20 Ways to Populate Your Blog to Engage Readers by Donna Galanti

20 Ways to Populate Your Blog to Engage Readers + a Special Promo to Launch Your Author Platform

by Donna Galanti – founder YourAwesomeAuthorLife


If you share your publishing journey and writer’s life now to connect with readers, they can become your built-in audience later once your book comes out – and faithfully follow you as you publish more books.

Blogging is an ideal way to connect with these potential readers. It can boost your website in search engines as you continue to post more content within it, encourages sharing of your content across social media platforms, and invites readers to engage with you in your own forum.

Here is the number one key I have found to engaging your readers through blogging: blog about what you are passionate about.

Check out 20 ways to engage readers:

  1. Conduct interviews with characters in your book.
  2. Do joint giveaways with other authors.
  3. Share favorite current books you’ve read and feature them.
  4. Write about your thoughts on topics in your book.
  5. Share your book research process.
  6. Share your publishing journey.
  7. Do an interview with similar authors to you.
  8. Share fun book trailers in your genre.
  9. Create a soundtrack for your book and share it.
  10. Clean out your bookshelves with books in your genre and do a book giveaway post.
  11. Write about a current event topic that you are passionate about or inspires debate (but decide how controversial you want to go).
  12. Feature the settings in your book. Are they real places? Use photos, too.
  13. Write a How-To post that explains how to do something related to being an author.
  14. Interview other authors in your genre or invite them to write a guest post on a topic of interest.
  15. Do an opinion post about a topic that is trending.
  16. Promote the peers who have influenced you most in your writing.
  17. Review things in the story-telling arena like books, movies, theater and especially ones that are timely in the media.
  18. Create a round-up of favorite authors, blogs, movies, or books that might interest your readers. Or it could be a roundup of your most popular posts since you began your blog.
  19. Take a survey of your audience on a topic of debate that may be an issue in your book.
  20. Give advice on how to do something your readers will be interested in.


If you’re a debut author, search online for “debut author” and the “year your book comes out”. You could find a debut author group to join that cross-promotes each other as debuts and helps you gain new followers. Often, these groups have a co-op blog where all the debut members can share content. Here’s a recent example. You can also search Goodreads for books in your genre/audience with your same book release year and reach out to these authors to connect and form your own debut promotion group.

Another way to go the extra mile, is blogging with more “evergreen” topics. These are topics that remain relevant over time and inspire readers to continue to share your posts with this timeless content.

Your homework! Time to get out the pens (or laptops):

  • List authors you know or want to connect to and invite them as a guest on your blog in an interview or guest post and feature their recent release.
  • Look through your bookshelf and list like-new books that you can use as a giveaway. Make sure they are in the genre and audience you write for.
  • List topics, themes, and issues in your book that you can write about.
  • List authors you know that you could reach out to do a joint giveaway with to cross promote each other and build best-fit followers. One way is to join a blog hop to expand your followers. Here’s another joint giveaway example I did that had 12,770 entries and gained me several hundred followers across my subscriber list and social media platforms.
  • What are some recent favorite reads, movies, or T.V. shows you’ve experienced? List them here to share your reviews.
  • What are some current news items connected to your book that you could talk about? List them.
  • What research did you conduct for your book? Talk about how you did it (travel, interviews, etc.)
  • List any real settings in your book you can talk about and share your personal experience of them in person along with photos.
  • What do you feel comfortable sharing about your writing and publishing journey? List these topics here.

Now, it’s time to start blogging and sharing your writer’s journey with your readers!


Want to know more about how to connect with a reader audience?

Donna released her new online course this week, Launch Your Author Brand & Platform, a 10-Step Author Marketing System to Build Brand, Connect with Readers, and Sell Books. In this step-by-step marketing system, you will learn exactly how to plan, create, and launch your successful author brand and platform – even before your first book comes out.

There are no prerequisites to this course! This course is designed for debut authors, new authors looking to boost their platform, or any writer seeking publication. Normally $129.99 USD, Donna is offering readers here a special course launch discount of only $19.99 USD! Get the full course details and special price here.

