Recently a friend asked me why I have guest authors on my blog instead of promoting my own books more often. The answer is actually a lot simpler than you might think.
I can promote ‘til the cows come home, but that feels a bit selfish. I’m a reader as well as a writer, so I like to hear about the books of others, too. Oh, speaking of cows, How Now Purple Cow was recently released. It’s about purple cows and elderly spies. Huh! You might wonder how those two things relate to each other. I’m not telling about it here. You’ll have to read the book. Okay, so that’s all the self-promotion you’ll get today.
Why do I have guest authors on Marja’s Mystery Blog? AsI mentioned, I’m a reader. What better way to find out about authors and their books? It can be fun to learn more about the writer as a person. We can learn what motivates them and where some of their stories come from. Just when I think I’ve got writers figured out, they come along and tell stories that surprise me. Some of these authors are brand spanking new, and some are well-entrenched in one of the most difficult businesses to break into.
Authors have lots of stories and if you’ll give them the chance, they’re more than happy to share. Some of the stories are sad, and some are quite funny. All you have to do is listen and learn.
I want the skinny about mystery writers and the capers they’ve been involved in. Give me the lowdown – all the background behind the author. Tell me where you’ve been and where you’re planning on going. I want it all.
I’ve often said a blog is a good showcase for a writer’s style. Even though a blog isn’t a book, it still gives a good clue to the author’s writing.
Ever hear of reciprocity? I sincerely believe that what goes around, comes around. So if I give someone a chance to discuss themselves and their books, then on occasion someone else will allow me to do the same. It’s a win-win situation.
I surprised a few people when I told a story on someone else’s blog about having to search a women’s restroom for a bomb without any training back in the 1970s, when I worked in law enforcement. Things were very different at that time, needless to say. There was also the story about a job applicant who threatened to kill me because she didn’t get a job. It didn’t matter that I hadn’t made the decision not to hire her and didn’t have any input. She told me to watch my back because she’d get me when I least expected it. Okay, so after all these years I’m still here and she never went to work for the agency she’d applied to, but good grief! All I did was administer a typing test. I’ve got a lifetime of stories, and people wonder why I became a mystery writer. Other writers have plenty of material to draw from, too.
Thanks to guest bloggers on my site, I learn about new books and I make new friends. I also learn more about old friends. How much better can it get? Maybe my books won’t be best sellers on the New York Times Best Seller List, but then again, one can always hope, and I have the same hope for authors who write guest posts.
So I’ll continue to have guest authors visit, and I’ll promote my books, too. On occasion I’ll do a blog about writing issues. I almost did one about overused words this week, but I have to admit that I was bored with it. Maybe another time.
Until next time, do for others, and just maybe they’ll pass it on and do for someone else. Reciprocity is a lovely word, and not often overused.
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