The secret to blogging success. (Really.)

As you guys might or might not remember, I’m currently in the process of visiting all of the blogs I’ve followed since the first time I started blogging.

Yes, I’m still doing this more than a year later. I followed a lot of blogs.

You know what’s frustrating me, though? How many people stopped blogging seemingly because they were discouraged by the lack of comments on their blogs.

The reason why I find it frustrating? Time and again, these would be the people I used to visit frequently, but who just never seemed to visit back. And having been through about half of my list and visiting everyone at least once, I can say with safety that there are still people out there who expect other people to read their posts, but who don’t actually seem to get involved with blogs outside their own.

And now, it’s seemingly getting worse, because google seems to be actively discouraging the use of their “follow” button. So there’s no longer an easy, surefire way of getting a blog’s feed on a blog reader. (I use bloglovin, but dang, it can sometimes be a major schlep. Because bloglovin requires me to search for the feed on their site, and then, if it’s not there, they’ll add it later and I’m supposed to “check back.” Right. Because “checking back” on a link I will have forgotten in a day or two is going to happen.)

At any rate, it’s becoming easier and easier for people to “lose” blogs they visited once or twice. And there’s only one solution that I can see to this:

We have to visit each other, people. I know I disregard my advice a lot, since time sometimes just doesn’t allow me to do anything but post and run. But the moment I do that for a week or so, I can see my traffic taking a hit.

Back to my point. If we got back to the old ways (gosh I’m sounding old now) of reciprocating visits, and we knew everyone we went to would do the same, we wouldn’t have this problem with people not visiting.

It’s not that difficult either. First stop is your comments section. More often than not, your commenters’ names are in fact links that lead to their profiles, that lead to more links, that lead to their blog. So if someone says hi, go say hi back. See? Suddenly this has become a bit more of a conversation. A first step toward a relationship.

And suddenly, you’re not alone.

Tada! Discouragement problem solved.

Seriously, though. If you’re a lurker, yes, you in the back seats munching pop-corn while reading the comments. Please say hi! I actually WANT to find your blog.

Promise.

At the least you’ll get a hi back within a few days. Or… depending on what you’re posting, maybe even a really thoughtful comment. (I try to be generous with those.)

Anyone else sharing my frustration with people not visiting around and then getting discouraged? Any tips for me to find new bloggers? Are you a lurker? (Hi!)

Mark Noce’s Publishing Journey

Hi everyone! Welcome to my regular guest feature! Today, Mark Noce is here to share his publishing journey with us. 

Take it away, Mark!
Thanks, Misha for having me here! I’m pumped to have my debut novel, Between Two Fires, coming out with St. Martin’s Press this August, and I’m here today to share a little bit of what my “journey” to this point so far has been like.
I love reading and writing historical fiction, double-majoring in both History and English in undergrad before getting my Master’s in English. To improve my craft further, I started attending the San Francisco Writer’s Conference about five years ago. I learned a lot, became a better writer and eventually got my super fantastic agent, Rena Rossner of the Deborah Harris Agency. This February I’ll be a guest speaker for the second year in a row at the very same San Francisco Writer’s Conference I used to attend as a budding writer. Needless to say, I’m pretty stoked.
But of course, it wasn’t all a bed of roses. I wrote plenty of other manuscripts before Between Two Fires and got plenty of rejections along the way before I found my niche. Now I’ve got a two book deal with Thomas Dunne Books (an imprint of St. Martin’s Press and Macmillan) and my editor is the head of the imprint himself. But guess what? Rejection is still part of the game. I still run through lots of drafts that my publisher either likes or does not like, spending a good deal of time making each chapter shine until we can’t possibly do another thing to improve it. I’d liken it to pulling rabbits out of hats, except it isn’t magic. It’s a lot of darn hard work. But it has a happy rainbow at the end of the tunnel when I’m left with a great story of which I couldn’t possibly be more proud.
So what’s this Welsh epic of mine all about? Below is a blurb about Between Two Fires, and I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I have. You can pre-order Between Two Fires on Amazon or add it to Goodreads! You can also connect with me via marknoce.com, my blog, Twitter or Facebook.
Thanks again Misha for having me!