What’s included in Launch Your Author Brand & Platform:

10 Step-By-Step Lessons

15+ Awesome Bonuses (video and downloadable PDFs)

7 “Bigger Than a Bonus” Meet the Experts (insider secrets to success from the Masters – other authors!) training on goodies like do’s and don’ts for new authors, agent advice, book club visits, public speaking and more

Each lesson includes Rookie Mistakes to Avoid, Myth Busters, and How to Go the Extra Mile!

The $19.99 USD price is limited to the first 250 students to enroll. Expires May 28, 2019. Enroll now.

About Donna:

Donna Galanti is the author of the middle grade adventure Joshua and The Lightning Road, which the Midwest Book Review called, “A heart-pounding thrill ride full of unexpected twists and turns from start to finish”. She’s also the author of the follow up, Joshua and the Arrow Realm, is a contributing editor for International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill magazine, and a writing contest judge at nycmidnight.com.

She regularly presents as a guest author at schools and teaches at writing conferences on marketing and craft. When she’s not writing you can find her on Twitter or Facebook where she loves to share all things about her outdoor adventures and children’s books. Donna has lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer, and has had a long career in corporate marketing. Visit her at donnagalanti.comor yourawesomeauthorlife.com.


11 Steps to Find and Connect with Other Authors in Your Genre #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

Nano Blog and Social Media Hop2Thank you, Raimey Gallant for organizing the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop.

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.

To continue hopping through other great blogs in the monthly #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join, just hop on over to Ramey Gallant!

This week, I’ve chosen to do something a little special for everyone.

Even before you publish your first book, building an online network will help you when the exciting moment of releasing your novel to the world arrives.


Today, Donna Galanti, an expert in building a network for authors, is here to share her advice and she has a very generous offer for you (you can find it at the bottom of post).

11 Steps to Find and Connect with Other Authors in Your Genre

-by Donna Galanti

I’ve befriended many bestselling authors, online and in person, who want to help new writers. They’ve advised me, allowed me to guest post on their blogs, and have written blurbs for my work. They pay it forward. Someday you will too.

Remember, this is all about community and you are an author (or will be!) and you need to surround yourself with your author community. You are a member of the party now. And every party needs people to make it successful! 😊

Act respectful, professional, and positive in your reaching out to other authors and they will reciprocate. These people can be your biggest influencers when it comes to industry advice and connections with agents, editors, and publishers.

First — how to FIND Comparable Authors

1. Start with authors you are familiar with in your genre and connect online and in-person.

2. Conduct research to find other successful authors in your genre. Create a list from this and research these authors to connect with online.

3. Are you a debut author? Connect with other debut authors. Search online for “debut authors” and the year your book releases, plus “your genre,” to locate comparable debuts. On Goodreads, search in Lists for debut books by year and genre to match yours.

4. Go to the Amazon page of a similar author in your genre. Click on their books and scroll down the page to see books readers also bought like theirs. Hop on over to those book pages and check out those authors to see if a good fit for you to connect with as well.

Second — How to CONNECT with Comparable Authors

5. Add new author connections to a special private Twitter list called “Comparable Authors” and connect with them there on a regular basis and give them a shout out.

6. Engage on their Facebook author pages with useful, positive comments. Share their posts to your audience.

7. Comment on their blog posts with a useful remark or refer to something that you connected with in their post. This is a helpful tactic to draw the author and their followers into a conversation there, and they may connect back to your website and follow you online.

8. Connect via a conference, book event, or convention. In connecting with authors online, check out their events page to see what events they may be attending in person. Are any local to you or ones you have an interest in also attending? Be sure to connect in person at the event. Share why you love their books or follow their blog. Ask them a question that shows you’re interested in their work or ask for their best bit of advice for new authors on how to build a reader audience. Email them or post on social media after the event, letting them know you enjoyed meeting them and thank them for their time.

9. Ask the authors you engage with to guest blog on your blog. Authors love to be interviewed and provide guest posts, if they have time. It’s exposure for them and you — and content for your website!

