Blogging Platform: Creating the Breakout Blog

Happy Monday Musers! I just wanted to mention I have a guest post up over at Editor Chuck Sambuchino's Guide to Literary Agents Blog on Blogging Platforms, taking the principles of Donald Maass' Writing The Breakout Novel and applying them to blogging.

If you are looking at starting up a blog as part of your writing platform strategy or have a blog now and want to strengthen it, please do check it out. There is also a wealth of information at the Guide to Literary Agents Blog on all topics pertaining to writings and publishing, so make sure to poke around a bit while you visit!


PJ Hoover said...

Very cool, Angela! He has a rocking blog, but then so do you.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

That is my very favorite industry website. The useful info to be found there is endless. :-)

Chuck said...

It was a wonderful post!

- Chuck Sambuchino

Kay said...

Read it, and commented.

Saved -- wondering how many would read the blog without commenting.

Angela said...

Thanks PJ--so do you!

Shannon, I agree. I don't know how people get by without the kindness of industry blogs. There is just so much to know and keep up with!

Thanks for visiting, Chuck! We love you here at The Bookshelf Muse!

Kay, thanks for your visit, and for commenting. :-)

C.R. Evers said...

Thnx for the link! I'll have to check it out!

C.R. Evers said...

Thnx for the link! I'll have to check this out!

Matthew Rush said...

Great book on writing, and fun idea to apply it to blogging, it sure is relevant.

Probably one of the top five current books on writing as well, for those who haven't read it.

My list would have to be:
The Forest for the Trees
The First Five Pages
Bird by Bird
Writing the Breakout Novel
The Elements of Style

Not necessarily in that order. I'm sure there are others but these have helped me a lot.

Elana Johnson has a great post about pimping your blog here also:

Danyelle said...

Awesome, Angela! Am checking them out now. :)

Bish Denham said...

A most excellent article Angela. Good job!

Conda V. Douglas said...

Excellent--what a great idea!

Jill Kemerer said...

Cool idea. I'm off to check out the article!

erinschultz said...

Thank you so much for writing the post about blogging!! :o) Having a web-presence is a definite advantage for writers seeking representation. My own blog needs work, but now that I have read your advice I feel like I have some direction! Thank you!!

Deb Salisbury said...

Loved your post! Well done!

Henya said...

I bought the book a few months ago. I agree that every writer should read and re-read this book.

(Reminds me: I'm going to re-re-re-re-read it. I'm do)

Great post, Angela.

Ann Marie Wraight said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Marie Wraight said...

Whew - saved by the bell! Your advice about blogging gave me food for thought. I have a number of blogging buddies who are encouraging me to start my own..BUT...I'm glad to have refused to do anything rash or hasty.
I need to do a lot more research before I commit. Thanks for helping me 'save face.'

Rachel Writes 4 Kids said...

Well done! Thanks!

laustinspace said...

Thanks for this. I'm really excited about your thesaurus guides. I've posted a link to your blog at my own writing blog:

Lindsey Edwards said...

Wonderful post! I left feedback on GTLA's website as well. WTG!!!

Mikki Sadil said...

I've loved your blog since long before creating mine. I use your thesauruses ( thesaurusi ?) all the time. This one, and Chuck's, just made me order the Breakout Novel from Amazon. Don't ever quit, Angela, we'd all be lost without you!

Mikki (

Marian said...

I enjoyed reading that, Angela. It's great advice for writing or blogging: specialize, provide consistently and enjoy what you do!

Angela said...

CR, nice to see you here!

Matthew, those are all good--thanks for the list. Have you read Self Editing for Fiction Writer? It is well worth reading. :-)

Danyelle, Bish & Conda, thank you all!

Jill and Erin, I'm so glad the article helped!

Deb, Thank you!

Henya, thanks for the visit. And I agree, this is one to reread often. There's always more I can get from it on each read, always more to absorb.

Ann Marie, blogging is such a wonderful way to network and there are so many wonderful personalities. People become s much more than a username or icon. You won't be disappointed when you do jump in, I promise. :-)

Rachel, many thanks!

Laustinspace--thanks for the link! I was by a few days ago and my computer wasn't letting me comment. I think it's great how you and your better half are writing a book together! I'll visit again soon!

Lindsay and Nikki, you are both too kind. Thank you for the nice words. :-)

Marian, I agree, it applies to both. I love all the passion I see in blogs. Thanks everyone for the great comments!

Marcia said...

Excellent post! Very helpful for those who wonder how to get anybody to read their blog.

Steve said...


I'm catching up on posts I've missed, and just saw yours at GLA. All the advice seems good, but I think I sense a disconnect.

As an aspiring YA writer, my prospective audience is the demographic of the teens who frequent the YA shelves at Barnes & Noble, and their extended cohort. However, your blog platform advice seems to imply that one's blog audience should be drawn from the community of other writers - who are not the same demographic at all, except perhaps incidentally.

Something doesn't seem to compute here. Can you help?

Best wishes,

Angela said...

Steve, excellent and very relevant question.

Like you, I am also an aspiring writer who will be targeting children and teens. That market is very, very important. However, without a book in hand, I have very little to offer my eventual readership at the moment, right?

So, without a product to sell, the best thing we can do is to promote our name within the industry. We need to create BUZZ even before our product hits the shelves because it will influence the gatekeepers to our eventual readers. If other writers, authors, editors, agents, and booksellers are hearing our name being promoted through our personal network, it helps us stand out from the rest. It will influence sales and exposure.

Writers become the obvious choice for a network, because we are all climbing the same impossibly steep, lava-spewing mountain. We understand each other and empathize with the ups and downs of the journey. By sharing what we know, we create a community environment where we become invested in each other's success, not just our own. And once we do succeed, there are no louder cheerleaders out there than other writers.

Writers/bloggers are critical when it comes to spreading the word about our book. Think of the blogs you visit written by writers. In addition to writerly advice, chances are they also review books, make book deal announcements, host guest authors, do book giveaways, etc. If you work hard to build a network of writers NOW by creating blog content that brings people back again and again, you will forge personal connections with people like this who will help spread the word about your novel when the time comes. The better your network, the more exposure you'll have of your book and name. The more people know your name, the more they will seek you and your work out.

So yes, reaching our eventual market of readers is important, but cannot be optimized until we have a sale ready to promote. However, no matter what our genre/readership is, we NEED a network of people to help us launch our book when the time comes, and it is something we can (and should) build immediately, even before a sale. I am a firm believer in giving what I know freely (knowledge, encouragement, mentorship, friendship). In return I’ve already gained much, and met many, many wonderful people. I cheer at every success and am happy to help in any way I can. I hope that some day some of these wonderful people will help me make sure my debut is as strong as it can be.

Vijaya said...

I think the most important thing is that you offer content that no one else really has ... in an entertaining package. You have a wonderful blog, Angela, and I often refer my students here ...


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