Between Two Fires
Saxon barbarians threaten to destroy medieval Wales. Lady Branwen becomes Wales’ last hope to unite their divided kingdoms when her father betroths her to a powerful Welsh warlord, the Hammer King.
But this fledgling alliance is fraught with enemies from within and without as Branwen herself becomes the target of assassinations and courtly intrigue. A young woman in a world of fierce warriors, she seeks to assert her own authority and preserve Wales against the barbarians. But when she falls for a young hedge knight named Artagan her world threatens to tear itself apart. Caught between her duty to her people and her love of a man she cannot have, Branwen must choose whether to preserve her royal marriage or to follow her heart. Somehow she must save her people and remain true to herself, before Saxon invaders and a mysterious traitor try to destroy her.


Thanks for stopping by, Mark! Anyone else interested in being featured on my blog? If you are, please mail me at mishagericke(AT)gmail(DOT)com with “Thursday Feature” in the subject line. 

Have a lovely day! Don’t you just love this book’s cover?

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (AAAAAaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrghhhhhh!)

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for Insecure Writer’s Support Group again. For those of you who don’t know, IWSG is a monthly bloghop where we share our writing fears, doubts and insecurities and then go around encouraging each other. You’re welcome to sign up! Click here for more information and to sign up.

My biggest insecurity this month comes from the sheer bloody amount of stuff going on in my life at the moment. I have a book coming out. I have to prepare to move house. I have to work longer than usual because it’s the busy season for me at the dayjob. I have to… I have to… I have to… 
You get it. And as some of you know, I keep track of all this. So I happen to know that I have 30 major items for me to finish in this week alone. 
I mean seriously. What happened to starting slow in January and working one’s way up? I’m seriously hoping that my year ends up working in reverse, or I might end up going crazy by June. 
How are you doing? Is your year running mad like mine? How are you keeping yourself together? 

News Day

Welcome to another News Day!

For those of you who are new to this, I’m running a weekly feature to share news from my blog and others in the community. This news could be anything from a cover reveal to bloghops and everything in between. If you think you have something people should know about (even if it’s a good post you read), please let me know. I’m trying to get all the news together, but sometimes, I just miss the news because I happened not to stop by on someone’s blog on the right day.

If you have something for me to share, please mail me at mishagericke(AT)gmail(DOT)com with “News” in the subject line.

From This Blog: 

Endless: Now available for Pre-Order


First, do no harm.” Blake Ryan swore that oath to become a doctor. Ironic, given that he spent most of his thousand year life sucking souls out of other immortals.

Things are different now. Using regular shots of morphine to keep his inner monster at bay, Ryan has led a quiet life since the Second World War. His thrills now come from saving lives, not taking them.

Until a plane crash brings Aleria into his hospital. Her life is vibrant. Crack to predators like him. She’s the exact sort of person they would hunt, and thanks to a severe case of amnesia, she’s all but defenseless.

Leaving Aleria vulnerable isn’t an option, but protecting her means unleashing his own inner monster. Which is a problem, because his inner monster wants her dead most of all.

You can read an excerpt here.

Speaking of Endless…

I’m still looking for a few more blog tour stops, cover revealers, reviewers and interviewers. Anyone want to help me spread the word about my book reveal? Pretty please? Yes? You’re awesome. Please fill in the form below.

Also, a huge thank you for everyone who’ve signed up so far!

This Week’s Guest

Mark Noce will be sharing his publishing journey with us on Thursday.

Thursday Features

Every Thursday, I’d like to feature other writers/bloggers, whether or not they have a book published/sold. The idea here is to give people a bit more exposure, so if you’d like to visit my blog for a day, please mail me at mishagericke(AT)gmail(DOT)com with “Guest Post” as the subject.

The last two weeks of February are still open, so hop on it.

(If you’d like to visit my blog as part of your blog tour, please let me know. It doesn’t have to be on a Thursday. You can mail me at the same address to book a date. First Wednesdays and Last Fridays of a month are out. Cover reveals will only be done on Tuesdays with the news.)

Book Releases and Cover Reveals:

A Whale of a Tale by Pat Hatt

Standing Turtle and Delightful Flea both dreamed of lands afar. The lands that you could not get to by plane, train or car. As they were sitting on what they thought was a beach, they both soon learned that such lands were in reach.

Treed Whale granted their wish with a splash and splish. Now they can see much on his back. Such lands would surely not lack. But is it as grand as they thought? Maybe a lesson will be taught. What will Standing Turtle and Delightful Flea see and learn? Find out and explore new lands at every turn.

