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?