10. Ask if YOU can guest blog on their blog and pitch an article idea that fits their audience (most folks love content for their blog!). I’ve had authors on group blogs ask me to fill in their monthly date spot if they are too busy, like The Kill Zone and Jungle Red Writers.

11. Join a group of debut authors. Start your own group if none! A book marketing collective is a strong way to help boost other authors and your own books. There is power in numbers. Banding with similar authors is a wonderful way to reach potential new readers while building a writer community as a resource

Be Sure to Avoid This Rookie Mistake:

Spamming an author’s Facebook wall and tagging them with your book or other promotion.

Go the Extra Mile:

Reach out to co-author blogs in your genre and ask if they are accepting new members as well as guest posts.

Banding with similar authors is a wonderful way to reach potential new readers while building a writer community as a resource.

Have you banded with other authors to build your influencer network? What worked for you? What are you willing to try that you haven’t done yet?

About Donna:

Donna Galanti is the author of the bestselling paranormal suspense Element Trilogy and the children’s fantasy adventure Joshua and The Lightning Roadseries. She is represented by Bill Contardi of Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents, Inc. Donna is a contributing editor for International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill magazine and regularly presents as a guest author at schools. She’s lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. Donna has long been a leader in the Mid-Atlantic writing scene as a workshop presenter. She’s taught on writing craft and marketing at writing conferences, retreats, regional writing organizations, and colleges and is also a writing contest judge at nycmidnight.com. Donna also loves teaching writers about building author brand and platform through her free training series at yourawesomeauthorlife.com. Visit her author website at donnagalanti.com

Special Promotion For Writers!:

Donna is offering a special deal just for Fictionary readers. Get 50% off Donna’s online course, Create Your Awesome Community for Debut Authors. Are you a debut novelist or a writer seeking publication? Then this course is perfect for you.

Create Your Awesome Community for Debut Authors (CYAC) is Donna’s proven complete step-by-step system designed to take you by the hand (as in step 1, step 2, step 3) to create community by connecting and collaborating with readers and writers for author platform and brand success. Reach more readers and sell more books! No ambiguity or confusion. Literally, step-by-step nothing is left out.

Create Your Awesome Community for Debut Authors includes instant access to:

  • Kick Butt Step-By-Step Modules
  • 15 Awesome Bonuses
  • 7 “Bigger Than a Bonus” Meet the Experts (insider secrets to success from the Masters!)
  • Lifetime access and login 24/7 (it is all digital + downloadable so you can log in to access the content and download the course and take it with you on the go)

For all the course details, including a peek in-depth into each module and bonus, and to take advantage of this 50% off special deal visit:https://www.createyourawesomecommunity.com/special

Why not check out Fictionary’s free 14-day trial and turn your draft into a story readers love?

Mind Control: Would You If You Could? by author Donna Galanti

I very curious how you answer the question, “Would You If You Could?” Donna Galanti is making us think today, so let’s hear you thoughts!

As a hidden gift…check below for your holiday sale.

Mind Control: Would You If You Could?
by Donna Galanti

In my paranormal suspense novel, A Hidden Element, mind control is used by the Elyon cult community to get what they want – and its power can be taken away through punishment.

Yet, even while the Elyon community uses mind control to commit theft and murder they have strict rules about it being used on their own people. They know that uncontrolled use of it will lead to the very destruction of their community and the breakdown of rules.

The mission of a small “elite” group to control the masses is nothing new, in fiction or real life.

Dean Koontz uses mind control in his book Night Chills. By using a single phrase, the antagonist can force innocent people into a hypnotic state to do whatever he wants. Even scarier is that this technique was created through an experimental government program.

And the very real CIA’s MK-Ultra mind control program from 1953 to 1964 was a government program that conducted a series of covert experiments carried out on unwitting subjects with the aim of producing mind-control techniques. In 1973 the then director of the CIA destroyed nearly all of the MK-Ultra’s records. Perhaps most disturbing of all was the fact that the extent of experimentation on human subjects was unknown.

