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Do Authors Really Need To Blog?


EBraten

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Guest Steven Hutson
Just now, EBraten said:

this goal can be achieved without a web log.


Of course. The options are endless. Every candidate is unique. And I seem to recall that a couple of recent hit books began as blogs?

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6 minutes ago, Steven Hutson said:

And I seem to recall that a couple of recent hit books began as blogs?

Yes! Three best-selling non-fiction books that I've recently read started as blogs. The authors in question also write fiction, but I've never read their novels and don't plan to. Not my preferred genre. ?

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3 minutes ago, Steven Hutson said:

And I seem to recall that a couple of recent hit books began as blogs?

Question!  (Not intended to be taken as a joke, but a real question.)  As a romance writer, what would I blog about?  I can't think of anything that would be relevant to my potential readers. 

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Guest Steven Hutson
1 minute ago, EBraten said:

Yes! Two best-selling non-fiction books 


One that I had in mind, was The Martian (a novel). The other one escapes me at the moment.

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Guest Steven Hutson
3 minutes ago, Alley said:

As a romance writer, what would I blog about?


Anything you want. Five hundred words, twice a month.
Could be excerpts from your book,
Could be scenes that might go into your next book.
Could be your thoughts on the publishing industry.

I have no opinion as to whether you should. Only that anyone can benefit from it.

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Guest Steven Hutson
1 minute ago, EBraten said:

Could the writer not have achieved the same purpose by writing the material on their web site?


Websites are generally static. That is, they don't change much. I have writers I follow, but I don't go to their websites often because I don't expect to see anything new. A blog gives your readers a reason to check back with you on a regular basis.

Then when your book comes out, they will recognize your name.
.

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2 minutes ago, Steven Hutson said:

Could be excerpts from your book,
Could be scenes that might go into your next book.
Could be your thoughts on the publishing industry.

Ok, as a reader, and not a writer, thoughts on the industry are useless because most (not all) readers won't care about the industry.  

The excerpts from your book might be interesting, but if doing it before you launch a book, I'd not want to get interested in it and have no way to buy it.  As a reader, I find that useless.  Plus, how would they even find your blog?  Not an author yet, so where would they find me?  

Also as a reader, why would I want to read about a scene that may or may not be in a book?  

Don't take that wrong, they are nice thoughts, but from a business standpoint, I don't see the value in this.  

 

Any other ideas?  

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2 minutes ago, Alley said:

Any other ideas

I've seen some people blog about their lives and their thoughts on current events. Fine that it works for them, but it's not something I'd be comfortable doing.

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Guest Steven Hutson

 

3 minutes ago, Alley said:

I'd not want to get interested in it and have no way to buy it. 


I don't understand. 

 

4 minutes ago, Alley said:

Plus, how would they even find your blog?

 

You can do what thousands of other writers have done: Announce your blog posts on Facebook and Twitter. Join FB groups and announce those posts in there.  Happens all the time.
 

5 minutes ago, Alley said:

Also as a reader, why would I want to read about a scene that may or may not be in a book?  


Again, this is a time-proven approach. Serials have been around for decades. Some readers like them, some don't. But there's nothing you can do that will serve everyone.

 

6 minutes ago, Alley said:

I don't see the value in this.  


Nothing will, until you do it. 

 

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Guest Steven Hutson
6 minutes ago, EBraten said:

Only if you let them be that way.


Of course. But that's how most are. Readers don't expect to find new stuff there.

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Guest Steven Hutson
22 minutes ago, EBraten said:

by writing the material on their web site?


Another thought: Yes they can. And some do. 
Which, it seems to me, is exactly as much work as a blog. 

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1 minute ago, EBraten said:

I've seen some people blog about their lives and their thoughts on current events. likely that it works for them, but it's not something I'd be comfortable doing.

 

I don't think this would be likely to draw in the romance readers.  Plus,  I'm opinionated and a pain!  xD

 

3 minutes ago, Steven Hutson said:
9 minutes ago, Alley said:

I'd not want to get interested in it and have no way to buy it. 