Murder & Obsession by Yolanda Renée
Love is never easy, but for Detective Steve Quaid and his fiancée, Sarah, their road to happiness is laden with minefields.
After spending countless hours reconverting his grandfather’s cabin into the perfect honeymoon retreat for Sarah, the cabin becomes a bloody crime scene detailing her death. Accused, Steven escapes into the Alaskan mountains, biding his time to find the truth.
Who killed his beloved?
A seasoned woodsman, he outsmarts even the cleverest of trackers. All but one.
Mauled by a grizzly, a half-dead Steven barely escapes.
But will he live to bring the rightful murderer to Justice?
To Be Released: March 10, 2016

Bloghops and Blogfests:

The A to Z Challenge:

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The Blogfest on steroids is here again. Barely a week after the list opened, there are almost 600 bloggers on it. Yes, the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is here. If you haven’t signed up yet, do it now HERE! The list regularly hits 2000 bloggers and is an amazing networking opportunity.

If you haven’t heard of it, it is 26 days of blogging in April based on 26 letters of the alphabet. You may follow a theme or go random. It stirs creativity, enforces discipline, forces you out of your comfort zones, boosts followers, wins you lotteries.

Okay I made that last one up, but you get the gist.


Some Good News: 

Christine Rains sold another book series. 

Christine Rains has signed the contract for another trilogy with Ellora’s Cave, so head on over and congratulate her!
That’s it for today! Who’ll be taking part in the A to Z Challenge? Would you like to help me spread the word about Endless? Got any news for next week? (Remember to mail me.) 

Lost and Found Blogfest

Hi everyone! I’m so excited to take part in this blogfest. When I entered, I actually worried a little because I wasn’t sure if I would have time to create something. But then I thought “Hey, I actually have the perfect scene for this.”

AND the added bonus is that it comes from my upcoming book, so even better.

The reason why I like this scene for this blogfest is simple. The mission is to write about love lost or found and this scene is a little bit of both. Hope you enjoy!

Click the button to enter or find the other people taking part.

The Problem with Immortality

“Well hello there, beautiful.” Luc’s lovely voice caressed the back of my neck and I squealed, giving him the biggest hug I could.

“You followed us here?” I asked, holding on to him as if he might disappear at any moment. When we’d left France, I’d left Luc behind and with him, my heart. Oh how I’d cried that day. He’d looked my age back then.

I stepped back and looked up at his face. At somewhere in his twenties he now looked older than me, while I barely seemed old enough to go to my first Carnevale party. The realization sent a stab through me and I lowered my gaze.

He was a man now, and I…I didn’t even know what I was. A woman trapped in a child’s body? A freak of nature. Either way, it wouldn’t do to seem overly familiar with someone in public. It wasn’t proper. Venice might have been home to Casanova, but in reality, life here was strict. I sent a furtive glance to my companion, who at least was kind enough to stay at a discrete distance for the duration of this conversation.

“We’re both here,” Luc said. “Armand tired of France.”

I scowled up at him despite myself. “Please tell me he’s not going to the Doge’s party.”

He frowned at me. “What if he is?”

“Well he’ll spoil it,” I said, causing Luc’s frown to deepen. He always was devoted to his twin.

“I do wish you two would get along.” Luc said.

“And I do so wish he’d stop being an ass.” Or that he’d stop breathing, for that matter. I turned back to the display of Carnevale masks. I still needed to find a mask that would match the dress I planned to wear to the party.

I heard Luc’s heavy sigh behind me. “At least you’re still glad to see me,” he said and joined me by the window. “I missed you.”

“I–I…” I wanted to say I missed him too, but if I had never before realized what a difference our lifespans made, I felt it keenly now. He’d be reborn long before I was, and then he’d outgrow me again and again. When I had my rebirth, it could take centuries for us to be together again.

It wasn’t a way for us to live.

I swallowed my words and went to the next window, dashing at my tears. I tried to hide it, but Luc was too perceptive.

He caught my arm and forced me to face him. “Don’t,” he murmured, pulling me closer to him. “I’m here now.”

I sobbed and held onto him. Body-to-body, he stroked my back and whispered loving words into my ear. I felt the strength in his body, the play of his muscles beneath my fingers. But no matter how close we were, we’d never be together.

Now Available on Pre-Order:
Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think!