What if this happened to you, an “unwitting subject”? Would you just wake up missing time with no recollection of what you did during that missing time? Have you ever had missing time that you couldn’t account for? I have. Once I lost two hours of time. I was in my car to go shopping and when I looked two hours had passed and I had missed an appointment. I often wonder where did that time go? Did aliens kidnap me for an experiment? Was a government experiment conducted on me without my consent? Silly to think, but is it really?

In 1978 I was just nine years old and simultaneously horrified and fascinated by the story of Jim Jones in the news that shocked the world. Jones was best known for the mass suicide over 900 of his cult’s members in Jonestown, Guyana, by cyanide poisoning and the murder of five individuals at a nearby airstrip, including Congressman Leo Ryan.

As a child and now as an adult, I still can’t comprehend how so many could follow one man to their death. Yet, none of us are immune to mind control techniques. Peer pressure, hypnosis, sleep deprivation, fear, financial commitment, guilt, and isolation are just some ways we can be controlled to become people we never thought we might be. Here’s a post on mind control basics that details just how easy it can be.

Sadly, I know there will be more Jim Jones stories to come along. For as long as humans pursue power over the masses, mind control will be conducted by those who study human behavior in order to bend large populations to the will of a small “elite” group.

In writing about mind control in A Hidden Element, I tried to find my own way to explain how this could lead someone to do the unthinkable when presented with the choices before them.

Do you believe in mind control? And would you control others if you could do it?


ElementTrilogy.com (2)

Evil lurks within…
When Caleb Madroc is used against his will as part of his father’s plan to breed a secret community and infiltrate society with their unique powers, he vows to save his oppressed people and the two children kept from him. Seven years later, Laura and Ben Fieldstone’s son is abducted, and they are forced to trust a madman’s son who puts his life on the line to save them all. The enemy’s desire to own them—or destroy them—leads to a survival showdown. Laura and Ben must risk everything to defeat a new nemesis that wants to rule the world with their son, and Caleb may be their only hope—if he survives. But must he sacrifice what he most desires to do so?


“Chilling and dark…a twisty journey into another world.” —J.T. Ellison, New York Times bestselling author of When Shadows Fall

“Unrelenting, devious but full of heart.”—Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author

“Chilling suspense. A dark and haunting novel. Enjoy the ride.” —Kindle Book Review


Donna Galanti is the author of the paranormal suspense Element Trilogy (Imajin Books) and the children’s fantasy adventure Joshua and The Lightning Road series (Month9Books). She is a contributing editor for International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill magazine. Donna has lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. She enjoys teaching at conferences on the writing craft and marketing and also presenting as a guest author at elementary and middle schools. Visit her at www.elementtrilogy.com and www.donnagalanti.com. For tips on building your author platform, visit Donna here: www.yourawesomeauthorlife.com



Purchase Book 1 in the Element Trilogy, A Human Element: mybook.to/AHumanElement
$0.99cents on Kindle NOW through 1/7/18!
Purchase Book 2 in the Element Trilogy, A Hidden Element: myBook.to/AHiddenElement
$1.99 Sale on Kindle 12/15/17 – 1/7/18

Free Video Training For First-Time Authors

Screen Shot 2017-11-07 at 6.56.18 AMIf you have your first book coming out or trying to get published, check out this free video training series on building author platform by my friend Donna!

She helps you discover how to connect with your ideal-readers, understand the rookie mistakes to avoid wasting time, money, and missed opportunities PLUS learn how to present with confidence with public speaking!



Win a $350 Author Website Critique and 1-hour Ask-Donna-Anything Consult Package!

I couldn’t help but share this wonderful opportunity for all authors who are building their online platform and looking to improve it.

Donna has helped me enormously over the last few years, and I know she can help you too!

DonnaGalantiDonna Galanti is an Author, Speaker, and Book Marketing Consultant!

Learn the strengths and weakness of your online presence and ask Donna anything face-to-face!

Receive an evaluation on your website’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as ways to improve your website based on your strategic goals for optimal online communication. Plus ask me anything about author platform, author branding, or book marketing in a 1-hour Skype call!

I’ve done a Skype call with Donna, so I know how wonderful she is to talk to. Very supportive, positive, and truly wants to help.

