Tag Archives: Blogging

Blogging in 2018

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I created Lying for a Living in July 2006. I did it with trepidation. My editor had urged me to  start a blog as a way to connect with readers. In 2006, that mist-shrouded yesteryear, Facebook wasn’t even available to the general public. You needed a .edu email address to join. Blogging, for most of us, was social media.

When I wrote my first post, It’s alive, I had no idea whether I would have anything worthwhile to say, or whether anybody would bother reading my semi-regular ramblings. Turns out, I did, and plenty of you did, too.

This blog quickly became a wonderful way for me to connect with people all over the world. I have laughed, and cried, and cheered at your comments. I’ve been privileged to meet a number of you in person. I’ve relied on your expertise when writing novels.

Long story short: I love this blog.

And in 2018, I also connect with readers on Facebook, and Twitter, and Instagram. Many of the conversations that, ten years ago, I would have held here, now take place in those forums. Because of that, and because my writing schedule remains extremely busy, I tend to write fewer blog posts. I hope the posts I do write are entertaining and informative.

Two points: This blog isn’t going anywhere. When I have things to say, or information about books and book tours, I’ll keep on keeping on. But for quick conversations, banter, and photos, if you want to stay in touch, check out the other places where I hang out online.

If you find me on Twitter, for instance, you’ll get all my snark and weird crime headlines and writing advice, generally in bite-size chunks. But you’ll also find occasional threads about life, and family, like this one:

Click here to follow the rest of that story.

Or follow me everyplace I’m hanging out:

Facebook.com/MegGardinerBooks
Twitter: @MegGardiner1
Instagram: @MegGardiner1

See you around. Here, there, and everywhere.

For future reference: stuff I don’t do on the blog

Lying for a Living is where I talk about writing, life, and, sometimes, crazed monkeys. This blog is my house party, and I invite everybody who’s interested to come in and join the conversation.

It’s not a billboard for rent, and neither is my reputation.

Recently I’ve received a number of requests to post articles or promote books by other authors. The people making these requests sometimes offer to pay me money. Sometimes they offer to reward me with “engagement” and “exposure.” I’ve also been asked to interview authors and publish features about them, and to review their books. So, for future reference:

1.  I don’t post ads on my blog.

2. I don’t post paid-for content on my blog.

3. I’m not a freelance feature-writer or book reviewer.

4. This is not a book blog. That is: the purpose of this blog is not to interview authors and post reviews. Many terrific blogs do that — this just isn’t one of them.

Publicists, marketers, and salespeople: Repeatedly requesting that I post your paid content will not convince me to do so. Especially when you promise “to pay handsom ($20).” This weekend, such a salesperson wanted to know my reasons for declining their out-of-the-blue requests. I replied: “Even if I posted somebody else’s article, I would never choose content from a source whose emails contain 12 errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Doing so would damage my own reputation. Sorry.”

Authors: If you’ve hired a publicist who sends me marketing materials for your self-help book and asks when I can schedule an author interview, you’re wasting your money. Likewise, if your publicist’s strategy consists of having you write to people you don’t know, saying, “I’d love to work with you on the release of my memoir,” that strategy is likely to backfire. Especially when all the work would seem to be on my end — reading your book and then “posting about it however you’d like (review, blurb, article about a particular issue, etc.)” before “giving away the eBook (for free) to any of your readers who share the post on Twitter/Facebook/Etc. (Or any other kind of incentive you’d like to use.)” Because guess what? You’re not actually offering me your “clout.” You’re asking me to spend at least 20 hours promoting your book for free. Ain’t gonna happen.

When spam almost makes sense

Every day I check the spam filter on the blog and hose out the goo. Generally, spam messages include 37 links to cheap V1agra, or are written in Russian, or exude, as this one does: “hello!,I love your writing so so much! proportion we be in contact more approximately your post on AOL?” And they usually connect randomly to posts written three years ago.

But this morning I found this spam comment “in response to” the page Buy My Books:

You are the worst author

I had to laugh. Clearly the comment was spam–it came from a fake Yahoo address, was linked to a site advertising cheap PCs, and was posted by a randomly generated name. Still, in context it could have made sense. And I have to wonder: Is this message actually effective? Does it drive thin-skinned authors to click the link and attempt to yell at the putative commenter? Does it really help to sell cheap knockoff computers? If so, it’s brilliant reverse psychology.

And now I have a name for a villain in a future book: the randomly generated Milton Bax.