I got into the blogging game primarily to create an online presence for myself. I wanted there to be sort of an Internet headquarters for my readers (present and future) to come see what was happening with me or any news surrounding my debut novel, Inside the Outside. The more time I spent working on my own blog, the more I started noticing other blogs. I started to appreciate them more now that I had a better idea of what it took to put one together. Amongst the many blogs I started noticing, I was thrilled to find out that there are lots of folks out there with great blogs about books and publishing. And every time I discover one of these cool blogs, I add it to my bookmarks, as any self-respecting web surfer would do. Well, after recently looking over my growing list of bookmarked blogs, it occurred to me that I should share them with my readers—put the ol’ Martin Spotlight™ on them, as it were. Even if their sites already get more traffic than mine does (which I assume is the case with all of them), I figured a little extra shine couldn't hurt. The blogs that I primarily frequent are not only about writing (in some form or fashion) but are also beneficial to other writers (in one way or another). So, without any further ado, here are, in no particular order, five blogs that every indie writer should have bookmarked…
I first became aware of IndieReader when I was surfing the Internet for news about—uber-successful indie author—Amanda Hocking. And, sufficed it say, I stuck around because I loved the site. IndieReader was founded by Amy Edelman, a publicist and writer who has been both self-published and traditionally published. The thing I especially love about IndieReader is its support in promoting self-published authors, rightfully equating the singularity of their voice and vision—from writing to publishing—with the indie mavericks and auteurs of the film industry.
I assume The Best Damn Creative Writing Blog found the inspiration for its name from the now-cancelled television program The Best Damn Sports Show Period. As both a sports lover and a book lover, I appreciate the allusion, even if it’s all in my head. Now, with regards to the blog itself, The BDCWB offers news, essays and commentary about the publishing industry. Among other things, you can expect to find everything from posts about dating sites for book lovers to interviews with bestselling authors.
Self-Publishing Review is near and dear to my heart, because their core purpose is to legitimatize self-publishing as a viable option for writers looking to see their work in print. They go about doing this by, among other things, posting book reviews, publisher reviews, interviews, and news. And a particularly cool feature of the site is they allow outside writers to contribute their own blog posts (they are, of course, moderated). Even if you're not a self-published author, but are thinking about it, you'll find that Self-Publishing Review is a great resource.
The Book Designer is a great blog geared towards helping independent publishers and authors get to market with a great looking, properly constructed book, on time and on budget. The brain behind The Book Designer is Joel Friedlander, a successful indie author and publisher himself. Friedlander's blog covers a myriad of important topics that all indie publishers need to be familiar with, from editing and designing to marketing and promoting.
Okay, first of all, I have to say that Joanna Penn, founder of The Creative Penn, is adorable. If you don’t believe me, check out her “About Me” video. Penn is an author, blogger, speaker and business consultant based in London, England. Her mission for The Creative Penn is to help people who are interested in writing and publishing, as well as authors who want to gain insight on the marketing and promotion of their books on the Internet. What a swell gal, huh?
And there you have it. Five blogs every indie writer should have bookmarked (what are you waiting for?!). Now, just to be clear, these aren’t the only five blogs I frequent. I just figured, for the sake of this first go, five seemed like a reasonable number. I look forward to featuring other blogs I enjoy, so keep an eye out for those. Also, if you have a blog that you think I’ll love, send it my way. And if I love it (or, at the very least, like it a lot), I’ll be more than happy to shine the ol’ Martin Spotlight™ in your direction.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some blogs to read.