Feeling Like a Celebrity

Have you ever met one of those lonely old people who are willing to talk to anyone who happens to wander into their life? They don’t care if you had the wrong address and knocked on their door by mistake. They still ask you to come in, stay and chat awhile, have a glass of fresh-squeezed lemonade or a plate of homemade cookies.

Honey oatmeal cookiesUsually people find their way to this blog by googling such topics as things your mother should have told you, three on a matchdescribing a scene in an interesting way, or my soul mate died, but sometimes they find there way here fthrough topics that have nothing to do with this blog such as sex with sister tips. However people find their way here, I’m glad they came knocking on my blog’s door. I just wish I had some lemonade to offer them, or a plate of fresh-baked cookies. Probably would get more traffic if I did, but I have yet to figure out how to send such goodies through cyberspace.

Even better than having people stop by to read something I wrote is when they leave a comment. Getting comments from strangers makes me feel like a celebrity.  A person I had never met read what I wrote, and liked it enough to tell me so. Wow!

In the end isn’t that what we’re all looking for, whether we’re young or old, lonely or befriended? Aren’t we all looking for someone to acknowledge us? Someone to see us as apart from all the other billions of people in the world, even if only for a moment? We writers and bloggers spew out billions, trillions of sentences each day, and every single one of them says the same thing: “Notice ME.”

Well, when someone leaves a comment, it tells me that for a single blip of time, I was noticed.

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Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

Dear (Deleted) — Conversation With a Marketing Expert

One of my blogs is Book Marketing Floozy, a compendium of articles I collected to help authors learn how to market their books. Every time I see good information, I ask the writer for permission to post their article on the blog. (If you’ve written an article about some facet of book marketing, please let me know. I’ll be glad to post it on the site.) The articles all credit the writers and provide whatever links the writers wish. It’s one of my efforts to help promote other authors.

A month ago, a promoter contacted me asking for my help in promotion. This promoter owns a word of mouth marketing company that connects businesses with consumers and consumers with businesses. I thought you might appreciate the irony of our emailed conversation. I’ve deleted names to protect . . . me.

Dec. 27 — Pat, Your website & blog came across my search today — excellent recommendations on here for a niche marketing in the literary world!  How long have you been blogging?

I was curious to know if you might be interested in linking to an online degree program. I work in affiliation with (deleted) College and I wanted to make a recommendation to include the (deleted) College Marketing Management degree in your link list.

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Dec. 30 — Dear (Deleted): thank you for your interest in Book Marketing Floozy. I’ve been blogging for three years, and Floozy is just one of the blogs I run (though it isn’t a blog so much as a resource — I post articles sporadically, and most are written by other authors.)

If you’d like to write an article for me to post on the site about some facet of marketing, I’ll be glad to include any links you want. The only condition is that the article has to be informative and helpful — a how-to — rather than simply self-promotion. –Pat

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Jan 5 — Pat, We can certainly provide some content for a post.  If that’s the case, ideally would like to provide a link in the post content as well as have a sidebar text link on your homepage or blogroll.  Is this possible? Let me know your thoughts. When would this post?

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Jan 5 –Dear (Deleted), I can give you whatever links you want in the content, but I don’t have a blogroll on that site, just a list of my blogs.

If the content is acceptable (helpful rather than self-promoting) I can post it whenever you want me to. –Pat

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(Jan 20) Pat, Apologies for the delay in responding:

Attached is good solid information about the course program we discussed.  It’s factual, so hopefully this is acceptable for your blog.

(What she sent was a list of courses along with a list of possible careers.)

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Jan 20 — Dear (Deleted), I’m sorry, I didn’t make myself clear. The article has to be a how-to of some facet of promoting. I will then include links for people to get further information about your program. What you sent me is nothing more than an advertisement. Free promotion for you. Book Marketing Floozy is (at least up front) a compendium of articles to help people learn about promotion. The back end, of course, is promotion for you, but you have to give them something to attract their interest. –Pat

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Jan 21 — Pat, Below is an informational document about a career in Marketing.  Let me know your thoughts on this – hopefully this is something you can incorporate into your blog!

(This time she sent an expanded version of the course syllabus, explaining the career paths that will be open to students once they have their degree. A very expensive degree, I might add — tens of thousands of dollars in tuition.)

***

Jan 21 — Dear (Deleted), This article is still a promotion for your program. It doesn’t tell the blog readers how to market their books. That is the whole point of Book Marketing Floozy. To tell people how to do some facet of promotion. Once they see the wisdom in your how-to article, they might click on information about your program, but you have to give them something to get something. You of all people should know that.

Please read the articles at book marketing floozy to see what I mean. http://bookmarketingfloozy.wordpress.com. I really would like to help you, but Marketing Floozy is a compendium of how-to articles. –Pat

***

Jan 24 — Pat, Thanks for the opportunity of posting on your website.  However, the whole point of us placing a link is for some type of promotion.  The article was written with the intent of being informational about various marketing careers. We will pass on this opportunity then.  Best wishes to you in the new year!

***

That was the end of the conversation.

So, there you have it: a marketing company trying to promote a marketing program on Book Marketing Floozy, and the marketer hadn’t a clue what I was talking about. But then, maybe I’m the one who doesn’t know what I’m talking about.

