Thursday, May 29, 2008

To Blog or not to Blog...That is the Question



As a virtual book tour coordinator, I am constantly surfing the Internet for interesting, eye-catching, and frequently updated blogs to host Pump Up Your Book Promotion's clients.

Our tours typically consist of a healthy mix of book review, author interview, genre and/or topic, reader, and writer blogs. What never ceases to amaze me, however, is the number of writers who don't blog. It doesn't make sense when the Internet has opened up new and free avenues for writers to promote their work, that people out there aren't taking advantage of it.

I can understand why some writers don't have websites (I don't know much about HTML either), but blogs? Come on, you're missing a chance to promote your work for free and all you have to do is something you already love--write.

In the pre-blog world writers were told the importance of having a website--and they definitely have value. A blog, however, gives you the chance to have ongoing conversations with your readers in a way that just isn't possible with a website.

I always tell my clients, if you have to decide between creating a website and creating a blog, then I suggest a blog. I have both, and the number of visitors to my website doesn't even come close to the number of people stopping by The Book Connection.

So, my question to you is: do you have blog? If so, what do you like about it? What are some of the benefits that blogging has provided you? And if you don't have a blog, what's keeping you from starting one?





Cartoon image borrowed from http://www.blogoklahoma.com/

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10 Comments:

Blogger Maria Zannini said...

I do have a blog and what I like about it is that it gives me an environment where I can figure "stuff" out.

For example, on Fridays I am running a series of blog posts called Killer Campaigns where I tick off one by one every promotional vehicle I can think of. It will give me a chance to discuss and analyze what works and why.

My blog isn't a diary. It's a tool that helps me reach out to other authors.

It took me a while to start a blog, but once I figured out my voice and my content, I've made it a commitment ever since.

Good question, Cheryl. :o)

6:44 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Hi Maria,

Thanks for your response. I like your Killer Campaigns idea; and since you're in the midst of promoting "Touch of Fire" it will be real world experience that you can share with other writers.

Thanks for stopping by.

Cheryl

10:31 AM  
Blogger Sun Singer said...

I have several blogs. The high point of them, along with MySpace, is meeting other authors, sharing ideas and techniques, etc.

The blogs have probably sold a few books, but when it comes to the general public--the readers who go into bookstores and amazon looking for the usual name authors and genres--the blogs can't compete with word of mouth and mainstream publishing ads and publicity.

Blogs help, but I think they end up wasting a lot of time, either reading them or writing them, if one isn't fairly disciplined.

Malcolm

3:46 PM  
Blogger theauthormike said...

I have two blogs on blogger, stellathequeen which is a diary of a mad drag queen and mikeysmoods which is just an avenue for me to vent my feelings on things.

As for a website, I found freewebs to be the easiest, check it out: freewebs.com/the_author_mike. I am using it to promote my up coming book and to get feedback from those who stop by. I have started an agressive campaign using the gay network. Mikey from the group.

12:35 PM  
Blogger Josi said...

I'm with you, blogs are an easy way to get out there. I've been blogging for about 3 years and find it's the best way to keep readers updated and find new readership. I'll be doing a blog tour in the fall, so I'll be avidly reading through your posts in the mean time. Blog tours rock.

As for what I blog about, mostly it's about my life which always offers plenty of humorous commentary. I also post about writing and my books--a mixed bag I guess.

1:44 PM  
Blogger Kim Smith said...

I do blog. I have several, and even group blog with friends. I think it helps keep me honest. I talk about my progress as a writer, and whether I am making the grade or not. Hard to lie to yourself and others who follow your journey.

9:52 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Thanks for your thoughts everyone. And thanks for your insight Malcolm. My main point is that blogs are "free" promotional avenues for writers. Websites are important, but they don't let a reader get to know you the way blogs do.

Mikey, you're a smart guy. Socials networks are also helpful in getting the word out about your books.

It's great to hear you'll be doing a virtual book tour in the fall, Josi. Good luck! I love coordinating virtual book tours for clients. It's great to see an author succeed. Feel free to share your experiences once it's over.

And Kim, I couldn't agree with you more. Blogging can help keep you focused on your goals. You set expectations and need to follow through.

Thanks again for all your comments. I hope you'll check back again soon.

Cheryl

6:41 PM  
Anonymous Linda J Hutchinson said...

What a nice blog! Saw your post at MMA and thought I'd stop by.

I'd like to add your link to the Links for Writers page at my website. Please take a look and let me know if you approve.

I'd also like to link to the two book groups you have listed, but the top graphic link doesn't work. Please advise.

You're giving great information here. Hope to help spread the word about your blog.

Linda J Hutchinson
www.lindajhutchinson.com
http://reviewhutch.blogspot.com
http://writerschatroom.com
www.myspace.com/lindajhutchinson
http://jlinnkramer.blogspot.com

PS I've been having blogger issues for the past few months and can't update mine. Hope to have this fixed soon.

7:33 AM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Hi Linda,

Sorry to just be getting back with you. Certainly, go ahead and link it and I'll link yours when I come back from vacation.

Both links to the book groups worked for me, so hopefully it was just a moment of the site being down or some other technical glitch.

Best of luck to you!

Cheryl

12:16 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

I agree. I have a web-log, though I seem to be plagued by distractions to both my actual writing and then the logging of said, non-happening activities.

Given the quality, free tools available to writers now, it's difficult to justify not using them (and I _do_ know HTML).

2:22 PM  

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