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Why do you blog?

Like most writers, my long term goals are simple: Get my books published, and have as many people read them as possible. I haven't yet managed the first part, but I've already started work on the second.

Even though I don't yet have a book deal of my own, I set up the New Jersey Authors' Network, a free to join, free to use online database, where authors can get together for multi-author signings in New Jersey.  I did it, partly to help other writers sell their books, but also because, one day, I hope to use it to sell mine.

I designed the network to function without me, and it's already doing just that.  People I've never met use it to organize events at places I'd never been to, with other member-authors who I don't yet know.

Then there's this blog. I thoroughly enjoy reading other writers' journals and posting my own thoughts about the craft, but for me, a blog is more than just a social networking tool. I believe a writer's journal can have a huge impact on his or her book sales. Sure, the book has to be worth reading, but isn't getting the word out the biggest challenge for an unknown author?

If that's true, then the bigger the blog's readership, the better. Now I'm sure there are examples of previously unheard of writers whose blogs were an overnight success, for most of us, it takes time, effort, and a definite plan of action.

How do you develop a large readership?

I would say the answer is "On purpose."

I don't know about you, but I apply the same logic to my journal entries as when I'm writing a story ie: if I can make it entertaining enough and/or interesting enough, people will want to read it. Of course, unlike me, that's not as simple as it appears. You have to promote yourself too, otherwise you could write the most brilliant blog entries the world has ever seen, but no-one will know, so I'm working on that side of things too.

Am I being presumptious by assuming I'll get published? Possibly (I know my old gran would think so), but if I do ever get to hold a book deal in my hot little hands, I plan on having the benefit of a successful journal to help me launch my novel on an unsuspecting public.  Even if that never happens, I'm having great fun with my online friends.

How about you?

What are your long term plans for your journal?

Why do you blog?

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Sep. 16th, 2009 06:00 pm (UTC)
I blog (ahem, when I do blog, and I'm almost ready to get back to it) for the sense of community and not to sell books. Yes, a few gateway readers (teachers and librarians) read my blog, but my primary audience, kid readers, does not.

Frankly, I don't think an author blog sells many books. I also think that many author blogs actually hurt the author's chances of selling to their blog readership. There are certainly blogger-authors on my LJ list whose books I wouldn't pick up just because, for one reason or another, their blogs suck.

I like your blog, though.

My long term plans are to keep on blogging once a week the same way I do now, with a hiatus now and then when I need one.
Sep. 16th, 2009 06:23 pm (UTC)
I agree that a blog doesn't directly sell books. I think the benefit is more subtle than that.

If I'm browsing the shelves in my local book store and see your name, I'd pick the book up - especially now you said you like my blog ;) Would I then buy it? I don't know, it would depend on the blurb etc. I wonder though if the real question should be 'Would I have picked up the book had I not known you from LJ.'

I'm with you 100% on the possible negative effect a blog can have. There are several LJ authors whose attitude makes me determined never to read one of their books, so I guess blogs are a double-edged sword.

Thanks for the input :)

Sep. 16th, 2009 07:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, I do agree that there's a subtle effect. But really, in the bigger scheme of things, it's not all that many books, even if every single one of my blog's readers bought a copy. Or even if a big-time blogger's readers did. What we've got here, IMO, is very much an echo-chamber. We're not really reaching beyond it to a wide book-buying public.
Sep. 16th, 2009 07:25 pm (UTC)
Perhaps, but I would have thought each and every book sale is a seed, and you never know what may come of it.

That said, it's the book that matters at tyhe end of the day :)

Things What I Wrote and Other Stuff

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there



Books by my writer friends - compressed

NJ Writing groups - compressed

NJ writing conference - compressed


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