Sunday, October 31, 2010

Blogging With a Purpose

I recently read an article proclaiming social media was changing publishing by putting power in the hands of individual authors for the marketing of their books. Is that true? I don’t feel powerful but increasingly I feel responsible. With the plethora of avenues open to writers to self-publish, what chance does a new author have to capture an audience while competing with the gazillion other books out there?

My favored hope of promoting my recent and upcoming releases is through blogging. Merriam-Webster defines a blog as “a web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks.”
The vague description fits what you find on blogs. They vary in length from a few sentences to lengths equal to multiple pages. Some are updated daily, weekly or even less often. Most ‘experts’ suggest a minimum of once per week.
The content varies as much as the frequency and length. I know some writers who use their blog only to promote their own works. Others do lots of interviews or have guest appearances to assist other writers in their promotion. Most blogs I frequent do promote their own works, works of others but also write numerous posts I find education and instructive in ways to help my writing career. Still others offer interesting tidbits on a wide variety of things such as ranch living, certain TV shows, herbs and green living, and some just make me laugh. Professional blogs can offer lots of clues and advice to help writers in their careers.
I love finding new blogs and picking up the occasional follower. Will it help sell my books? I’m not sure but links to other blogs, link to their readers also. If someone like Cate Master’s books, might they not take a look at my romance novels when they see my link on her site? If a reader enjoys Jon Sprunk’s fantasy novel and see on his blog we did a book signing together, might they not click over to my blog and consider my novel?
I have no doubts the world on the internet has already replaced a lot of traditional media and perhaps sometime in the future it will make all ‘dead-tree media’ obsolete. In the meantime, I’m going to keep doing what I know how to do and try to learn more. I’ll be doing my first blog tour ever in January to promote the release of my newest fantasy, Beyond the Gate. I’ll be searching for new ways to make my own blog work for me.
How often do you blog? How many different blogs do you visit on a regular basis? What type of blogs do you visit?

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