Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Does blogging matter?

When I started this six months and 100 posts ago (yay for 100 posts!), all I really intended to do was keep tack of the trials, tribulations, and learning moments I encountered as I progressed through the process of writing a, wait, two, wait, a single big, wait, two novels once again.  It's been an interesting path, but "straightforward" isn't an adjective I'd use to describe it. what?  I've blogged consistently for six months, in and of itself an achievement for me.  I've written 100 posts, and at a rough average size of 1000 words each that means I've actually composed a novel's worth of blog posts.  In fact, it's been tickling my mind that if I manage to get Return of the Gods: Cataclysm and RotG: Ascension published, I should also try to work the blog posts surrounding them--my de facto journal--into a publishable text.  Meanwhile, speaking of "if," there's still plenty to blog about in the saga of those two books.  The writing part of writing a novel is much better understood, I think, than the getting it published part, after all.  I suspect that there are people out there who're interested in reading about what I go through getting a publishing deal.  We'll see.

Right now it's a matter of waiting.  I sent the manuscript off to be edited and waited the ginormously long time for the U.S. Postal Service to find the state of California in order to deliver the envelope.  They did, and they did, yesterday.  I've been promised periodic updates with a completely edited work by August 9th.  Yay!  It's exciting as it can be, this knowing I have to wait several days to hear anything, and then wait several more days to hear more.  Part of me wants to scream, "But I want it now!  Monday, at the latest!  That gives you ALL WEEKEND for crissakes!"  Luckily that's not a part I let others see very often.  It is, however, definitely there...this underlying impatience, writhing after months of every day, every day, every day writing coupled with revision, revision, revision.  Months of frequent and fervent activity, followed by...waiting.  I'm pretty sure I need to get used to it going forward, even more so than I already am, but it's hard sometimes.

So now I get back to the thought with which I kicked off this post.  Now what?  Clearly, I'm going to continue blogging about my experiences with the editing and, hopefully, the deal-making efforts.  I'll have to, of course, intersperse blog posts with discussions of how my non-fiction book is coming, though I honestly think that process is a little bit less exciting.  It's downright boring at times, truth be told.  But there's always my reading going on in the background to discuss, so I doubt I'll lack for content.  But over and above that, what's the point of the blog?

What brought this up was a friend in the "social media" sphere posted a thing about SEO for blogs.  SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it's the bread and butter of e-commerce sites.  When you're trying to sell stuff online, you'll only be successful if people know you're there, and raising a site's standings in the search engine results, thereby letting people know you're there, is the point of SEO.  Even if you're selling stuff through regular channels, SEO can help make your web presence into a marketing tool instead of just another web site.  So, hey, if it's that full of awesome, why wouldn't I want it?  Well, probably because I'm really not trying to sell anything.  As I gallump along the publishing process, I realize that I might some day be trying to sell my books, true.  The book The Making of a Bestseller said that authors make our own best marketing channels, too.  I just don't see it, myself.  I've bought a lot of books, and not once have I been influenced to do so by the author's blog.

Have you?  What makes you buy a book?  Is there a point to an author having a blog?  If so, what is it?

Depending on the answers to those questions, then, some day you might see the full force of marketing and SEO come to life here.  For now, though, it's just a blog about a guy trying to write a book.


  1. Personally I've never been influenced to buy a book because of an author's blog, but I have been influenced to read an author's blog because I liked her books.

    When it comes to buying books I'm influenced by who wrote it - some authors' books I'll buy sight unseen, the cover - yes, I do judge a book by its cover and I immediately reject books if I don't like the cover, the summary on the back or on the dust jacket, and finally the first few pages.

    What about you? You never told us what makes you buy a book and what you think about other authors' blogs. :)

  2. Oh, the old "answer a question with a question" thing...I see how it is.

    Just kidding. Thanks for your post, Amy Sue! I did talk about the process of buying a few books to kick start the writing process much earlier in the blog, but that wasn't generalized to the topic of what makes me buy a book. I think, then, that your questions merit answers, but I also think they are important enough to deserve their own blog post.

    Coming Soon: What Makes Me Buy A Book. And What I Think About Other Authors' Blogs. Gotta work on those titles in the meantime....

  3. I have never been influenced to buy a book just by the author's blog. Many times though after I begin a series, I will find the author's blog to keep up to date on further information on the series, new stories, and to see their thought process in how they compose their work. You are the first author who has succeeded in getting me to read the blog before the book. Good luck with the editing and publishing! :)

  4. I think much of our generation has never been influenced to buy a author's book because of a blog, but I sure have. In fact, I have discovered authors online due to their blogs where I never would have heard of them or found them otherwise. In fact, what many online authors have learned is that can be way more profitable than traditional book publishing especially when you are selling products/services that are information based (ie -- you are an expert on say, herbal remedies so you blog a lot, build a following, and then sell that following books, CD, ebooks, etc. I am not sure how that type of thing would work for a novelist, but I would imagine high quality blog posts could DEFINITELY result in book sales should you choose that as a way to build your following. After all, that's really what you are aiming to do isn't it? It's one thing to get a book published, but entirely another to get people to buy it isn't it?

  5. I do read author's blogs, perhaps because it makes me feel some sort of connection. I also follow their blogs to find out about upcoming books, or books I may have previously missed.

  6. See you are establishing an online following already! :-)

  7. Thanks for the comments! This is great information, folks. Not only is it useful to me in my future endeavors, but it also gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling in general when people respond.