Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

I post my reviews to:

2 yahoo groups
Amazon and B&N (of course)
and on Twitter

I am always looking for more places to post my reviews.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Blogging for Smarties

Blogging for Smarties: Blogging for Authors and Speakers, Yvonne Wu, 2014, The YP Publishing

For most authors, especially small press and self-published authors, having a blog to showcase your stories (and offer them for sale) is an absolute must. This book painlessly explains the process of doing it.

Before you get started, decide on your target audience (please be more specific than "everybody"). Do you write romances, mysteries or young adult stories? Orient your blog in that direction. There are several different blog-creation platforms; this book concentrates on Wordpress. Included are screenshots to show exactly how to start your blog. Do you want to host your blog on your computer, or do you want Wordpress to do it? Have a couple of different blog names and URL's in mind in case your first choice is taken.

Wordpress has many widgets that can be added to your blog. Don't go overboard; simple is best. You want to make it as easy as possible for people to buy your stories. You also want to make it easy for the search engines, like Google, to find your blog, so search engine optimization (SEO) is essential.

The most important part is how to make money with your blog. Potential advertisers won't know that you accept ads unless you tell them, so put an "advertise with us" banner on your site. You can also create a membership site that, for a price, will include bonuses, multiple membership levels, endorsements and a contact form to request specific information. It's also possible to do a written podcast to get your name, and your blog, before the public.

Starting, and maintaining, a blog, can be a very confusing process. This short book does a fine job at demystifying it all. Here is a really good place to start.