I will say again that the “Tag Surfer” page, found under the “Dashboard” category of the admin page, is designed to be and is one of the best ways to connect with others online through WordPress. WordPress is set up to link your blog to other WordPress blogs through this page and I really enjoy using it. It isn’t very intuitive the way it is set up, like so many other WordPress pages, starting out completely blank and offering no hints on the page.
The way to use it, if you’re stumped, is to type words into the little window and click the “add” button. Your words should be things you want to read about in others’ blogs.
When I put in the tag “Fiction” or “Writing”, I get lots of long, long posts containing people’s writings. “Novel” is a mix of people posting their chapters and people discussing novels–theirs and others’. As someone who is doing the work of making my writing into a book and even charging for my work, I’m kind of baffled by the “post everything online” concept of writing. I don’t really know whether to think of these as brave souls or people squandering their opportunities. Maybe it is a little bit of both.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot for me to link in those kinds of posts on a blog about self-publishing, so I have to “X” them. My best Tags are “Self-publishing”, “Author”, and “Novel”. The list of posts with those tags are usually full of win.
When I search, I am looking for people’s takes on self-publishing, authors who are promoting their books, reviewers who might review my book one day, reviewers in general so I can find books, and any other cool posts that might give me some new insights. These are the blogs I follow. The blogs I don’t follow are ones that don’t fit with the focus of mine. If you are writing a nonfiction book about boat refurbishing, I’m probably not going to follow you unless you are also self-publishing and writing a lot about that. I don’t follow a lot of the “chapter post” blogs because, while I appreciate free fiction, the posts are often really long and have nothing I can share. If the author is posting an excerpt, that is different. You’ll see, though, that the reeeeeaaaaalllllyy long posts are often “chapter posts”.
Normally when I “Tag Surf” I go through the whole list and open the interesting posts in a new tab. Then I go through each tab, follow, and sometimes link in my own post. This is really important because other pages linking to your page makes your page more attractive to search engines!
So, on to the actual links!
http://pigletinapoke.com/2011/12/06/the-first-four-words/ A post that has an interesting point about the first four words of a novel. Also, the first four words of her novel, and then some.
http://selfpublishingadvisor.com/2011/12/06/self-publishing-for-the-eco-conscious/ Here is something I never thought of when getting ready for publishing! Ah! So many details! There were a lot of interesting links on the left side of this page. This one is going to take longer and I might make a post about it all by itself!
http://utterance.com.au/2011/12/06/dymocks-enters-self-publishing-domain-with-launch-tomorrow/ Here is an article for a new self-publisher out of Australia. Normally I wouldn’t link this, but I am meeting so many authors from Down Under on WordPress that I really should. I feel so international!
http://geekycorner.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/its-ok/ Here is your official permission to, as an adult, read YA fiction. I didn’t know that we needed permission, so I’m so glad I have it now. I love to read YA fiction because I know I’m probably not going to have to skip over any uncomfortable sex scenes or read embarrassing descriptions of genitalia.