Feeling Like a Guest on My Own Blog

I’m starting to feel like a guest here on my own blog. I’m getting so many visitors to my “guest event” on the future of books, that I spend my allotted blog time wandering from one “referrer” link to another to see where everyone is coming from, and I never get around to posting my own work. If I’m not careful, I’ll forget the reason I started writing this blog: me. A month ago I decided I would stop inviting guest bloggers and reclaim my blog, but that resolution died even before the new year began. It’s just too much fun finding new voices (and established voices) to come guest, and for me, that’s the real purpose of this blog: fun. As addicted to the Internet as I’m getting — or as seduced by it — I still find this blog to be the most enjoyable online activity. I like saying what I want and just throwing it out there. Sometimes people agree, sometimes they don’t, but I’ve met some of my best blog buddies (bet you can’t say that three times!) because of discussions resulting from this disagreement.

So, here I am with a blank slate, and nothing to say. Actually, the problem is that I have too much to say, and it won’t all fit in a single bloggery. I want to talk about how amazing it is that writers such as Suzanne Francis, author of the Heart of Hythea books can make up such wonderful-sounding words and worlds. When I needed a name for my disease in A Spark of Heavenly Fire, the most exotic one I could come up with was . . . ta da! . . . The Red Death. It fits (people get red eyes and vomit bright red blood) and it’s probably what it would have been called if such a disease really had decimated Colorado. (And that is the correct use of the term decimated — about a tenth of the residents of Colorado end up dead.) But it isn’t a clever, made-up word.

Another thing I would like to talk about is the incredible journey a novel takes from that first glimmer of an idea to a book in the hands of a reader. Each step is a big one: the first word, the first chapter, the first draft. You think you are unique because there is a good chance you are the only person you know who writes.  And then you start querying, and find out you are one among millions, and no one cares. Finally, you find someone to publish your opus (or you decide to self-publish) and have you entered the rarefied atmosphere of the few? No. For some reason, once you start promoting your work, everyone you encounter is also promoting a work. So who buys these books? Someone, I hope, because eventually the delays will be over, and my books will be available.

Another thing I would like to talk about is . . . oops, my allotted blog time is up. I’ll get back to you tomorrow. Unless I have another guest blogger.

Happy Bloggiversary to Me!

Exactly one year ago today, I wrote the first post for Bertram’s Blog:

Am I an aspiring writer? I have written 4 books, rewritten them, and will continue rewriting them until they are perfected.

No. I am not an aspiring writer. I am aspiring to be a published writer.

I wrote that post in response to a question on Author’s Blogs, a directory for . . . ta da . . . author’s blogs. I had to categorize myself as “published writer” or “aspiring writer”, and since I wasn’t published, I could only choose aspiring writer. Here I am, a year and 179 blog posts later, still aspiring to be a published writer. I am closer today than I was a year ago, or if not closer, at least readier to take on the job of self-promotion when the need arises. And I am still trying to perfect those books.

One thing I never expected, when I set up Bertram’s Blog, is how much I like writing and publishing my articles. I feel safe here, away from the ratings rampage of other sites, and it gives me the freedom to say what I want. I don’t write about controversial topics, so I don’t have the viewers that other blogs do, but still, the last couple of months I’ve been getting almost a hundred hits a day. Not bad for someone who didn’t even know what blogging was a year ago.

One mistake I made was in tagging my posts. I tagged with search engines in mind but didn’t think to tag them for my own use. I’ve posted many articles about my work-in-pause (can’t call it a work-in-progress if it’s not progressing), and I’d like to reread those articles, but I never tagged them WIP. So, in celebration of my bloggiversary, and to have a home for future articles and research pertaining to my WIP, I started a new blog, Dragon My Feet.

A fitting gift for a bloggiversary.

What Kind of Blogger Are You?

All bloggers are created equal. We start out with a blank template, an idea, a hope of words to come, but we do not stay equal. In my journeys around the blogosphere, I have noticed many different kinds of bloggers. What kind are you?

Blogger – one who blogs on a regular basis.
Clogger – one who clogs cyberspace with unused or abandoned blogs.
Plogger – one who plugs away at their blog, managing one or two posts a week.
Slogger – one who blogs occasionally. Halfway between a clogger and a plogger.
Logger – one who logs in frequently to check stats and comments.
Flogger – one who blogs to sell a product or an idea.
Glogger – one who guzzles while blogging.
Catalogger – one who blogs while holding a cat in their lap.
Kittylogger – one who blogs while a kitten sits on the keyboard.
Epilogger – one who blogs about the end of the world as we know it.
Monologger – one who blogs on and on about a single topic.
Dialogger – one who carries on digital conversations with commenters.
Decalogger – one who blogs about the Ten Commandments or other religious topics.
Decilogger – one who has ten or more blogs.
Analogger – one who doesn’t blog, doesn’t know what a blog is, or doesn’t own a computer.

I Do Not Have Writer’s Block

My hero is running from a volcano and has been running from the dang thing for at least three months. I can hear him panting from exhaustion, but I sit at the computer and spend my words writing articles, leaving comments, sending emails. I have no words left to get him out of his predicament.

In the end, that’s why I write. Not for the fulfullment, not because of a compusion, but because the words gang up on me, using all available brain space. The only way to free myself is to let the words out. But the words I’m letting out now have to do with the mechanics of writing, and so my poor hero runs. And runs.

I thought for sure by getting guest bloggers to do my work for me that the words would begin to weigh heavy on my mind, but I wasted those words on other websites. And I used to be such a thrifty sort. 

I did come up with another idea for getting me back on track with my WIP: start another blog, one just to let my hero run free. Maybe I’ll post my research, notes on character, anything that pertains to the WIP. It seems like such a great idea, but here I am, planning to waste more words while not writing my novel.

But it could work. Especially if I can put one of those widgets on the site that shows how much of the book I’ve finished. Could shame me out of my not writer’s block.