Taking up blogging is one of the least effective things you can do to promote your book.
There, I’ve said it.
Don’t take up blogging cause your publisher says you should. Or because of John Scalzi. Yes, he’s sold tonnes of books and gotten heaps of fans because of his blog. He is the exception. Very few writers who blog have thirty thousand plus hits a day.
Scalzi’s been blogging for more than a decade. Ten years ago he had maybe a few hundred people a day reading Whatever. It took him years of consistently good and frequent blogging to build that audience.1
Much like building your writing career, really. Most novelists don’t have a huge audience after just one or two or three novels. It takes time. Blogging’s exactly the same. Would you rather put your hard work into your next book or building a blog that may or may not pay off for you in five or ten years time? If you enjoy blogging then, sure, go ahead.
Blogging can help promote your book when it’s other people’s blogs talking about it. A mention on boingboing or Whatever or [insert name of popular blog here] can definitely help. Even a whole bunch of smaller blogs all talking about your book can have a cumulative effect. But basically that’s just good old word of mouth. The elusive and incredibly desirable thing that sells so many things.
I have no idea how you get that going other than to write the best book you can and hope your publisher gets behind it.
If you don’t want to blog please don’t! And please don’t blog solely to promote your books. Do it if you enjoy it. Do it cause you have something to say.
Thus endeth this oft repeated rant.
- And all those other authors with insanely popular blogs? Most of them were already popular—like, say, Meg Cabot—before they started blogging. Not because of their blogging. [↩]