Kristen Lamb, reaffirmed in a recent post her long-held belief that author blogs that are about writing do not target the people who will read your books (unless you also write about writing). She maintains authors should blog on topics related to their books to pull the right audience. Wednesday I posted why I strongly agreed with her.
Today I'm posting why I strongly disagree. (Yeah, I'd be a bad politician - too waffley). Here's my thoughts:
Writers Are Readers Too. Would you believe it? I'm a writer AND a reader. Weird, huh? I read a lot of YA and MG - I have kids and I like those books - and I pick a lot of my books by reading blogs. Blogs on writing. I buy books based on writing blogs. If someone who purchases books is the "wrong audience" then I don't understand what the right audience is. A purchase is a purchase
There's Strength in Numbers. So maybe the writing community is small compared to the whole slew of readers that are out there. But we are a community. A very giving and supportive community. And most of us who blog also Facebook and Twitter. And most of us feed our posts on to these other social media vehicles where we all have non-writer friends. Lots of non-writer friends. Lots of blogging writers with non-writing friends. That's a lot of people who we are connected to through blogging. And...
People Buy Books They Recognize. Perhaps the non-writers we connect with on FB don't actually read our blog posts but they see the picture and the title of the books that we are reviewing or the guest author we are showcasing on our FB page and it makes a connection for them. So the next time they are standing at the bookstore trying to decide between Book A and Book B, they choose B because they saw something about it somewhere even if they don't remember what it was. In marketing we call this creating/maintaining a presence. Coca-Cola and Pepsi do it with ads: TV ads don't sell Coke and Pepsi, the taste does. But the ads remind us of them so when we go to get a pop we say, "Can I have a Coke or Pepsi?" rather than "Can I have whatever cola you have on tap?" We buy what we recognize. Having a community that is so willing to promote you increases your chances for recognition.
You Can Have More Than One Blog. It is a lot of work, and we should make sure our real writing comes first, but we can have more than one blog. One for each book, one for our writing. And the "On Topic" notion can really work well here.
You Don't Have To Blog To Sell Books. There are many social media mediums, and one size does not fit all. You don't have to use your blog to sell books. Personally (do you want to hear my personal opinion?) I like websites for books or published authors - interactive websites. Perhaps they can include a conversational area for interaction, but a blog isn't absolutely necessary.
And most of us didn't start blogging because we wanted to build readers, did we? Most of us wanted to build community. We wanted support groups. Places to turn for advice. A place to practice writing. A place to voice all the words in our head! A place to say, "I'm writing a book" and not be laughed at and feel more committed to actually doing it because we said it
What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Both? Why did you start blogging?