Claude Nougat is discussing this subject today over at The Wanderings of a Curious Mind and he is conducting a poll. If you get the opportunity, head over and participate. I think most of us are of the same opinion, but the results could be interesting.
My thoughts: There are many camps out there insisting that you, as an author, need to create a platform. I can’t disagree but I believe that some writers are under the impression that a popular blog with lots of views will translate into sales. This may work if you are a blogging personality on food and publish a cookbook but not necessarily if you are publishing your first fantasy novel. Will you make writer friends? Yes. Will you get the opportunity to promote those writer friends? Yes. Will you enjoy it? Yes, but that will probably not show up in your Amazon sales and maybe not in theirs either.
I think the same goes for tweeting and facebook. Really! I’m not trying to discourage social media. In fact, there is no question that getting the word out about your book is a good thing (and it’s free!!), but while writers are also usually avid readers, they cannot possibly buy and read every single book published by their writer friends. In fact, not even some of the friends you’ve had since grade school will buy or read your book and they know you personally. They want to and they mean to but they won’t (reasons may vary).
While I think it’s true that fans may search for your author page, most of them are not interested in your blog posts about advertising or kindle free days or even creating characters. We write these blogs for ourselves and to learn more about writing and publishing from each other. It keeps us up to date on the latest happenings in the publishing process. To me, this is the most important purpose of many of the blogs out there.
As authors we should promote and use social media as much as we possibly can, but we should also be realistic about our goals. Perhaps Mr. Nougat is right that Google+ is a great way to network. Blogging, FB, and Twitter may have been enough at one time, but the effectiveness of social media is a moving target. Either way, head on over to Mr. Nougat’s blog and take the poll. I did.
How do you feel about social media and book sales? Has it worked for you in the past or present? What kind of social media do you think is most important?
2 thoughts on “Blogging and Book Selling: Hand in Hand or Mutually Exclusive?”
I actually don’t put blogging and social media in the same category. I agree with you that a blog is not a good place to promote books. Writing blogs are read by writers, not readers. I use my blog to work out whatever issues I’m having as a writer or to impart some knowledge I’ve gained. Social media, though, has been vital to the marketing of BABY GRAND. Not because I am constantly promoting my books there, although I do promote. It’s because social media is where people congregate and pass on info. When I announced the news of BABY GRAND’s publication, that tiny post was picked up over and over and over again by friends, yes, but then by friends of friends and then eventually by people I don’t know. And then those people told others and the book started to gain some traction. So while my friends follow me on Facebook and colleagues follow me on Twitter, I was able to vault beyond those circles simply because of the support of the people IN those circles. But I will check out Mr. Nougat’s blog. Thanks for the post — and discussion!
I think you have made an important point about the difference between blogging and social media. You’re right that there is a difference and I like that you have two different sites. I hope to do that in the future.
Mr. Nougat does point out though that the majority of his twitter followers are fellow writers. Twitter can be a great tool but difficult to build up a fan base outside of the writing community. The challenge is always finding the best way to find and reach readers.
Thanks again for your great points!!