Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Zoe Brooks - Why Blogging Is Important For Me

Why Blogging Is Important For Me
by Zoe Brooks

When I was younger I was a successful poet. I was one of the bright young things of British poetry, appearing in the seminal anthology Grandchildren of Albion. But then something happened - that something was life.

It's very difficult to make a living from novels, let alone poetry, so I had to focus to on another way of making a living. My first job was as community theatre manager in London's Covent Garden, my second was running the UK's national centre for puppetry. Both were fascinating and demanding jobs and I threw myself into them. At the same time I got married and two years later my son was born. Caught somewhere between my work and my family, my writing suffered and after a while dried up completely. I am sure a lot of women will have experienced something similar.

Virginia Woolf said that every woman writer needs a room of her own. She was not just talking about a physical room but also a psychological one. About a dozen years ago I started visiting the Czech Republic regularly. It was a place where I could get away from the pressure of my work. Then about eight years ago I bought a derelict farmhouse there. One of the reasons for doing so was the hope that I could write there. At first nothing happened, so I decided I would start writing a blog about the Czech Republic. Adventures in the Czech Republic is still going and has won various awards. It was even featured in an exhibition by the Czech Centre in London. My experience with the blog massively increased my confidence and showed me that I could write prose as well as poetry. The act of blogging regularly was also very important. I really do think that if I had not started my Czech blog I probably would not be writing novels now.

Every author is encouraged to have a blog nowadays, but what you do to make your blog stand out among the thousands of others? I actually have two writing blogs. The first is my author's blog, in which I talk about the inspiration behind my books, share poems, photos and anything else. It's a bit of fun for people who are interested in me and my books and gives me a way to talk to them. I don't see it as a way of marketing my writing to people who haven't heard of me.

My second writing blog on the other hand is about reaching out to new readers. It is a book review blog, focusing on magic realism books. I am told I write magic realist books, because my books are realistic with an element of magic or fantasy. Every week I read and review a different magic realist book and share that experience on my blog. It's a fascinating project. I have discovered lots of writers and books that I hadn't heard of and I am learning so much about my craft from studying the works of others. I am now being approached by other magic realist writers asking me to review their books. Of course by having a specialist blog, my readers already have an interest in reading books in my genre, but I am not constantly pushing my books, which would be wrong and counter productive.

In addition, I have a weekly online newspaper pulling together in one place the best articles about fiction books by and for women. As with the magic realism blog, the newspaper works in all sorts of ways for me. It appeals to people who will also like my books, it makes me read widely about what is going on in women's fiction, and as the newspaper also has a twitter feed, it has introduced me to lots of interesting people in my field.

It used to be that having a writer's blog was enough. I don't think this is the case any more. As writers we have to do more and gear our blogs to our markets. Most importantly we have to provide a service to visitors to our blogs, by providing information, reviews, news, or other material that will interest our readers. We miss much of the point of blogging if we only think of it as  a way to market our books, it is a way to learn our craft.

If you are interested by blogs can be visited here:
Adventures in the Czech Republic:  http://czechproperty.blogspot.com
Zoe Brooks, Books and More: http://zoebrooks.blogspot.com
Magic Realism Books: http://www.magic-realism.net
Women's Fiction News: http://www.womens-fiction.net

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Fantasy / Women's Fiction  
Rating - R
More details about the book
Connect with Zoe Brooks on Facebook & Twitter


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Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
Paperback -
Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
Smashwords -

3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
Smashwords -

5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
Amazon Kindle -

12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

Blog-A-Licius - Sherbet Blossom



Dealightfully Frugal

Blog-A-Licious - The Few, The Proud, The Wife


My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo



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Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

Rediscovering Domesticity

Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun


Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

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Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max

Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry


My Awards - September 2010

My Awards - September 2010
Awarded By Jo Frances

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded By Alejandro Guzman

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded by Kriti Mukherjee

My Awards - April 2011

My Awards - April 2011
Awarded By Roy Durham

My Awards - June 2011

My Awards - June 2011
Awarded By Sulekha Rawat

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