What They Say
“If you tell the reader that Bull Beezley is a brutal-faced, loose-lipped bully, with snake’s blood in his veins, the reader’s reaction may be, ‘Oh, yeah!’ But if you show the reader Bull Beezley raking the bloodied flanks of his weary, sweat-encrusted pony, and flogging the tottering, red-eyed animal with a quirt, or have him booting in the protruding ribs of a starved mongrel and, boy, the reader believes!”
Aaron Paul Lazar writes to soothe his soul. A bestselling Kindle author of 22 books, including three addictive mystery series, writing books, and a new love story, Aaron enjoys the Genesee Valley countryside in upstate New York, where his characters embrace life, play with their dogs and grandkids, grow sumptuous gardens, and chase bad guys. Visit his website at http://www.lazarbooks.com and watch for his upcoming release, UNDER THE ICE. Aaron has won over 18 book awards for his novels and finds writing to be his form of "cheap therapy." Feel free to connect with him on Facebook or his website; he loves to connect with readers.
HONORABLE MENTION Eric Hoffer 2013 GRAND PRIZE * FINALIST 2013 EPIC Book Awards * FINALIST 2012 FOREWORD BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARDS * Finalist DaVinci Eye Cover Award 2013 * WINNER 2011 EPIC Book Awards, BEST Paranormal * FINALIST 2011 FOREWORD BOOK AWARDS * WINNER 2011 Eric Hoffer BEST Book, COMMERCIAL FICTION *Carolyn Howard-Johnson's Top 10 Reads for 2012 * 2X FINALIST Global eBook Awards 2011 * Preditors & Editors Readers Choice Award – 2nd place 2011* Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s Top 10 Books of 2012 * Winner of Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s 9th Annual Noble (Not Nobel!) Prize for Literature 2011 * Finalist Allbooks Editor’s Choice Awards 2011 * Preditors&Editors Top 10 Finalist * Yolanda Renée's Top Ten Books 2008* MYSHELF Top Ten Reads 2008 * Writer’s Digest Top 101 Website Award 2009-2012
Contact Aaron at aaron(dot)lazar(at)yahoo.com.
Voodoo Summer (LeGarde Mysteries Book 11)
Available now at Amazon.com
Every family has its secrets…
Summer, 1966: For thirteen-year-old Gus LeGarde, summertime always means Loon Harbor, his grandparents’ idyllic fishing resort on Great Pond. The season is a grand tradition of swimming, boating, and new adventures with his best friends, twins Siegfried and Elsbeth. But this summer, everything changes when a new lodge down the shore threatens the resort—and triggers a chain of events that will transform Gus and his friends forever.
Pre-order The Seacroft.
The Seacroft: a love story (Paines Creek Beach Book 2)
1, Aaron Paul Lazar - Amazon.com
Falling for the wrong guy can be hazardous to your heart. Vivian Wood is desperate. After her beloved brother dies of a sudden aneurism and her mother develops Alzheimer’s, she needs a good job and a place to stay. She finds it at The Seacroft, a Cape Cod seaside mansion ruled by ...
Books by multi-award winning, Kindle bestselling author, Aaron Lazar:
DOUBLE FORTÉ (print, eBook, audio book)
UPSTAGED (print, eBook, audio book)
TREMOLO: CRY OF THE LOON (print, eBook, audio book)
MAZURKA (print, eBook, audio book)
FIRESONG (print, eBook, audio book)
DON’T LET THE WIND CATCH YOU (print, eBook, audio book)
THE LIARS’ GALLERY (print, eBook, audio book)
SPIRIT ME AWAY (print, eBook, audio book)
UNDER THE ICE: COUNTERPOINT (coming soon 2015)
LADY BLUES (print, eBook, audio book)
HEALEY'S CAVE (print, eBook, audio book)
TERROR COMES KNOCKING (print, eBook, audio book)
FOR KEEPS (print, eBook, audio book)
TALL PINES MYSTERIES
FOR THE BIRDS (print, eBook, audio book)
ESSENTIALLY YOURS (print, eBook, audio book)
SANCTUARY (print, eBook, audio book)
BETRAYAL (print, eBook, audio book)
THE SEACREST (print, eBook, and audio book)
DEVIL’S LAKE (print, eBook, and audio book)
DEVIL’S CREEK (coming soon)
by Aaron Paul Lazar, author of the LeGarde Mystery Series.
