Tuesday, April 7, 2015

How to Not to Blog

Chuck Wendig recently wrote a wonderful post extolling the value of NOT blogging. Check it out here, I'll wait while you read his glorious words.

So, blogging. What are we really selling? Because I'll tell you what, he's right when he says it isn't books. What you are selling is yourself. What you are really aiming for is visibility. Staying present on the internet. It won't directly translate to sales. Sales are a long con. They aren't won by spam and feeding you Twitter constant book links.

A friend of mine, author Reggie Lutz does one thing a week to promote her books. Just one thing. And that one thing varies. She's appeared in the local paper, been on college radio and tweets links to her books. She has a blog where she interviews other authors and like the rest of us has a Facebook page.

But one thing she's conscious of is that the tools we use now, may not be what we're using tomorrow. Facebook is relatively dead, though it's the first thing that readers who have already bought your book will probably find. Twitter is fine, for now. as long as you don't spam. Blogs, if insanely valuable can help a little. But these are things that people (readers) often look up AFTER they've discovered your book somehow. Maybe they met you on the street, at a convention of conference. Maybe they bought the book on Amazon and decided to look you up online to see if you have an interesting Twitter.

So what do you do? Pfft. I don't know! I do stuff... my website is a Wordpress site where I write snarky and humorous recaps of genre TV shows. The worse the better! Only once in awhile do I post anything about writing or my own books. I just happen to like riffing on TV. My twitter @CheGilson is full of my interests, retweets of architecture, fashion, the occasional cute puppy, and then my random thoughts. I have been gaining followers lately because I recently joined UK Horror Scene as a reviewer. Because I like horror movies and I like being a critic.

And finally, you never know what will hit. The marketing ploys everyone is telling you worked for them and their book might have been a fluke. Even big publishers don't know what will work. And anyone telling you what to do is probably wrong.

And finally FINALLY- I'm sorry there's no comic! My scanner is down. so I'll be back with a new comic next month.

3 comments:

daytonward said...

So, blogging. What are we really selling? Because I'll tell you what, he's right when he says it isn't books. What you are selling is yourself. What you are really aiming for is visibility. Staying present on the internet. It won't directly translate to sales. Sales are a long con. They aren't won by spam and feeding you Twitter constant book links.

Exactly right.

I blog about the things that interest me. Sometimes that's about the writing thing I'm working on, but more often than not it's about something else. I keep the overall tone light and approachable. Well, I do that for the most part. After all, there are times.....

It's my personal view that readers who connect to you via social media want to know the person behind the book/story/poem/whatever they've enjoyed enough to seek out its author. If all they get when they show up is an extended sales pitch, then they're going to move on to something more interesting.
I've unfollowed writers and other creative types who do nothing but hock their wares. Just because I like Doritos doesn't mean I want to see an ad for them every time I turn on my TV. Same thing applies to blogging, Tweeting, Facebooking, Instagram'ing, etc.

I still slip in the odd sales pitch/marketing bits here and there, but I try to keep it casual, along with the rest of my social media interactions. I don't know if I've gotten huge sales spikes due to the time I've spent in those arenas, but I do know that I have a loyal base, and every so often new folks join that club. I'd rather continue to cultivate relationships with the people who've opted to stay around, rather than always trying to attract more people to the gathering.

But, that's what works for me. I don't claim to have the perfect universal solution. :)

Che Gilson said...

:) Yes- the occasional mention of your wares is fine. But I have unfollowed people too when all I see from them are advertisements for their work.

And unfortunately there is no perfect solution. Marketing is an ever changing, ever evolving thing. What works one day won't work the next.

Charles Gramlich said...

So far, not much of anything has worked. Blogs and facebook have helped a little. I used to blog almost exclusively on writing but lately I've become more personal in posts. That probably isn't helping me.