The #AuthorToolboxBlogHop, beginning April 19, 2017, is 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.
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 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 take away 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? Go nuts. 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. 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! Starting April 19, 2017, the blog hop will take place the third Wednesday of every month (with a reminder email sent a week prior), and we will take December off (because we can.) For your convenience, there is a calendar below that highlights the 2017 hop dates. You have to post the first third Wednesday after which you sign up, and you can skip one month per calendar year (in addition to December.) If you miss the first month or skip more than a month per calendar year after that, you will be removed from the hop. Not to worry though, if you want to re-add yourself, please do. 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 the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop post might not always be at the top, so scroll back a few to make sure you don’t miss it, as some participants have busy blogging schedules.
4. Commenting: On the day of the hop, please visit and comment on at least 10 other blogs in the hop. Remember that the more comments you give; the more you will receive. In the days following the hop, please also make sure that for every participant who comments on your blog, you add a comment to their blog in return. The only exception is if you feel morally or ethically unable to do so. 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. To make it easier for participants to return your comment, a useful tip is to leave your URL in the comment.
5. Inappropriate Content: This is a safe space of learning and engagement. If I am made aware that the content of your website is discriminatory or xenophobic, you will be removed from the hop. You will not be removed if your content promotes healthy discussion of topics such as diversity, privilege or cultural appropriation.
6. Permitted self-promotion: Non-lengthy self-promotion is permitted at the end of the blog hop posts, whether it be to announce the release of your novel or to recruit beta readers, whatever your needs at the time of posting may be.
7. Include Hop Name in Post Title: Your posts need to include #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or ‘Author Toolbox Blog Hop’ or ‘Author Toolbox’ in the title. You don’t have to include the hashtag when posting to social media, but I recommend it. That way, we can like/repost each other’s posts. I know the hashtag is long, but it will help people find your blog via search engines and attract new participants to the hop.
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 post your blog on social media if there is an image.
9. No Sign-ups for Content: The content of the blog hop posts, including any free templates, must be made available without requiring a newsletter sign-up for access.
Once you add your details to the form below the calendar, they will auto-magically appear on the list of participants, which is currently at the bottom 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 into 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, 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’ll try to do at least once a week. This will make things easier to view on tiny mobile screens.