Gratitude to the WordPress Book Bloggers

I’d like to adequately express how much the WordPress book blogging community means to me, so suffer me while I warm up to it. I readily admit I’m the long-winded sort, even when I have an important point.

In this day and age of social media at the center of an author’s career, there is much to reconcile, and there are times I wrestle with keeping a proper perspective. On the one hand–and you’d think this to meet me in person–I  am ridiculously extroverted; I have what author, Pat Conroy, labeled the “Southern sickness” of assuming everyone I meet is my best friend, yet on the other, I am intensely private. I don’t like showcasing myself because it feels like grandstanding, and quite frankly I’m not impressed with myself to the point that I think I have anything of significance going over any other writer. We are all of us playing a long-game, making our own way in our chosen field. But sometimes it seems that one has to have an elevated sense of oneself in order to promote one’s work as an author. There’s a fine line these days, and it’s the one thing I didn’t realize going into “being” a writer. I’m probably like many people in their 50’s. We were the generation who woke up one day to discover the entire world was online and all over social media. When that realization dawned on me, it was a major hustle to catch up.

Then there is the concern of reconciling novel-writing as art and publishing a novel as a business. Once upon a time–as little as twenty years ago–authors wrote books and turned them over to their publishing house to promote. If they had an audience to justify a book tour, the publisher paid for an author to travel from book store to library to book club to meet readers in person. This is still done, but on a small, discerning scale primarily intended for authors who have wide name recognition. As for authors with a small or independent press, when it comes to a book tour, it’s all out of pocket because they’re essentially on their own.  Because book publishing options have opened up and there are now thousands upon thousands of authors in the race, the effort is geared toward keeping abreast of the tide and waving one’s hand above the noise. What’s more, in this day and age, the lion’s share of promotion falls to the author and is not only about promoting a book; authors have to promote themselves.

I’ve been torn over this for a while, now. I’ve limited myself in self-promotion by only going so far. I’ll take the opportunity here to add to Conroy’s definition of Southern sickness: friendly as we are, Southerners are an unflashy lot given to personal discretion. Too much going on about oneself is succinctly considered bad form.

I see it all on social media. People post all sorts of personal information from their family to their lifestyle to their political views. I’m not passing judgment, just making an observation, but I do know that too much online, personal information can put one in a vulnerable position and lead to an unintended consequence. It’s the downside of social media and it’s a struggle to strike a manageable balance.

So, how does an author effectively promote their book while striking a healthy balance? And whom should an author trust?

Which brings me to another consideration: There are the legions of online, profiteering book promotion businesses that have cropped up as a result of the book publishing boom. It’s staggering to me and hard to wade through the miasma to discern who is and is not reputable, while an author is hustling for literary recognition and book reviews. Authors need exposure for their releases, but who to choose within a reasonable budget?

Which brings me around to the WordPress book blogging community ( I told you I’d work my way to my point.)

I am humbled and proud to have aligned with the book bloggers here. I believe the book bloggers I’ve met on WordPress are as fine as they come. I stand in awe of Sally Cronin of Smorgasbord. Through Sally, I’ve met Olga Nunez, Michelle James, Robbie Cheadle, Teagan Geneviene, Rosie Amber,  DG Kaye, and Chris the Story Reading Ape to name but a few. I stand in awe of each bloggers’ deft handling of content, organizational skills, dedication, professionalism, and magnanimous spirit. I recognize you all as passionate people involved in the book world for all the right reasons. Your impact upon many authors’ careers is nothing short of significant.

At long last, here is my point:

I thank each of you who has featured my books on your blog for including me in your esteemed fold. Your support of my career is a force that sustains me, and I remain so very grateful.