But how to do you find out more?

The contest runs from 9/20 – 9/27.

So head on over to Donna’s site and enter.

Good luck!

Guest Post: Donna Galanti with 7 Reasons to Join Genre-Based Writing Orgs

Why you should join a genre-based writing organization
by Donna Galanti



Joining a genre-based writer organization can be key for any author.

There are many big genre categories for writers such as science fiction and fantasy, westerns, romance, horror, and mysteries. Do you write in one or more than one of these?

Take the time to research writing organizations in your genre(s) that provide representation for writers in that particular line of fiction. They provide many member benefits that can be extremely helpful to new and veteran writers. Before joining any writer’s organization, be sure to ask questions to ensure that the group is a good fit for you.

Not published yet? There are usually levels of membership based on published and unpublished, but all may have the same benefits. There can also be an annual fee. Why pay this if you write in one of these genres?

Benefits of joining a genre-based writing organization:

Private forums. In these you can ask advice of members on areas of craft, publishing, marketing, and book contracts.

Networking opportunities. These can be offered through local chapters, national meetings, conventions, and conferences.

Mentor program opportunities. You could be paired with an established author in your genre as a guide.

Strengthens your resume. Being a member of a genre-organization beefs up your author bio and shows you are serious about your author career.

Writing awards. Many genre-based writing organizations have prestigious writing awards that novelists can apply to win.

Member-only anthologies. These are great opportunities to submit short works and have the chance to be published alongside major authors.

Go the Extra Mile: Volunteer within an organization!

This is a great way to engage with editors, agents, publishers, writers, and veteran authors.

How? Volunteer to help at the organization’s affiliated conference, do social media, conduct interviews, do public relations, or work in recruitment. Think about where your talents lie and how you can benefit the organization.

My first volunteer role was within International Thriller Writers (ITW ) where I did social media for ITW’s debut authors. For several years now I’ve transitioned to the role as a contributing editor for ITW’s Big Thrill monthly magazine.

With both roles, I’ve had the chance to interview and meet many authors from debut to established, and most importantly – build connections. Many of these authors have blurbed my books, been guests on my blog, asked me to be a guest on their blog, advised me in my author career, been guests on my Facebook book launch parties – and more!

Writing can be a lonely profession and writer organizations give writers a chance to join with others who share common goals and experiences. I hope you can see the many benefits of joining a genre-based writing organization. Not only can it help build your author platform but it can also be a great community resource.

For more tips on building your author platform, check out my 4 proven steps to connecting with readers before your first book even comes out.

Element Triliogy twitter1
Donna Galanti
 is the author of the paranormal suspense Element Trilogy (Imajin Books) and the children’s fantasy adventure Joshua and The Lightning Road series (Month9Books). She is a contributing editor for International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill magazine and blogs with other middle grade authors at Project Middle Grade Mayhem. Donna has lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. She enjoys teaching at conferences on the writing craft and marketing and also presenting as a guest author at elementary and middle schools. Visit her at www.elementtrilogy.com and www.donnagalanti.com. She can also be found on TwitterInstagram, Facebook, and Goodreads.

For Authors: Find Best-Fit Book Reviewers (And Deal with Bad Ones!)

I found some great advice out there today that I thought you might benefit from. Donna Galanti is not only an awesome author of horror and young adult novels, she’s an expert on building a social media network

Posted from Donna Galanti’s blog:


For Authors: Find Best-Fit Book Reviewers (And Deal with Bad Ones!)

It’s a funny thing once your book is published. People you don’t know are reading it and reviewing it. Some reviews will be good. Some will be conflicting. Some may be bad. Here’s my take on what you can do as authors in response to bad reviews and also how to find best fit reviewers.

But first, you can also check out my free cheat sheet on 4 proven steps to connect with those best-fit readers even before your first book comes out! For advice on reviews read on…

Source: For Authors: Find Best-Fit Book Reviewers (And Deal with Bad Ones!)