Illustration © 2006 GinELF
Excerpt from Write Like the Wind Volume 2 by Aaron Paul Lazar.
"Blogging – what’s the big deal?" Copyright © 2016 Aaron Paul Lazar. All rights reserved.
Excerpt from Write Like the Wind volume 2 by Aaron Paul Lazar. Re-printed by permission of the author.
Blogging – what’s the big deal?
I'd just finished my sixth book in May, 2005 when Bob Burdick surprised me by asking for an article for his book-lovers' website. "Just tell us about your writer's life, how you manage to work and write at the same time. Tell us about the person you are, and how it all fits together.
I'd never really written much more than fiction, emails, and tech reports at work. And I wasn't sure how to begin. So, as I normally do, I just started writing.
I think back to that day as the unleashing of a whole different type of writing. This was personal, easy-to-read, and fun writing. Sort of like emailing one of my readers, or speaking one-on-one to a newbie writer who approached me for advice at a book signing.
At the time, I didn't think of it as blogging, per se. I didn't really know what a blog was back then. So I called the torrent of mini-essays that ensued "Seedlings" columns. I thought of them as "little seeds of ideas that sprouted in my brain while driving to work or before falling asleep. Not enough to flesh out into novels, by any means, but insistent enough to require capturing, all the same." And thus it began.
A Blog by Any Other Name...
Since 2005, I've written over two hundred and forty articles and reviews. These pieces range from 500 to 1500 words, and cover topics like writing tips and advice, a writer's life, book reviews, promotional tips, slices of life, etc. I keep a spreadsheet that lets me track where and when I've posted or guest-posted, and the list has grown dramatically. (And that’s where this three-volume series of writing articles came from, of course.)
Writers need to establish personal blogs to help promote their work, network with readers and writers, and provide a home for their articles. But that's not really enough, these days. It's also a good idea to become a featured author on a regularly published list of journals, group blogs, social media sites, and so forth. For example, my pieces have historically been published monthly on sites like the Future Mystery Anthology Magazine, and The Voice in the Dark Literary Journal.
I also post weekly at a collaborative blog with three other mystery writers:
Every week, I write a piece for Murderby4, then post it on my personal blog, and copy or link it to my favorite social media sites, like Facebook and Google Plus. I’m sure there are many more posting opportunities out there, and I'm sure you can find your own assortment of websites to post your blog pieces in addition to your personal writer's blog. The message here is to take advantage of the time you spend on these articles, and populate them all over to get expanded coverage.
For each of my posts, I tweet the article by simply clicking on the small Twitter icon at the bottom of each piece. I add keywords and hashtags to the canned pre-tweet, and often add "Plz RT," to the end, which signals my pals on Twitter to re-tweet the link to their followers. In order not to overwhelm my friends on Facebook, I generally post a link to that site just once, linking to Murderby4, where many folks add their comments and their observations about the topic of the day.
I also keep a list of subjects I want to write about so I don't run out of ideas. Don't get me wrong—sometimes I come up empty-handed. It's hard to have a column ready every week, never mind while keeping up with the current WIP (work in progress). I don't know how those newspaper columnists do it.
Why Blog? (I Just Wanna Write!)
Why do we do this? What's the benefit? And how can we justify taking time away from our "real" writing to create these blogs?
