In this new century, authors are required to handle more of their own marketing and promotion. For the indie or self-publisher, the demand on time for marketing and promotion is even greater. In 2011, having a blog moved from “important to a mandatory requirement.” In turn, publishers are starting to require authors agree to have a blog before taking on any new authors. See Feb 9, 2011 UPDATE
Sound harsh? With the ever increasing competition in the digital world, publishers are not willing to expend money on new authors not serious about their business. A well-maintained blog is a necessity, and if you haven’t taken the plunge, then now is the time. And any author not willing to have a blog, well, may find themselves without a publisher.
Consumer Behavior, the Market and Promotion.
FutureEBook.net cites three reasons an author NEEDS to have a blog.
- Purchasing a book has moved from offline retail stores to the Internet. With just a few clicks, you can obtain information about an author or writer. A blog represents the “easy access impression of that person’s writing credentials.”
- Competition and choices have gone through the roof, and with the speed of which books are being digitally created, the choice of new books will only increase. While reviews and word-of-mouth greatly influence book sales, the book consumer responds positively to “coherent and easy ways to decide whose book to choose. A well written, informative blog can be that differentiator. Especially important in the early life of a title before reviews build up – and simply critical for new or lesser-known authors.”
- Marketing. Social media marketing is vital. Offering the consumer quality content is vital. An interesting blog title obtains the most click-throughs and has the potential of becoming viral.
- Branding. A blog helps an author brand themselves. The fear of maintaining or the fear of public interaction may be cause for many writers to not have a blog. On the positive side – authors with a good blog sell more books – it’s that simple.
Setting up a blog is not difficult. The challenge is maintaining the blog with interesting content to draw readers to your site. Where a lot of websites / blog fail is the lack of enthusiasm by the site owner. A weekly, if not daily, vigil should be maintained if you want to brand yourself and sell books.
- Post a fresh article at least once a week – more is better.
- Content should be original and interesting – avoid regurgitating information.
- Write an engaging bio about yourself so readers can get to know you.
- Inform your viewers of your published works and and WIP.
- Check out other writer/author blogs for inspiration.
You don’t need a hosting service to set up a blog. There are several free services you can utilize. The point is to get started – even before your manuscript is finished. Read “How to Set Up a Free Blog.”
Just Do it!
First Steps Guide Program. Let Unruly Guides support you in the part of the process that overwhelms you. We will guide you through the process of getting your manuscript to e-publication, and then help you get the word out! We understand all the myriad of tasks needed to e-publish and e-promote your book.
UPDATE Feb 9,2010
The point was if an author does not want a blog – to have and maintain – then their relationship with a publisher may be in jeopardy. This article is not the definitive of every publisher. In fact, I have not “personally” heard this as a requirement; however, you must realize that without a blog or some form of Internet presence, you will find marketing on the web much more difficult. Publishers know this, and authors that do not want to have or maintain a website or blog may find themselves rejected.