Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Writing a Thriller on a Blog the Agony and the Ecstasy

Have completed my novel Nora, a free thriller available on my blog. In doing so, have learned a lot about this strange medium of the book blog. Firstly, my writing has become more disciplined, as an audience was out there, waiting for the next installment. This helped motivate me to writing every day. But there are pros and cons to writing a story on a blog.

The Pros of Fiction Blogging

Click to read my book blog
by Charles J Harwood
Firstly I wanted to get my book out there, in more ways than on merely Amazon, Smashwords and Google books. I wanted to reach more readers than ever. Getting more readers is a good thing for any author, even if the reader gets the book for free, for giveaways often lead to sales. I also feel more comfortable giving my book away than tying myself up with Amazon’s KDP Select, which permits a free giveaway a few days per 90 days. KDP select also prohibits publication in digital format of your book anywhere else on the Web.

The Experience of Writing Fiction on a Blog

Getting your book out there also means that you can get others to read it ahead of publication on ebook platforms. They can read it on phones, PCs and Tablets just as easily as on a Kindle device. At the bottom of each page, I provided easy navigation for the reader, enabling ease of use to page back, forwards to go back to the beginning.

There are pros and cons of writing a free thriller

The process took me around three months to complete. I began my book blog novel in December of 2013 and finished in March 2014. I made sure I dedicated around one to two hours per day to writing and I posted two to three times per week, sometimes in batches.  I love blogging anyway and it was good to see my work out there.

The Problems with Book Blogging

The problem with writing fiction on a blog is that the first draft might read fine, you post and then notice a typo or a better way of phrasing a sentence. This can mean going back and reposting on your blog which can be time consuming. This is why getting the words right before posting is important. I would do three or four redrafts before posting each chapter onto my blog. Per 600 words or so, I would tag each text clump with a post number so that I know which portion to repost on my blog. This helps saves time.

Another idea is to allocate each post with a separate page number, so it is easier to copy and paste the text into the blog edit. I was careful not to make each post too long, for ease of reading. This meant breaking down each chapter into two or four posts.

The other problem is that maintenance of the blog can take some hours out of the writing time. Posting links, designing the look of the blog and replying to comments can sometimes cause distraction.

Tips on Writing a Free Thriller

A problem of writing fiction on a blog is that you cannot use keywords. Keywords are a great way of getting surfers to find your website. For instance, by putting in the keywords: ‘tips on how to write fiction’, my blog might be found, because this phrase might have been used in an article here. However, keywording is simply not possible when writing a book blog. This can mean low hits, even if the book is brilliant. People are simply unable to find it. To overcome this problem, I keyworded an explanatory post of my blog. I also posted links were applicable (without spamming) on Twitter, Facebook and also on my other sites. As word spreads, others might post links to this book blog.

Book Blogging for Profit

Nora on Kindle
Once my book blog was complete, I Adsensed it, so even though readers come for free, I am able to earn a little revenue on the way. I was careful to keep the ads unobtrusive. I am also able to advertise via Amazon Associates my books and other books, so customers can purchase goods and I get commission. But ultimately, the aim of the book blog is to publish the Kindle version for Apple, Kobo, Amazon and Smashwords so people have the option of purchase. Incidentally, my thriller, Nora is also available on paperback and large print. I enjoyed writing it. I hope you enjoy reading it.

And if you are interested, you can find my blog version of Nora by Charles J Harwood here.

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