First of all, it's about connecting with people; connecting on a deep down, personal level. If you can relate to your readers, they might wander over to see what else you've written. Perhaps they'll check out your books. And maybe even buy some. More often than not, however, you'll find the benefit of blogging is a gateway to meeting wonderful people who often are in your position. These writers may have their own blogs, may be looking for guest posts, just like you. Little by little, by sharing, networking, and helping each other, you can all gain more exposure to readers and blog followers by holding hands and posting each other's pieces. There's a lot of synergy in that model. And eventually, assuming your books are good, you'll start to grow a nice audience for your work.
Of course, you also want to offer something of value to your followers. In addition to hopefully entertaining them, giving them a bit of a laugh from time to time, and offering the benefit of your own observations and experience, you want to help them on their own journey. Be open to newbie writers who have never written a blog in their life. Offer to showcase their new book. Ask folks whose books you've read to guest blog for you. You'll be surprised how many of the best-selling authors respond and appreciate the option of reposting their blogs on your site. Always be willing to pay it forward, and offer freebies off and on like contests where folks can win a copy of your eBooks or print books. You can host other authors’ giveaways—that's always a treat for readers—but be sure you don't make the conditions for winning too hard, like forcing them to search your website for clues. That never works. (I’ve tried it.) Usually I just ask someone to comment on the article to be eligible to win. Simple and effective.
The Rules of the Game
My version of blogging doesn't necessarily meet all the "rule of thumb" advice I've stumbled over in the past. I've sometimes read that blogs should be "short and sweet", that you should blog every day, and that if you write something longer than five hundred words, people lose interest. I'm not so sure about all that.
So, I don't follow those rules, and in the course of letting myself navigate through this maze with my own instincts, I've managed to create a pretty decent platform. The last time I googled my name, I got over 4,000 hits, mostly from the articles I've written. I've tried to help writers by sharing advice and tips, and have connected on a deep level with so many wonderful folks, not limited to writers or readers. It's been a good run, and I'm grateful for all the people I've met through this process.
How to Get Started
Don't let this scare you if you haven't ever blogged or are just about to release your first novel. It's a learning process that comes with time.
Start with your own blog. Gather up your book cover images, a headshot if you like, and links you might want to add to the side bar. If you already have books to sell, sign up for Amazon Associates and get your product links. You can also create mini-slideshows where you feature your own book covers. (It's really easy to copy the code from Amazon Associates onto your own blog sidebar)
Blogs are fairly easy and intuitive to create, using a platform like Blogger or WordPress. Usually it's free, too.
Once you have your template in place with photos and links, etc., then it's time to write something. There's no wrong topic with which to begin. Talk about yourself a little, if you wish. Pick a subject you're wondering about in the literary world. Or offer a chapter from your book(s). (Tip—make sure you have your publisher's approval before you publish more than a blurb from your own work—check your book contract.)
How to Get Followers
Some blogs go a long time without any official followers. And that's okay. You can check your stats to see how many hits you've had. Just keep writing, check out other blogs, and comment/follow them if they suit your interests. Then you can invite folks back to read your blog, and the whole process begins.
It's really easy to get so caught up in the promotion of your work that your available writing time for your WIP almost disappears. Try to get on a schedule. You need to balance this aspect of your marketing plan with the time to actually create more products to market. It can be a challenge.
Aaron Paul Lazar
WRITE LIKE THE WIND, volumes 1, 2, 3 (audio books)
Aaron Paul Lazar writes to soothe his soul. An award-winning, bestselling Kindle author of three addictive mystery series, thrillers, love stories, and writing guides, Aaron enjoys the Genesee Valley countryside in upstate New York, where his characters embrace life, play with their dogs and grandkids, grow sumptuous gardens, and chase bad guys. Visit his website at http://www.lazarbooks.com and watch for his upcoming releases, UNDER THE ICE (2015) and DEVIL’S CREEK (2015). Aaron has won over 18 book awards for his novels and finds writing to be his form of "cheap therapy." Feel free to connect with him on Facebook or his website; he loves to connect with readers!