Category Archives: Blogging

One Year Blog Anniversary!

wordpressExactly one year ago, I posted my first blog post entitled Starting is the Hardest Part. I had struggled for a few years to get into the habit of blogging and had hoped that I would be able to begin blogging more regularly with this blog.

One year later and I’m very happy with where I am with my blog. I produce a new post every Thursday, with the exception of a couple of missed days, and I write a new book review bi-weekly. If you would have asked me if I would be doing this one year ago, I never would have thought that I could keep my posts so consistent.

Looking into the future of my second year of blogging, I have some goals to make my blog even better. I hope that these new additions to my blog will improve my current reader experience and enable my audience to grow.

A New Layout
Within the next couple of months, I will be rolling out a new website layout. The new layout will offer a reader friendly experience that provides an easy way to access all content. I will also be adding new features, content, images, and links that will improve my blog’s appearance.

A New Segment
In the fall, I will be debuting a new segment to my blog. Although I can’t give away any details, I am very excited to share it with you all. It will be a bi-weekly segment, much like my book reviews, and I think it will appeal to both book lovers and non-book lovers.

Continuous Content
I will continue to write weekly blog posts and bi-weekly book reviews. With the addition of my new segment this fall, I hope that I can continue to produce quality blog posts. I have really enjoyed this year of blogging and I am excited to continue in the future.

I want to thank everyone who has read, subscribed, and followed my blog over the past year. I appreciate the support more than I can put into words. Thank you very much and I look forward to writing many more posts!

Until next week,



What We Can Learn From the YouTuber Book Deal Phenomenon

At the end of November 2014, a 24-year-old debut author shattered records by selling over 78,000 copies of her novel in the first week of its release. She put up bigger numbers than J.K Rowling and Dan Brown did with their debut novels and instantly became a best seller. This author is Zoe Sugg and she is a famous YouTuber.

Shortly after her book, Girl Online, was released, news broke that Zoe Sugg, also known as Zoella, didn’t actually write the book that was published by Penguin. Her book was ghostwritten and soon, many people began to question the literary standards in the publishing industry. Zoe Sugg isn’t the first YouTube sensation to come out with a book and she won’t be the last. Several more YouTubers are slated to publish books in the future, including Sugg, who signed a two-book deal with Penguin.

Many people are crying out how it’s unfair that people who have found their fame on YouTube are getting book deals. Other people have openly criticized these YouTubers, lamenting that they have no business in the publishing world. Personally, I don’t think we should focus on the negatives. Instead of criticizing, I think that writers can learn valuable lessons from these YouTube personalities that could increase their own readership.

The Importance of a Platform

Hannah Hart. Michelle Phan. Grace Helbig. Zoe Sugg. These are the names of just four of the YouTube sensations that have had books published in the last year. Between the four of them, they have roughly 20 million subscribers and counting on YouTube. Zoe Sugg has over 9 million subscribers to her two YouTube channels alone. These women routinely get millions of views on the videos that they publish regularly. From a business standpoint, that is incredible.

Many authors may not have a platform that can compare to what these women have, but many of these success stories did not happen overnight. Many of the popular YouTube personalities admit to starting back in 2010 or 2011, and some began with a blog before they made the transition to YouTube. That’s four or five years of platform building. Although it may be a slow process, the successes of these YouTubers is proof that building a platform is worth it.

A strong platform and a preexisting audience is incredibly attractive to literary agents and publishing houses, as well as to readers. If you have a blog with 500,000 readers, there is a much higher chance of securing a contract with a publishing house than if you didn’t have a platform at all. In a marketplace inundated with books, you have to build a platform in order to stand out from the crowd. Once you’ve made yourself known, it becomes much easier to sell books.

Social Interaction

Social media has now become an integral part of our society. Almost every company has a Facebook page and many corporations keep their consumers updated via Twitter. Hashtags have become a part of prime time television and a lot of the photos taken on phones end up on Instagram. In order to stay current, it’s almost necessary to be present on social media.

Many of the YouTube stars who have scored book deals have an incredibly large online presence. Besides their YouTube channels, they also provide new content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and on their own blogs. Not only do these YouTube users post content, but they also interact with those who consume their content. This builds the trust of their viewers and in turn, these people will be more likely to support these YouTubers in their business endeavors.

As an author, you can use social media to this extent as well. These social media avenues allow authors to reach out to their readers and to connect with other authors and publishers. By staying relevant online, people who may have never heard of your books may connect with you and become interested in your work.

Youtube: A New Way to Connect?

In this day and age, videos and multimedia are becoming vastly more popular than ever before. Interacting through Youtube, Instagram, and Vine, which are strictly visual mediums, is becoming more and more popular.

John Green, the author of The Fault in Our Stars and many other popular YA novels, is one example of an author who is using YouTube to connect with his readers. His YouTube channel has over 2.4 million subscribers and he regularly posts videos to keep his readers engaged. Although he does have an author website, some of the people who read his website may not be interested in YouTube. In turn, those who watch his YouTube videos may have no interest in reading anything posted on his website. So essentially, Green has tapped into a new market by utilizing the power of YouTube.

Although posting videos of yourself may be incredibly intimidating, it’s an option that allows you to outreach to a new audience while appealing to your current one. These videos will give your readers the sense that you’re talking to them, more so than if they just read your words off of a screen. Admittedly, it’s not for everyone, but it has definitely helped build the platforms of many YouTube sensations in the past few years.

In closing, I don’t think writers should dwell on the types of books that publishing houses are choosing to sell. Ultimately, it’s a business decision. However, we can analyze how these YouTube phenomenons have expanded their business beyond YouTube and apply some of their tactics to our own publishing strategy.

