My topic today deals with the end of the writing process Ė marketing. Since I was asked recently to take part in a blog hop called The Writing Process and my post for it is on my own blog this morning, the blog hop is the marketing technique thatís on my mind.
From the first time I encountered them Iíve been a fan of blog hops. Like many writers I think that it benefits everyone if writers co-operate rather than compete against each other to sell books. Few readers will only dip into one authorís work. They are looking for a steady stream of reading material. So why not find a way to promote your own work and others too?
So what is a blog hop? Itís a chain of posts by different authors on their websites at set intervals. In each post the author mentions the person who tagged her to participate and the person who will follow her. Readers can click the link the author provides to read the post by the previous author and may follow the whole chain back through different blogs if they wish. Then they can read the next one in the series when it is posted.
Blog hops are very flexible. For instance there is no set theme. Some hops ask authors to answer questions about their writing process or what they are currently working on. Or the questions for the post may cover a variety of topics. Hops may be organised by genre or publishing method with only writers from a particular genre or published in a certain way taking part or they may be open to anyone, allowing everyone to join the chain in a giant cyber conga line. †The chain doesnít need to be linear either. Authors may tag as many people as they wish to follow their post. So the hop may fan out to draw in a large number of writers.
Some blog hops are long running and well known with many authors eager to get into the chain. But anyone can start a hop. All you need to do is decide what type of hop you want to kick off, devise some questions and find at least one other person to follow after you and you have set a blog hop in motion. Itís up to those who come after you to keep it going.†
The main reason many authors participate in a blog hop is to promote their work to a wider audience than usual. But there are other benefits as well. Blog hops allow writers to make contact and get to know each other better. Answering the questions for the post may help an author to clarify in her own mind what she is writing. For instance, if one of the hop questions asks what the author is working on currently, it will make her consider the question and formulate a coherent answer. To answer the questions for the blog hop Iím currently involved in I had to decide what genre my current project is and how it differs from others in the same genre. Reaching these decisions will be very beneficial to me as I continue working on the novel.
If you are considering participating in a hop but arenít quite sure whether to do it or not, Iíd say take the plunge. As well as all the benefits it has, itís fun.
I know several of our members have taken part in blog hops. So letís hear from you now. What has been your experience of them? Are you as keen on them as I am? Will we see a Writers Abroad hop next?
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