I figure that it is about time for me to talk about why Author Buzz UK exists and what I hope the site will do for myself and everyone who joins us here.
History of Author Buzz UK
I have owned the domain name (on and off). The first time I registered the domain was sometime before 2010. Maybe 2007, but I am not 100% sure. 2010 was when I put up the first holding page to explain what I wanted to do.
This is what the page said (with my poor spelling corrected).
My intention with AuthorBuzz.co.uk was to create a site where authors can create profiles and raise their exposure. As the domain name indicates I am thinking very much of the UK author and publishing scene. Getting published is only half the battle – to get publishers actually excited about you requires that you raise your game somewhat.
My ability to dream, however, outpaced my ability to make things happen. Eventually, the domain expired. Then, while considering the same needs I saw back then, I realized the domain was still available. I re-registered it and built this site.
Why did I start Author Buzz UK?
I have always wanted to create a springboard of some kind that enables writers to reach interested readers. The problem was that it would be many more years before I had the skills needed to make that happen. Over 8 years as it turned out.
Even back at the start, the idea was pretty much what I finally created.
I’ll give you a taste of what I am thinking here – the ability to create a profile (as on so many “social sites”) but also a place to share excerpts from your work as well as dates of signings, speaking engagements and so forth. Along with that, I was thinking of making sure that each author can tie together the reviews, events dates and press releases thus making it easy for columnists and reviewers to “find out more”.
I was also thinking of creating a joint “bookshop” where members work can be purchased. I was thinking of maybe partnering with someone like amazon.co.uk to ensure that the quality of service was high.
Long ago, I noticed that larger sites tend to attract disproportionately more traffic and attention. Well-integrated networks of related sites enjoyed a similar boost. That’s why “site rings” used to be such a big deal for tiny sites.
Rather than author success online boiling down to getting the right marketing team, wouldn’t it be better if it boiled down to writing the best book?
A community of authors working together benefits not just from their own effort but that effort multiplied by the efforts of the community. In other words, authors and writers could go further just by teaming up.
Sell more books
A site that had a lot of authors (and therefore books) in one place would be the obvious go to for a reader looking for a good read. Authors with a presence in such a site will sell more books.
That’s a win-win all around.
That is why there is a space holder on your author profile.
Learn from each other
Whenever I work with other people with similar interests, everything seems easier. I learn new things. I stay encouraged. We thrive on the energy of success together.
I want that for authors.
That’s why I added a forum right from the get-go. A place where we can ask each other questions and get support from other writers.
Author Buzz UK: A place to belong
There is something magical about being part of something larger than yourself. Especially when that something is in sync with what you are trying to do. I think that is why things like NaNoWriMo are so popular.
Author Buzz provides what I hope is a sense of belonging. It can be a place where we writers can establish our online presence not alone but as part of a community.
Self-published or traditionally published, it would make no difference – we all stand to gain from having a place where we belong.
Build communities not lists
Traditionally, the way you sell things online is to build a big list of (opt-in) email addresses and send out emails over and over until people buy things or unsubscribe. List building might have its place but community building is, I feel, where it is at.
Even if your core readership (fans) is fairly small, wouldn’t it be better for your fans to have somewhere they can come and talk to other fans? What if you could create that place? That’s what groups are for. A place where fans can find the latest fan theories, signing dates, and book release news.
I believe that authors willing to talk with their readers are authors on-track for greatness. Communities are a good place for this to happen.
Author Buzz UK: A place for readers
It is not just authors and writers that stand to gain from establishing this sort of community. Readers and fans can gain as much if not more. That is what the Buzz in Author Buzz means – catching the wave of excitement when a new and interesting voice joins the world of literature.
I am still working out how we can pool together news about the wider community. Book releases, tour dates, and the general buzz of exciting new books waiting to be read. All I know (right now), is that this is something to work on.
I have had a heck of a time trying to find publishers that put out actual press releases. That does not seem to be a thing in this industry. Seriously, the best I’ve yet got was a Word Doc with images embedded. It was okay but hardly a fount of information.
I will keep working on how and where to source author related news for Author Buzz UK.
The future of Author Buzz UK
How the future fits with my hopes for what Author Buzz could be remains to be seen. At the very least, I hope that I can inspire writers to make their dream of being published a reality. Everything else remains to be discovered.
What can Author Buzz UK do for you? Let me know what you need in the comments below.