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Thursday, 17 February 2011

Kathryn's First Page - About Blogging

February 2011

Kathryn Brown

Hello everyone, my name is Kathryn and I'm looking forward to getting to know you all. My paranormal romance novel is completed and I hope to find a publisher soon. Between writing, I run a sheep and arable farm in Northumberland. My daughter, Amy, is eleven years old and autistic; she's my reason for living which is why I love my life so very much. You can see more about me on my blogs:
Crystal Jigsaw -
Marvellous Mable -
This Week's Article

From Crystal Jigsaw Blog

I have been blogging for almost four years and have been fortunate enough to build up a good relationship with many bloggers around the world. When I was first introduced to blogging, I wondered what it was all about; asking why someone would want to write a diary online, when they could do it in private. That question was answered after only a month or two of publishing blog posts. I set up my blog, Crystal Jigsaw, as a way to get myself known. I wasn’t sure whether to use my real name or my blog name and for eighteen months people only knew me as Crystal. Whether they thought my surname was Jigsaw I don’t know, but I guess they assumed it was a unique name nonetheless! Joining social networking sites connected to blogging became my main hobby and even though I was still blogging in favour of my writing, it wasn’t long before it became a huge part of my life.
Anyone can start a blog, it doesn’t take a technical genius to get around the layout, though if it did, I certainly wouldn’t be here now. My blog has been named a Blogger of Note on two separate occasions which is something I am really proud of. In the early days, I used to publish paranormal posts, some of which I have used in my novel, Discovery at Rosehill. But after a while I went more for the family-run site, talking about my husband and autistic daughter, divulging information about farming and my life in a corner of northern England. But what I have always done in order to keep my blog alive, fresh and interesting to others, is write about a variety of topics rather than just limiting it to family. I also think it’s very important to visit other blogs, leave comments even if you don’t really want to leave one. Sometimes we read a blog and think, “I haven’t a clue what that was about,” but it’s always a good idea to acknowledge someone’s hard work. You might find they visit you in return, find your blog incredibly fascinating and become a follower. A bit of trial and error in some cases, but always worth a few words in the comments section just to say that you’re a fully fledged member of the human race; perhaps not in those words of course!

Dogs-Usually on the Blog

I consider blogging to be a very useful tool when it comes to writing and wanting to get published. The first thing we are expected to be able to do as writers is promote ourselves. It isn’t always the case that an agent or publisher will do all the work and is very often the case that you are expected to get out there and make yourself known to potential buyers of your book. I have made contacts in the writing industry over the last four years, some of whom I will never meet but are able to put me in touch with their own contacts. If I didn’t have a blog and didn’t do the social networking thing, I would never have got to know these people. I have many friends through my blog, Facebook and Twitter, all of which are supportive, encouraging and in most cases, handy to know.
There are of course some things we need to watch out for when we blog; predators being one of them. Never a day goes by when I don’t receive at least two or three emails from PR consultants asking me to advertise. I don’t do adverts on my blog, never have and never will, but I still get the emails. You will often find that some of the PR’s who email you haven’t even read your blog at all. The majority of them address me as “Dear Crystal” sometimes it’s “Dear Crystal Jigsaw”. I find this irritating when it states clearly on my blog that my name is Kathryn Brown, and I very rarely read on. I had one such email recently addressed to Crystal, telling me how amazing my blog is and how much they thought my readers would benefit from their product. I wasn’t interested in their freebie, as I am sure they would have known had they actually read my blog. The delete button comes in very handy on my keyboard.
If you want to get known in the writing world, one of the best ways is to update your blog regularly and get yourself out there on Twitter, Facebook and any other social networking site you may find useful. We are living in the technology era now, long gone are the days of old fashioned typewriters and as most agents I have submitted to have requested email submissions, I think it’s a good idea to be familiar with the Internet as a whole.
My next article will be published next week when I shall give you a very useful link to help with your book proposal. Have a great week.

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