A HUMAN ELEMENT by Donna Galanti: Introducing The Audio Book Edition

It is with great excitement that I’m participating in Donna Galanti’s audio book tour. A Human Element is narrated by Chase Bradley, and will give you 10 hours and 8 minutes of thrilling listening time.

I read A Human Element and loved it, so I’m now looking forward to listening to the book.

Listen to this excerpt and you’ll be excited to buy the audio book!

About the Audiobook


Synopsis: Evil comes in many forms…
A Human Element 3D
One by one, Laura Armstrong’s friends and adoptive family members are being murdered, and despite her unique healing powers, she can do nothing to stop it. The savage killer haunts her dreams, tormenting her with the promise that she is next.
Determined to find the killer, she follows her visions to the site of a crashed meteorite in her hometown. There, she meets Ben Fieldstone, who seeks answers about his parents’ death the night the meteorite struck. In a race to stop a madman, they unravel a frightening secret that binds them together.
But the killer’s desire to destroy Laura face-to-face leads to a showdown that puts Laura and Ben’s emotional relationship and Laura’s pure spirit to the test. With the killer closing in, Laura discovers her destiny is linked to his, and she has two choices—redeem him or kill him.


Length: 10h 8m

Publisher: Auspicious Apparatus Press⎮2017

Genre: Science Fiction/Thriller

Release date: Jan. 10, 2017

 About the Author: Donna Galanti

Galanti, Donna 2

Donna Galanti is the author of the paranormal suspense Element Trilogy (Imajin Books) and the children’s fantasy adventure Joshua and The Lightning Road series (Month9Books). Donna is a contributing editor for International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill magazine and blogs with other middle grade authors at Project Middle Grade Mayhem. She’s lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. Donna enjoys teaching at conferences on the writing craft and marketing and also presenting as a guest author at elementary and middle schools. Visit her at http://www.elementtrilogy.com and http://www.donnagalanti.com.


About the Narrator: Chase Bradley

ChaseBradleyBioChase was born and raised in a quiet town in upstate New York. He concentrated on musical pursuits through most of his younger years, excelling in anything that had to do with using his voice. He attended college in Potsdam, NY, where he studied Wilderness Leadership, Sociology and Vocal training at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. Chase’s dream since he was a kid was to be a voice over artist and professional musician, but after college he decided to spread his wings and explore the world a bit first. He worked as a mountain guide in Alaska, leading Ice Climbing, Mountaineering, and Backpacking trips. He traveled all over North and South America for work and and pleasure, climbing and skiing everything that stood in his way. After meeting a beautiful woman (in Alaska of all places!) and falling in love, he settled down in Lake Tahoe California, where he currently resides with his wife and two children. Chase has finally returned to his roots and works as a full time voice over artist, and plays weekly shows with his band. Things have come full circle, and the dream has been fulfilled. Chase does commercial voice over work, but has found that his true passion is narrating audiobooks. He has narrated 14 audiobooks to date, with more to come! Chase is constantly looking for ways to improve his narration, and deliver the best possible performance for the authors and listeners.







What’s the #1 thing to know about connecting to readers and writers BEFORE your 1st book debuts?

I’m excited to hear Donna Galanti is going offer a course called Create Your Own Awesome Community. 

I thought my readers might like to know about it…

From Donna Galanti:

Are you a debut author who wants to learn how to create an influencing community of readers and writers for success before your book even comes out? Ask me the #1 burning question you have about it…

Source: What’s the #1 thing to know about connecting to readers and writers BEFORE your 1st book debuts? – Donna Galanti – mystery, magic and mayhem for all ages

Reblog: Love mystery, romance & thrillers? Get 4 great books for free!


Reblogged from Donna Galanti:

This week my publisher, Imajin Books, has put four great books up for free on Kindle, including A HUMAN ELEMENT! Like mystery, romance and thrills? Then check them all out and load up on reading! ENDS TODAY.


PLUS, for a limited time somewhere in each of these books is a hidden “Easter Egg,” a link to 3 FREE novellas by 3 bestselling authors. Happy reading and hunting!


If you haven’t had a chance to read A HUMAN ELEMENT grab this now while you can…..

Too read the rest… DONNA GALANTI