I don't understand

I mean for the unpublished author.  I (as a reader) don't want to enjoy a bit here or there, but have to wait two years for the book to come out.  Now six month before release, I might be able to see.  

 

4 minutes ago, Steven Hutson said:

You can do what thousands of other writers have done: Announce your blog posts on Facebook and Twitter. Join FB groups and announce those posts in there.  Happens all the time.

Oh!  As of this moment, I have no social media, so I keep forgetting about it.  Thanks for pointing that out.  And yes, I do plan to start some in the near future.  I just know I have more to learn before I am ready to start building a platform.  One of which will be how social media even works.  You guys are always full of great ideas, so keep throwing them out.  I am here to learn!!!  

 

8 minutes ago, Steven Hutson said:

Serials have been around for decades.

Serial what?  The way I read your last part was that it was random scenes that may or make not be in your book.  Did I read that wrong?  

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Guest Steven Hutson
1 minute ago, Alley said:

I (as a reader) don't want to enjoy a bit here or there, but have to wait two years for the book to come out.


Fine. But many do. It's a time-proven method for gaining readers.

 

2 minutes ago, Alley said:

As of this moment, I have no social media,


Then now would be a good time.

 

3 minutes ago, Alley said:

Serial what?


An example of a serial would be a TV soap opera. Unlike most TV shows, the soaps have a single ongoing storyline for the duration of the series. Magazines used to do this all the time.

 

7 minutes ago, Alley said:

Now six month before release, I might be able to see.  


This would be useless, for the purpose we've been discussing.
.

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2 minutes ago, Steven Hutson said:

Fine. But many do. It's a time-proven method for gaining readers.

Really?  That seems weird to me. 

 

3 minutes ago, Steven Hutson said:

An example of a serial would be a TV soap opera. Unlike most TV shows, the soaps have a single ongoing storyline for the duration of the series. Magazines used to do this all the time.

Ok, better understood.  

 

4 minutes ago, Steven Hutson said:

This would be useless, for the purpose we've been discussing.
.

I thought you had meant random scenes from your book that had no real order to them.  My misunderstanding.  ?

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13 minutes ago, Steven Hutson said:

Which, it seems to me, is exactly as much work as a blog.

Yes. But they're writing fiction, which is exactly what their main job is. They're putting together their next book, releasing material that hits the spot with their core readers, not using precious time writing random material which may or may not appeal to the people who they want to buy their fiction.

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Guest Steven Hutson
17 minutes ago, Alley said:

I thought you had meant random scenes from your book that had no real order to them.


Well, I'm not suggesting that you could or should just cut-and-paste the blog posts and magically have a book. Chances are you'd need some editing to stitch the segments together. But in the big picture, serializing works.

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Guest Steven Hutson

 

18 minutes ago, EBraten said:

not using precious time writing random material which may or may not appeal to the people


I didn't know we were talking about that. Of course you know your target reader, yes?

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Guest Steven Hutson
1 minute ago, EBraten said:

It's the entire point of the thread.


I thought the point was to attract readers to your book. This will not be accomplished by "writing random material." 

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The point of the thread is whether a blog is necessary to build a platform as an author. And the article said that current thinking among a lot of respected industry people is that, if your platform is fiction, a blog may not be the best way to do that. There are non-blog options to share the kind of relevant material that will engage a fiction writer's target audience.

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25 minutes ago, EBraten said:

And the article said that current thinking among a lot of respected industry people is that, if your platform is fiction, a blog may not be the best way to do that.

 

I've encountered only a couple of other (Indie) fiction authors who think blogs are central to their marketing plan. Some do them out of enjoyment, and as part of their creative process. I suspect blogs work far better as a marketing tool once a fiction author is an established name.

 

For me, I have a finite amount of creative fuel in the tank, and I'd rather spend it writing books. I will write an occasional guest-blog on a self-publishing subject, but that's more enjoyment of sharing experiences to help others. I don't get much exposure because I'm writing to other authors. 

 

These days the rage seems to be about building email lists. I must confess that I don't understand how this works, because just about everyone I know HATES getting email spam. I know these lists are opt-in, but I've also seen numerous reports that engagement stats are extremely low (less than 10% of recipients open the email).

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