After almost four years, I’ve decided to put the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop on hold. The post below is as it last appeared before we went on hiatus on January 13, 2021.
Welcome to the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop! It’s a monthly event on the topic of resources and learning for authors. Feel free to hop around to the various blogs and see what you learn! The rules and sign-up form are below the list of hop participants. All authors at all stages of their careers are welcome to join. Non-writing publishing peeps (editors, book-marketing specialists, book-cover designers, picture-book illustrators, etc.) are welcome, too.
1. Theme: this is a monthly blog hop on the theme of resources/learning for authors: posts related to the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, blogging and social media tips for authors, reviews of author-related products, anything that an author would find helpful. Sharing of your experiences as it relates to these topics is encouraged but straight journaling with no takeaway for authors is not what this hop is about. Can you post genre-specific content? Absolutely. You have an idea for a post that doesn’t fit the parameters I’ve outlined, but you feel in your heart of hearts that authors would benefit from reading it? Awesome. Interviews are also permitted as long as they provide valuable knowledge for authors (i.e. advice.) Straight book reviews are not permitted unless they are reviews of books about writing/publishing/etc.
2. The who: all authors at all stages of their careers are welcome to participate. Non-writing publishing peeps (editors, book-marketing specialists, book-cover designers, picture-book illustrators, etc.) are welcome, too. If your website is a joint collaboration with several authors, we’d be happy to have you as well. One blog per participant.
3. The when: mark your calendars! The blog hop is the third Wednesday of every month (with a reminder email sent a week prior,) and we will take November/December off (because we can.) For your convenience, there is a calendar below that highlights the 2020 hop dates. You have to post the first third Wednesday after which you sign up. If you skip more than one month in a row, you will be removed from the hop. Not to worry, though, because all you have to do to rejoin is shoot me an email, and I’ll re-add you as the next available participant number. What about time zones, you ask? Because those in the Eastern Hemisphere have a head start, I suggest everyone get their posts up a day or two early. Have your blogs posted BY the third Wednesday of every month, and that way you won’t miss out on comments from those in the Eastern Hemisphere. Strictly speaking, the Wednesdays of the hop are the commenting/hop days, but get your posts up before that whenever possible. Please note that because some participants have busy blogging schedules, you might have to scroll back through their posts to find their #AuthorToolboxBlogHop.
4. Commenting:on the day of the hop, please visit and comment on at least 5 other blogs in the hop. The more comments you give; the more you’ll receive in return. Either on the day of the hop or in the days following it, please visit all those who commented on your post and add a comment to their post. Exception 1 is if you feel morally or ethically unable to do so. Exception 2 is to recognize that we all have different abilities, and so for the months you’re unable to return comments right away, do so before the next hop date or contact the hop admin. Exception 3 is to recognize that for participants in regions where Internet access is intermittently blocked or interrupted, it might take significantly longer to reciprocate comments. The idea is if everyone is returning comments, you should get as many comments as you gave or close to. If I’m made aware that a participant is generally not following this rule, they will be removed from the hop. Tip 1: to make it easier for participants to return your comment, you can but don’t have to leave your URL in the comment. Tip 2: don’t close comments on your post until at least a month after the hop date. Tip 3: make sure your Gravatar is linked to your website. This makes it easier for WordPress bloggers to find you. Tip 4: add alt text to your images, so that those with screen readers and those with images turned off can understand the context represented by your images.
5. Safe space policy: this is a safe space for learning and engagement. If I am made aware that content on your website, social media, or elsewhere is oppressive, discriminatory, or xenophobic, you will be removed from the hop. We welcome thoughtful, valid, and informed discussion of topics such as inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility, representation, oppression, privilege, or cultural appropriation.
6. Permitted self-promotion: non-lengthy self-promotion is permitted.
7. Include hop name in post title: please include #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or ‘Author Toolbox Blog Hop’ or ‘Author Toolbox’ or some variation in the title, so other participants know which post to click into. You don’t have to include the hashtag when posting to social media, but I recommend it; it’s how we find, like, and repost/retweet each other’s posts around social media.
8. Post must include hop link: the link to this main hop page must be included somewhere in your post. If you prefer cut-and-paste code, here you go. Including the official hop image is optional, but if you don’t have an image for your post, I recommend using it, because posts with images will generate more traffic to your blog from social media sites, and people are more likely to share your blog on social media if there’s an image.
9. No sign-ups for post content: the content of the blog hop posts, including any free templates, must be made available without requiring a newsletter sign-up for access. You can encourage sign-ups for other content, but people have to be able to read your toolbox posts.
Once you add your details to the form below the calendar, they will auto-magically appear on the list of participants at the top of this page (expect a delay of up to an hour.) Your email will not be published and will only be used by me to send you a monthly reminder a week before each hop date. For technical reasons, you have to sign in to your gmail account to complete the Google Form. If you don’t have a gmail account, you’ll have to set a free one up before you can complete the form. When your name appears, it won’t automatically appear next to your number or your personal gender pronouns, and though your link will appear next to your name, your name itself won’t appear as linked until I go in and manually adjust your entry, which I try to do at least twice a month.