Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Writer’s Blogs

Blogs by Writers ~ Who Really Knows How To Do One?


I’ve spent many hours writing posts here about all the “advice” for writers the Internet is spewing out.

Part of me feels I’ve wasted a huge amount of time discovering the rotten underbelly of “Authorial Experts”.

Still, reading all the “advice” has let me, at least, warn others about where not to go

Just the other day, in a post called, Happy Birthday to Brain Pickings !, I introduced a video with these words:

“Since many writers attempt to subsidize their fiction writing by monetizing their blogs, I chose a video of Maria talking about alternatives to the ad-supported model.”

That’s Maria Popova and she really does know how to blog.

Then, there’s a man I’ve featured here many times, Joel Friedlander. { click his name in the Top Tags widget in the left side-bar }

Joel does something on his blog that inspires confidence—a seven-part Publishing Timeline—his personal journey through the Book World.

I feel it’s important to reveal a bit of Joel’s history here—give you a sense that this man has been around the block, many times, and knows what he’s talking about. So, here are some excerpts from that journey:

“My father, Royal Friedlander, had apprenticed as a compositor—when printing forms were made from metal objects—in the 1930s. I grew up around printing, and can remember my father sitting at the dinner table in our little kitchen, the creases of his hands still black at the bottom from black ink. He had big tubs of pumice-based soap in the bathroom, but no matter how hard he scrubbed, he said, he had ‘printer’s ink in his veins.’”

“As I learned more about the history of printing and the fine presses of the past, I also researched the modern rebirth of the book arts, starting in the late nineteenth century with William Morris’ Kelmscott Press and later, the Doves press. Along with a friend I started trying to render a modern version of Nicholas Jenson’s fifteenth-century original, considered by many to be the most beautiful roman face in the history of printing.”

“I had quit my day job to concentrate on publishing, which drained our reserves far faster than they ought to have been. And I had published what my heart told me were books that needed to be published—not what the market told me it wanted. Rather than increase our profitability, each book put us farther in the hole. Without a real sense of what the market wanted, or how to reach the people who would buy our books, our company was pretty much doomed from the start.”

“I decided I needed a new company structure, and started Marin Bookworks….Gradually I put a team of professionals together as my contacts expanded….There was rarely a month that went by at Marin Bookworks where there wasn’t at least one self-published book in the mix….Publishing continues to go through a somewhat chaotic revolution of technology and distribution. New technologies are emerging on a weekly basis that have the potential to radically change a business that hasn’t changed that much in 500 years.”

Joel recently published the blog post, 5 Steps to Author Blogging Success,

And, for those of you who don’t normally take all the links I put in my posts, I’ll list those steps here ( each with a link to more information on Joel’s blog :-)

Find your readers

Author Blogging 101: Where Are the Readers?

Create compelling content

7 Formats for Winning Blog Posts

Foster engagement

Writers’ Blogs: 5 Essentials for Engaging Your Readers

Network with other bloggers

Author Blogging 101: 11 Sources of Organic Traffic

Profit from your blog

Direct Marketing, Scottsdale Arizona, and Why a $10 Ebook Can Change Your Life

If you visit any of those links, I’d love it if you left a Comment about your thoughts and feelings

Also, if you know about a writer’s blog that gets it right, let us know about it in the Comments.
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Favorite Writing, Book, and Publishing Blogs


I have no idea how many blogs there are for Readers, Writers and Publishers.

But, I’m wondering how many folks have a few favorites in those categories.

“Writing” blogs are the ones I tend to not read—something about being well-along in years and deeply fond of my own way of doing things

“Book” blogs can be of two kinds—blogs about things like bindings, covers, fonts, paper-quality, etc. and blogs that specialize in doing reviews of books.

“Publishing” blogs seem to be sprouting up like zombies in a B-grade movie. There’re the ones defending Traditional publishing, the ones glorifying Self-Publishing, and the ones that vacillate between the two.

And, there’re two varieties of each of those types of Publishing blogs—the serious/sincere ones and  the ones that focus on wild speculation about what will happen Just About Any Unexpected Time Now.

I only have a handful of blogs I like to keep going back to but there are so many that might be worth reading that I know nothing about.

Then, there are some I used to read but suddenly have reason to “rediscover”.

I use Google Alerts to find news, articles, and blog posts I can talk about here.

This morning, I checked my saved links and pulled out Lost Sight of the Game? Find it Again. by Victoria Mixon—Great Post but, as sometimes happens, while reading it and pondering how to report on it, I changed my focus.

I’d noticed something on the blog, called Writer Unboxed—I’d been there many times in the past but forgot that this blog has over 20 regular contributing writersperhaps, it can be one of my favorites :-)

Other blogs that are my favorites (plus a few non-blog links) are in my BlogRoll, in the left side-panel under those pictures of our Readers

If you’re the kind of reader who likes certain blog posts but never makes a comment, I do hope you’ll find a hidden reserve of courage (or, at least Daring) and mention some of your favorite Reading, Writing, and Publishing blogs in our Comments.
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For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

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