Armchair BEA week hits hump-day! Links to daily topics, Armchair BEA Headquarters, my GIVEAWAY, and more are on the sidebar.
The Armchair BEA topics for today are “expanding blog horizons” and “novellas.” I want to talk about both, so will cover each in separate posts.
The question asked for today’s topic was: What do you think about when you think about going beyond blogging or expanding your horizons?
If asked that question about six months ago my answer would have been different. At that time I was devoted to the group blog I had co-created three years prior, and strongly believed that focusing on a community of like-minded authors was the best way to reach fans of our particular sub-genre. In theory I still think this is a viable option, if under different circumstances and with different people. For me it ended in tragedy and proved to be a monumental squandering of my time, energy, and talents.
Yet, as the wise say, through tribulations one grows stronger. I remain a huge advocate of author connections, as I wrote on yesterday’s blog post, but now realize that focusing on MY blog/website/social media platforms to reach MY readers is a far better use of my time, energy, and talents.
Thus, the answer to the Armchair BEA question is to return to the basics of making MY blog awesome! I want my fans to visit me, anxious to see what fun or educational post I have newly added. I want web-surfers to discover my blog, exclaim “Wow!” and then come back for more.
To that end I have been posting a blog almost every day– a mixture of historical pieces, silliness, quizzes, novel news, excerpts, and anything else that pops into my head. I contacted my author friends, opening up each Wednesday for them to guest with me and share their fine novels with my visitors. “Guest Author Spotlight” has been very successful, and being able to help those authors who have shown me kindness, support, and friendship is immensely satisfying.
My efforts to go beyond blogging and expand horizons are ongoing here on my website, and to a large degree on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I have my Facebook author page – Sharon Lathan, Novelist – that not only links to my Twitter (@SharonLathan) with continual updates and shares, but also has separate “tabs” with information, links to purchasing my novels, photos, and more. On Pinterest, which I confess I am addicted too, I have 45 boards with over 6000 pinned image! Indeed these are entertaining outlets for me, but primarily are utilized as 1) a means of reaching people who may be interested in reading my novels, and 2) to enthuse my readers, enhance their pleasure in my novels, and to interact.
My greatest efforts, however, are right here on this website and blog. I am a serious techno nerd, so keeping abreast of WordPress and other internet advances is actually fun for me. I am not afraid to revamp and upgrade. I strive to create an inclusive website so that a visitor can spend lots of time here.
My website highlights include–
Darcy Saga Novel Page – basic info with links to individual title pages
Cast of Characters – a list of them all, including a colorful family tree
Regency Glossary – A to Z definitions and images
About Sharon – my full bio, publishing story, and a submenu of FAQs
Guestbook – leave a note for me!
Library at Pemberley – a forum-style receptacle for my novel excerpts, Jane Austen info, historical essays, and more
My Novels & Regency Image Gallery has a collection of albums with pictures. The main draw is the albums for each of my novels, the images chosen to visually aid the events written in the book. Gradually I am going back and updating each album, adding new images and improving the old ones. Check out the Loving Mr. Darcy album to see what I mean!
A few months ago I created a Zazzle Store, stocking it with loads of merchandise with Austen, Regency, and Darcy Saga themes. Just another way to offer something special to visitors and lovers of my novels.
It should be apparent that I am forever looking ahead, and dedicated to pleasing my visitors. I am open for suggestions!