I forgot to mention, or that I don’t know about yet, so please feel free to add your own recommendations in the comments.

About David Gaughran

David Gaughran is Irish, living in Prague, and the author of Mercenary, A Storm Hits Valparaiso, Let's Get Digital, Let's Get Visible, and this here blog.
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10 Responses to Sunday Roundup: Blog Anniversary, New Releases, and a Link Party

  1. I, too, have cut down on my posting to allow more time for writing. I have a book coming out this month and I want to have two more out before Christmas. Plus I’m doing a Halloween anthology with some writerly friends. Oy vey.

    Believe it or not, my readership actually picked up after I started blogging just 4 days a week (as opposed to 6). After switching from Blogger to WordPress I pretty much had to start again. I was lucky to have 50 views a week. A big bump happened when I started reading Kristen Lamb’s book and finding my style for my blog. That bumped it to 200 to 300 views a week. A couple weeks ago I dropped the number of posts I was doing per week and it went bonkers! Now I’m getting nearly 1000 views a week. Nothing like what you’re getting (yet) but I’m happy.🙂

    Thanks for all the linky goodness. Some of these blogs I hadn’t heard of.

    Like

  2. laurenwaters says:

    I wondered how you were able to research and write these prolific posts, get another book out there, as well as put aside the time to write. All your hard work generating traffic to your blog seems to have paid off and I wish you well in getting some time to create more wonderful things! I will miss your frequent posts but thanks for directing me to those fantastic blogs.

    Like

  3. David, I really look forward to your blog posts. You do an amazing job of distilling information/news/ideas to what is most relevant. Ah! I know quite a few of the blogs you’ve listed which may be telling me I’m spending too much time perusing blogs and not enough time writing! Like you, I have lofty goals to have two additional novels out by the end of the year. Yikes! You’d think I’d be writing right now.

    Congratulations on your success both with the blog and with the books. I hope to gain that kind of momentum over time for my work as well.

    Like

  4. josephine wade says:

    Happy Anniversay! I was just thinking about the podcast blog today. Definitely one to keep in mind. Hope your writing is going well.

    Like

  5. Logistics idea:

    Create a category of links in your blogroll called “keepers”

    Link to the posts you’d like to maintain visibility for and assign that category.

    The “links” widget to your side bar will keep them visible for you.

    Like

    • I took your advice – thanks.

      I’m still figuring out the sidebar “real estate”, there are quite dramatic differences in what is clicked depending on placement. Very interesting.

      Like

  6. LK Watts says:

    Congratulations on your success, I hope it continues. I’m trying to focus on writing my 2nd book while marketing my first. It’s not easy – writing my first book was definitely less stressful because I had nothing to market then!

    Like

  7. Love your blog. Wonderful posts. Congrats on your success. That traffic is well deserved.

    I’m also cutting back a bit on the number of posts to my blog, so I can write more for this coming Christmas season. I have several new novels I want to release, and a couple of them are very close to done. Can’t focus on everything at once.

    I look forward to reading more of your blog posts, and ebooks, in the near future.

    David

    Like

  8. Happy Anniversary and congratulations on all your success!🙂

    Like

  9. Claudie A. says:

    Thanks for the link, David! We at Wicked and Tricksy live to serve (and be evil).😉 Happy anniversary too!

    I can’t wait to get Moses back. I’d met him somewhere else on the interwebs, when I was just starting to take this writing thing seriously. It’s amazing to see his novel sell so well!

    Like

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