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I never wanted to blog.

There I said it. In my mind, I was going to sit back and write books and people would read them. But, as Kassandra Lamb agrees in her guest post below, it didn’t work that way. “Blog,” they told us. And tweet and pin and hashtag and IDK WTF else…

[image credit: quickmeme] http://www.quickmeme.com/Field-of-Dreams

[image credit: quickmeme]

And it worked. Kinda. I’ve met people from all over the world—amazing, interesting, incredible people. I’ve learned and I’ve written thousands of words and read even more. I’ve pinned and followed and liked.

Social media has given me a richer, more socially satisfying life, broader horizons, and sold very few of my books. Is it worth it for writers?

social media hdr

 

Please take a look at Kassandra’s guest post, and then tell me what you think. And please take a look here for my review of Kassandra’s entertaining new cozy mystery, Missing on Maui.


 

5 Ways Blogging and Writing Fiction Do and Don’t Mix

Guest post by Kassandra Lamb

Kassandra Lamb is a retired psychotherapist turned mystery writer who now spends most of her time in an alternate universe with her characters. The portal to that universe (i.e., her computer) is located in northern Florida where her husband and dog catch occasional glimpses of her. She’s the author of the Kate Huntington mysteries, the Kate on Vacation novellas and the Marcia Banks and Buddy cozy mysteries. She has also written a short guidebook for new authors, Someday Is Here! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing and Publishing Your First Book. Connect with her at http://kassandralamb.com or on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/kassandralambauthor/) or Twitter (@KassandraLamb) or visit her blog at http://misteriopress.com.

Kassandra Lamb is a retired psychotherapist turned mystery writer who now spends most of her time in an alternate universe with her characters. The portal to that universe (i.e., her computer) is located in northern Florida where her husband and dog catch occasional glimpses of her. She’s the author of the Kate Huntington mysteries, the Kate on Vacation novellas and the Marcia Banks and Buddy cozy mysteries. She has also written a short guidebook for new authors, Someday Is Here! A Beginner’s Guide to Writing and Publishing Your First Book. Connect with her at http://kassandralamb.com or on Facebook or her blog.

Around the time I was getting serious about my writing, the buzz in the writerly world was all about how blogging was a must if you wanted to build a “platform” on social media.
Having no clue what a platform was, and knowing nothing about social media or blogging, I took the plunge. Shannon Esposito and I had just conceived of the idea of
misterio press, and I was taking care of legal matters while Shan set up the website. Since I didn’t yet have a blog established, I volunteered to be the main blogger, to attract folks to our site.

That was four years ago – it seems much longer than that – and I’ve been posting on our blog almost every week, sometimes twice a week. I’m starting to run thin on topics to cover, but part of me just isn’t willing to cut back.

So I thought I’d explore the pros and cons, at this point, of maintaining a blog. With tongue tucked into cheek on some of these, here’s what I came up with:

Con #1: Blogging takes time away from writing books.

Pro #1: Blogging takes time away from writing books (i.e., it’s a great way to procrastinate when you should be writing).

[image credit: UNH Tales] http://www.unh.edu/unhtales/read-this-blog-on-procrastination-now-or-like-sometime-soon/

[image credit: UNH Tales]

Con #2: Writers have found that those who follow their blogs don’t always buy their books.

Pro #2: It’s fun to interact with a lot of different folks online. I’ve met some really interesting folks (like this rather crazy woman who lives in Scotland). [note from Barb: Hey, I resemble that remark!]

My_day_at_wikipediaCon #3: It’s hard to come up with fresh topics every week.

Pro #3: Struggling to think of new topics is another great way to procrastinate when you should be writing. (Outlined two posts today when I was supposed to be working on my WIP.)

Con #4: Sometimes, there are very few comments. You feel like you are talking to yourself.

Anybody out therePro #4: It’s good practice for explaining to people why you are talking to yourself in public. “I’m just planning my next blog post,” is a lot easier than explaining how characters talk to you in your head and demand that you write down their words and actions (the latter might get you committed to a psychiatric ward).

Con #5: When you guest post on other people’s blogs to promote a new book, you have to come up with multiple posts that week, the one for their blog(s) and one for your own.

Pro #5: Guest posting is still a pretty good way to spread the word, and having your own blog allows you to invite those bloggers to be your guest. (Come on back, Barb, whenever you like!)

And that is one less week that you have to come up with an idea for a post!!


So how about it—is social media worth it?

I can tell you that Kassandra Lamb does an incredible job with both. Her newest book from her Kate on Vacation series has just been released. (See my review here)


Blurb: Missing on Maui by Kassandra Lamb


It’s an awkward situation at best, and a deadly one at worst.Days before Kate Huntington-Canfield is scheduled to leave for her niece’s wedding on Maui, she receives a frantic call from said niece.Amy’s mother–Kate’s rather difficult sister-in-law–is at it again, alienating the groom’s family and even the wedding planner. Can Aunt Kate come early and run interference?Soon after her arrival, Kate discovers that young women are going missing on the island, and Amy’s maid of honor is hanging out with a notorious local player. Is he involved in the disappearances?Hawaii is supposed to be a relaxing paradise, but Aunt Kate is kept
busy locating a new wedding planner (the delightful Pali Moon), refereeing between Amy and her mother and chasing down errant wedding party members… Oh, and facing off with a psychopath.

 
  • Book Title: Missing on Maui (A Kate on Vacation Mystery)
  • Author: Kassandra Lamb
  • Genre: Cozy Mystery
    Length: 114 pages
    Publisher:  misterio press LLC (June 6, 2016)
  • Purchase Links: Amazon UK Amazon US

 

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