https:www.clairefullerton.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

36 thoughts on “Gratitude to the WordPress Book Bloggers

  1. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and commented:
    A lovely post from Claire Fullerton with her thoughts on the publishing and marketing process today and how the online community of book bloggers are part of that process.. deeply touched to be mentioned alongside some amazing book bloggers such as Olgan Nunez Miret, Michelle James, Robbie Cheadle, Teagan Geneviene, Rosie AmberThe Story Reading Ape and last but not least D.G. Kaye… A lovely post and I hope you will head over to read…by the way I can recommend Claire’s latest.. Little Tea…(never miss an opportunity to plug a good book)…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hear, hear! You’ve said it well, Claire, and I agree with you on every point. You writers and bloggers I’ve “met” online are unbelievably supportive and downright inspirational! I would have given up long before now if not for every one of you good folks!! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Claire, I’m truly humbled to be mentioned in your most beautiful post. As a fellow writer, I feel your pain, lol. You’re right the bulk of promotion is on us and it is a jungle out there. I am the worst for marketing my own books, so I am grateful to others who share my work too. And I so look forward to reading your newest – coming up soon! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I really enjoyed this post as so much of it resonated with my own, personal experience. I grew up in an era when talking about oneself was thought to be ‘showing off’. Nice people, especially nice /women/ did not show off. So marketing and branding always feels wrong. I am getting better at it, but it’s still something I have to force myself to do. Finding people who are prepared to help is like getting Christmas, Easter and Birthday presents all rolled into one.

    I may be biased, but I believe that book lovers are some of the best people on earth. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, book bloggers do it for love of the art, I think. Their sincerity shows. There a professional, respectful group! And you’ve given me an idea about writing another post on this because there is such a fine line between taking care of business, as it were, and coming off like we’re saying, “Look at me!” On the one hand, authors should do it; on the other, there’s an etiquette.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. I enjoyed reading your post, Claire. Thanks to the people you’ve mentioned, I’ve learned so much about this new world of publishing we find ourselves in, and I’m starting to feel a bit more confident about my place in it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. There is indeed a supportive community here. I’m also extroverted, and it is entirely against my nature to not be out and about and organizing many gatherings of friends. While it’s not the same as spending time in person with people, I’m so grateful to have blogging to help keep me sane.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks so much for mentioning me in this post, and for the opportunity you’ve given me to read and review your latest novel, Little Tea, which I recommend all readers. I’m also one of those of the long-winded persuasion and reading your comment about Southerners, I wonder if I might not be one (just born elsewhere) as well. I’ve also met many great bloggers thanks to Sally Cronin (you’ve mentioned quite a few of them), and I’m also a proud member of Rosie’s Book Review Team. Although my reading list is as long as an encyclopedia thanks to their recommendations, I am forever grateful for having them all in my lives.
    Take care and keep writing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Olga! You’re an honorary Southerner because of your studies on the region’s literary giants. You’ve probably read more of the great Southern writers than I have. I forgot to ask you if you’ve ever read Shelby Foote’s fiction. His worldwide reputation is centered on his 3 volumes of the definitive history of the Civil War, but his fiction is incredible. I recently read Follow me Down, about the court trial of one who is falsely accused in Mississippi and it rocked my world! I believe Shelby Foote made an important contribution to Southern Fiction as a genre. His use of language in that book is spot-on. And Rosie’s Book Review Team is renowned. I believe I was made aware of you through Sally and Rosie. This is how it all works on WordPress. People engage!

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  8. Reblogged this on Just Olga and commented:
    Thanks To Claire Fullerton for mentioning me in this wonderful post and for the opportunity to read and review her latest novel, Little Tea, which I recommend all readers. I couldn’t have said it any better.

    Like

  9. You picked some of the best and most supportive bloggers to mention when it comes to books. Not only books though, as they all engage with, comment on, and support any style of blog in that community, including my own.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Reblogged this on BOOK CHAT and commented:
    Author, blogger, and one I am honored to call friend, Claire Fullerton, talks about the book industry and where book bloggers fit in. I am touched to be mentioned along with such wonderful bloggers.

    Like

  11. Oh, you say this perfectly in just the right amount of words. I feel your gratitude and raise you one. I have been astounded and heartened (and immensely grateful) for the book bloggers (and really, just ‘general’ bloggers all around) who share my joy when I publish a new book. I’m shy, and I go to small gatherings to promote my books, but I have a difficult time ‘putting myself, and my books’ out there. But bloggers are so supportive and loving and enthusiastic of Indie authors. And on the flip side, I have read so many marvelous books by other Indie authors that I wouldn’t have known about, if not for the reviews of bloggers. So, CHEERS to us all. And three cheers to you, Claire, for expressing this all so well.

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