Okay, I shouldn’t say “ghost”, since the site’s healthy and strong and not going anywhere! But it’s still the Christmas season and I couldn’t help myself…
I don’t think any of us expected the site to grow and flourish the way it has. As David told you yesterday, we expanded from four people posting once a week to nine regulars on a schedule, with guest appearances from writers across the world. It came about because we realized we had more people reading what we were writing and we were scrambling to come up with great content. So the family of Magical Words happened because of you, our readers. Thank you for that!
At the beginning, we told everyone we could about the site, just so we could get someone (anyone!) to notice. I cross-posted on Facebook and Livejournal, doing my best to drive people toward Magical Words. If you’ve ever seen me at a con, I always make a point of mentioning that I’m a blogger on Magical Words, and I’ll give the Glare of Shame to any of my cohorts on a panel who forget to mention it themselves. *laughs* It’s a habit from the early days, when no one had checked out the site. It’s probably not so important any more – as of today, we have in excess of 47,000 subscribers. Even though all those people don’t comment (and thank heaven they don’t, because I’d still be answering posts from 2011 otherwise), they’re still there. They read what we write, and they tell other people, too. I can’t begin to recall all the times I’ve talked to someone who lurks on the site. I’ve even run into a couple of people at the library who, not realizing who I am, find out I’m a writer and recommend the site to me. Talk about weird!
But that’s not the only thing that’s happened to us, thanks to the blog. Influential sites like SFSignal have linked to our posts time and again, which has resulted in all of us being invited to provide content on other blogs. Other writers have approached us, asking to be guests on our site, because they recognize that we can help them be heard as well. We’ve been invited to cons to present seminars as the Magical Words team, seminars that ended up being standing-room-only (believe me, it was a little terrifying to look out from the table and realize people were still trying to push in from the hallway.) We’re preparing to run our very first intensive, hands-on writing workshop in the summer of 2014 (more information as it becomes available.) The only reason all of this has happened was because con-runners saw our blog and knew we would deliver what we promised, and the reason anyone saw our blog at all is because of our readers.
It’s vital to promote yourself in you want to succeed in this business these days. Publishers just don’t have the time or cash to push each and every author as hard as they’d probably like to, so the less-than-million-selling authors lose out to the Steven Kings and J K Rowlings. We had no idea how beneficial this site was going to be to us, and we all hope that the thoughts, dreams, suggestions and occasional wisdom we’ve shared here have been helpful to all of you. And as the new year comes on, I hope that you’ll all continue to come here for wonderful content and fun. We have something pretty neat planned for 2014, and we’re very excited about it! I’m dying to tell you right this second, but it’s still 2013 for a few hours more, so you’ll just have to wait until Faith’s post tomorrow.
For now, then, raise your glasses, no matter what you’re drinking. It’s been an incredible year, and we’re looking forward to an even better one to come. Happy New Year to all!