If you have any thoughts on the recent books released by users on YouTube, please leave your comments below.

Until next week,


Starting Next Tuesday: Book Reviews!

Hello everyone!

If you’ve visited my website before, you may know that I upload a blog post every Thursday. Well, I’ve really enjoyed blogging these past few months and in an attempt to create more content for all of you, I’ve decided to start writing some book reviews. I’m going to start by posting a new book review every other Tuesday and after a month or two, I’ll increase the frequency to every Tuesday. Again, this is additional content and I will continue to upload blog posts every Thursday as well.

In terms of the types of books I will be reviewing, I don’t plan on sticking to any particular genre. I will admit that most of the books I read are fiction, but I will read just about anything if it looks good.

In terms of the reviews, I am writing these reviews just for fun. I am not getting paid for any of the reviews that I post. I also promise to write my honest opinion of every book that I review.

My first book review will be posted next Tuesday. I hope you all will enjoy it and if you have any suggestions for books that you’d like to see reviewed, please let me know!

Blogging On Vacation

I absolutely love going on vacation. It’s always nice to get out of my daily routine and experience something new. There is only one downside of vacation: all productivity plummets.

If you have visited my blog before, you know that I always post a new blog post on Thursdays. Well, as my vacation came closer, I realized that I would be on vacation on Thursday. Now, this wouldn’t have been a problem if I was staying in a hotel with a business center and high speed Internet. I, however, realized that I would be at a relative’s house who lives in the middle of nowhere. No Internet, no cell service, nothing.

So, I knew I had a few options. I could write my blog post in advance and schedule for it to post on Thursday before I left for my trip.  I could also post it on the first leg of our trip, where we would at least get cell service. Well I definitely wish that I would have posted it before I went on vacation. I, of course, waited until the last minute to pack and ran out of time to post to my blog. Now I would have to quickly post before we were in the middle of nowhere.

On our first stop,we didn’t have any wifi. I couldn’t connect my Kindle Fire or my sister’s iPad to the Internet and the last electronic that I had to rely on was my iPhone.  I looked up WordPress on my phone and figured that if I could catch 3G, posting to my blog would be simple. I mean, I text on my phone so how hard could writing a post be?

Incredibly hard. I’m the type of writer who will type out everything that is on my mind and refine it later. Well, refining requires a lot of backspacing and trying to backspace on a laggy iPhone that is barely getting cell service is not the ideal way to blog. Not only was typing out the post difficult, but posting it was just as bad.

I got a lot of this:


And some of this:


And a whole lot of lag.

I don’t even know how long it took me to complete this post. Did I learn anything from this? Absolutely. I learned that you should always post your blog posts before you leave for vacation, unless you KNOW that you will have Internet and a computer. I would suggest getting it done before you leave so you don’t have to stess about it on your trip. Yes, you may be able to formulate new ideas in a new environment, but save those ideas for when you’re home. Blogging on vacation is tough. Especially without a computer with Internet!

Until next week,


Starting is the Hardest Part

This is not my first blog. This isn’t even my second blog.

To be quite candid, I have tried to blog, quite unsuccessfully, for a few years now. I would set up the entire layout of the blog, write a killer first post, and then be done. I would then get the inclination to blog again and instead of continuing what I had started, I would just start all over. Thus, my unsuccessful cycle of blogging. I have looked back on this folly and identified why I have had such a hard time in the past.

One of the reasons for this cycle is time. With anything new, it takes time to adjust adding it to your daily routine. I, unfortunately, never consciously added blogging to my routine. In some instances, I felt that I legitimately did not have the time to blog. In other instances, I simply didn’t feel like setting time aside to write a quick blog post. Regardless of what I had going on in my life, time would always somehow get in the way.

The second and third reasons almost go hand in hand. I always had trouble getting motivated because I doubted that anyone would actually read my blog posts. What’s the point of spending all that time if nobody is going to see it? Then, when I did get the motivation to write, I would be stumped on what to write about.

I know that I’m not the only one who has encountered one of these problems. In fact, I know there are people out there who have faced all three. In saying that, what can I and the countless others do to fix these problems? Well, I’ve come up with a few solutions that I plan on putting into practice with this new blog. I hope that it can be of some help to you as well.
In terms of time, don’t try and overwhelm yourself. Don’t try to commit to a post every day or a post every other day. You’ll get exhausted. Start slow. Look at your calendar and pick any day of the week. Let’s say you pick Thursday. Mark every Thursday on your calendar as blog day. Now, block off a chunk of time as “blog time”. It doesn’t matter if it’s an hour in the morning or two hours in the evening, schedule that chunk. You’ll feel a greater sense of motivation if you have the time scheduled out.

If you’re feeling a lack of motivation because you don’t have a lot of website views, take a step back. The pyramids weren’t built in a day, and you won’t get a million people viewing your website overnight. You need to stay consistent with your blogging to build an audience and that all takes time. At the end of the day, you should blog because you enjoy it.

In terms of what to write, write what you know. Don’t write what you think people want to read, write about what you would want to read. Although you may want to stick to a common theme, you should also enjoy what you write about. You don’t want to be totally out of ideas a month down the road because you wrote about something you weren’t passionate about.

Personally, I’m passionate about writing. I’m a writer and I have decided that my blog will focus on writing, staying motivated, publishing, books, movies, and television. I’m not going to say that I won’t go off course every once in a while, but I do have a common theme. I am setting my blog day as Thursday and plan on scheduling two hours in the evening to get the post written and posted.

I want to end this post with a thank you. Whether you stumbled upon my blog by chance or if you read it on purpose, I appreciate it.

Until next week,