This is an old blog that I started in 2006. I keep it because it has a lot of historical data and people still come here. As of September 2016, no new updates will be made here. All new blog posts and writing/publishing related news will be posted over on my new site at www.jenniferhudsontaylor.net.

Path of Freedom, Quilts of Love series

1858 North Carolina - When Quakers Flora Saferight and Bruce Millikan embark on the Underground Railroad, they agree to put their differences aside to save the lives of a pregnant slave couple..

Highland Sanctuary, (Highland series - Book 2)

1477 Scotland - A chieftain heir is hired to restore Briagh Castle and discovers a hidden village of outcasts who have created their own private sanctuary from the world.

Highland Blessings, (Book 1 - Highland series)

1473 Scotland - The story of a highland warrior who kidnaps the daughter of his greatest enemy and clan chief to honor a promise to his dying father.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Unpublished? You Still Need a Website or Blog

You can get by without having a website before you publish, but I can think of a number of great reasons that would be more beneficial to you if you have a website or a blog before you get "the call" or "the email." Here are some of the benefits that are already helping me.

Benefits:
  • If you wait until you get your publishing contract, then you will be scrambling to learn all the aspects of publishing and marketing your book and trying to learn things you could have already taken the time to learn. For instance, I'm not going to have a learning curve of using blogger, creating a website, updating and maintaining my website, submitting to search engines and directories, linking with others--these things will already be accomplished. All I'll have to concentrate on doing is writing and blogging about my experience and creating a realistic marketing plan. This will free me to learn the aspects of publishing I don't know about.
  • Some people leave comments and others don't. Some email me privately. They have questions or want to make comments on something I've written or one of my articles they might have read. I received a lot of comments from my "Angels on Earth" article regarding my daughter's seizure disorder on my website. That experience touched several people. By having a website and blogging, my writing is already touching people even though I don't have a fiction novel in print. That means more to me than I could ever explain. That is what I'm here for. To glorify THE CREATOR through my writing and God can use my writing through this online forum while I work hard and wait to get that publishing contract.
  • While this hasn't happened to me, some people have had editors or agents stumble upon their websites and were contacted for a proposal or hired to do freelance writing and "paid" for it. To me, this is a blessing where God "opens doors that no man can shut and closes doors that no man can open." We have to remember that we write for God and where something may be rare or impossible, "with God all things are possible."
  • Faithful blogging or posting to a website, can build readership for you. If people like your blogging style and your website, they may be willing to buy and read your books when they do come out in print. Remember, people crave information. Decide on the type of information you're going to provide. It has to be "useful" or "entertaining." Think about the types of websites and blogs you lurk around. What draws you to those sites? How can you create something similar, but different?
  • When you send out a proposal, editors and agents want to know if you already have a website. If you do, they will visit while they're considering representation. Your website is your professional image before and after you publish. With the exception of your proposal, your website is the first impression you'll make in marketing yourself. They want to know that you are serious and willing to put yourself out there and do what it takes to sell that novel if they take a chance on investing their time in you and your work.

  • I taught myself how to hand-code my website, but there are easy user-friendly software programs out there that you can purchase. Or you can hire someone to create your website for a small fee. I spend $25/year on my website, but I invest my time in updating it and maintaining it. I recommend hosting it with www.doteasy.com. I have used this hosting service for six years or more and they've been great in meeting all my needs and offering more as technology increases and advances. They have great tutorials for first-time website builders.

    Your website presentation could be your first impression as a serious writer.

    Visit my website at www.authorjenniferhudsontaylor.com and our F.A.I.T.H. Blog at http://writingbyfaith.blogspot.com.

    Saturday, January 20, 2007

    Selling Your Book Is Marketing Your Book

    I receive a lot of questions from new authors about online marketing and building a presence on the Web if they are yet to be published. These are great questions and my answer is always the same, whatever you can do--do it. Don't wait until publication. Marketing yourself as an author (or any business owner) is going to cost time or money, or both. The less you can afford to spend, the more time you're going to have to invest.

    Most unpublished authors mistakenly believe that their publisher will handle all their marketing needs when they finally sell their first book. While a publisher will help, most likely your book will appear in long lists with other new books printed in the same week or month as yours. The authors with a proven history of sales and great print-runs will receive the bold listings, call-out features, highlights, store displays, aisle displays and cover racks. A new author is blessed to be on the shelf.

    Promoting and marketing your books will be your responsibility as the author. All the years you spend polishing your writing and promoting your work to agents and editors is a test. This prepares you for the real thing--promoting and selling to the public. This is hard for writers as 80% of us have introverted personalities. We dislike being in the spotlight. We just want our writing to shine and make a difference in the lives of others. That's fine, but in order to make that difference, your writing has to produce sales so your editor can justify why they need to keep publishing your work to get it out to the readers that need and want to read your work.

    If you are unpublished, do you need a website?
    Yes.

    Over the next few weeks, I'll discuss some free, low-cost online marketing strategies you can put into effect now, before "The Call" comes and I'll discuss why you need a website and the advantages you get from marketing yourself now.

    Visit my website at www.authorjenniferhudsontaylor.com.