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working writer wending her way through the labyrinth that is self-publishing

Thursday, September 4, 2014

for your eyes only

How do we draw people to our blogs, or to any of our writing, for that matter? I've tried over the years to pick things of interest to other authors starting with interviews with self-pubbed authors and ending with my own unfolding process. I hoped to help others avoid the pitfalls I've gone through. I don't know if something has changed in the internet world but any comments on my blog have been dwindling down to, well...nothing. Maybe it has to do with not enough time in a day to go on several FB groups, Goodreads and Twitter as well as write. ( and there are so many other places to waste time on the internet!)

Is there so much out there now that people don't have time to read blogs? Or possibly my audience knows everything I've been sharing and is thus bored with what I have to say. Or maybe I just don't know how many people are actually reading it! I've noticed that I don't read as many blogs as I once did. When I first started this one I read a ton of them every day and made sure to leave a comment on each one. Now I read no more than 3 or 4--

With Instagram, something I know NOTHING about, things seem to be speeding up even more. I can't go that fast nor do I want to. I use adverbs and adjectives when I write, anathema in this current time of pared down writing. I feel that adverbs can be necessary to convey meaning. For instance 'he folded his jacket and placed it on the back seat' versus, 'he folded his jacket carefully and placed it on the back seat'--I grew up in a slower world. I agree with many of the new rules and try my best to not go overboard with descriptives, but if we have none it's like building a utilitarian bridge--the writing has no grace. I never did like Hemingway's writing style.

How did I get on this subject? I'm not really sure--maybe it's my ongoing search for my tribe. I know they're out there but how do I find them? I sincerely believe I am not alone.


  1. I'm totally with you about description! Sparse language has its place, and it's the dominant trend today, but it's not the only way to write, and I'm sure the trend will end eventually. Till then, though, those of us who like description will be in a minority, and that adds an extra challenge to marketing our books. . . . I wonder if there's some way we could network . . . descriptive, adjective-loving books for people who like that . . .

    I'm probably not commenting here as often as I did for a while. It's not at all about your blog, which I still enjoy. I'm just trying to manage my online time more efficiently. I'll come back to more networking and writing sometime soon, very soon . . .

    1. Hi Rachel--I really appreciate your comment! and yes, maybe we could network--You are definitely part of my tribe! and I love your book! any new one in the works?

  2. With blogs it's your voice. Just plough your own path. Write for yourself and comment on other blogs. I know people read my blogs. Sometimes they comment and I always reciprocate. Other than that there's nothing much else you can do. I do have a book to sell. Dark Fire. I haven't blogged it. Facebooked it once. You know it yourself. Skimming through Facebook you glaze at author's pitching nonstop. Ultimately on a blog your just establishing your presence, writing what interests you. I know I've learnt alot from you ref indie publishing.

    1. thanks for this, Mike. Your blog is interesting and informative and has nothing to do with your book...I try not to overdo in that department but sometimes.... Glad my blog has been helpful! that is my intention...

  3. Nikki,

    You and I have gone through the same experiences over the last four or five years, so I'm not surprised by this blog post. In fact, even though I might not reply to some of your, shall we say, rants, count on me to sit here in front of my computer, nodding my head.

    In spite of our mutual frustration, I think you've got the right attitude for this self-publishing thing. You write a lot, and you try new things a lot. That's where you stand out: you have more to sell, and you will meet more people. This is good.

    About the use of adverbs: (I may have shared my opinions on adverbs with you before.) I don't use them. However, I opened a book one time and the author had used fifteen adverbs on the first page. On the spine of the book were the words "Danielle Steele". On the back: "Over 500,000,000 sold". Good enough for her, good enough for you.

    Nevertheless, it's still wrong to use them, in a strict literary sense. "Don't use adverbs" is a companion to "Show, don't tell".
    Adverbs tell. In..."he folded his jacket carefully and placed it on the back seat...", the adverb "carefully" tells. You don't see the careful. "....he folded his jacket and placed it on the back seat. He could not remove the wrinkle from its lapel. (This shows something about the folder.) The difference between telling and showing is the difference between the reader accepting the narrators conclusion and the reader reaching their own conclusion that the character cares about tidiness.

    Nevertheless, you shouldn't care about this fine distinction. Your books are story-driven, not word-driven. In "Gypsy's Quest", you've got so much going on that drives our interest: a lost kid, possible sex with an evil ruler, a hero with an unclear past, fear, revenge, questions raised, pasts revealed, hidden powers, and on and on. The use of adverbs hardly is noticed. Indeed, you might think they provide description, and they do. More importantly, they provide description fast. Telling jams more story into the page. Showing would be more clever, but slows it down. You want a book on fire, not smoldering for 400 pages. Therefore, you need adverbs (and adjectives for the same reason).

    But those are just my opinions.