Author Blogs...a Wave of the Future and the future is NOW!
Blogs are not replacing author websites so have no fear; the relationship between websites and blogs is a symbiotic one because they both work to promote authors, their work and their fan base.
A Blog is a web-log; it is an internet-based broadcasting platform that typically combines a blend of personal and posts, images, tips, focused posts (specific topics) and blogs are usually updated regularly. For authors, a blog is a unique tool used in this day in age, to connect with readers and fans on a more personal level. If readers and fans “feel” like they know you, they will be more loyal to you and your work.
The Blogosphere is a term that defines the masses of all of the different types of blogs and their interconnections; it is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with. The Blogosphere is an ever-expanding online force that has limitless potential for growth and great value to authors who are trying to increase their online presence and recognition with readers.
Blogs are normally free for people to use and they make it possible to reach out across the globe to all current and potential readers and fans. Blogging gives a voice to authors outside of their printed work and cultivates a relationship that increases author loyalty and recognition.
Some suggested, free (as of this writing) blog hosting sites are:
We recommend that authors have a blog AND a website as they are becoming synonymous with one another. Blogs are used for personal interactions, tips, talking about specific characters and parts of a book as well as a place where an author can talk a little about everyday life. A caution: authors should, as always, be VERY careful about how much personal information (such as where they live, names, pictures of local places & business, etc.) they allow on the internet. You want to encourage a healthy fan base but you do not want to place yourself or your family on the web as potential targets for cyber stalkers or real-life crazies.
Blog Followers are fans of your blog who want to read about what you are writing. A blog following is not something that you can create overnight; it can take weeks or months to attract a loyal group of blog readers or followers who keep coming back regularly. The most important part of blogging is updating or adding new posts and content regularly; usually twice a week minimum. Blog posts can be written up ahead of time and they can be scheduled to post on a specific date, at a specific time.
Author websites are extremely important as well; they should be used for major announcements, upcoming release announcements, reviews, front and backlists, author biographies, news, contacts, contests and so on. A blog is an added support structure for authors and their websites.
To look at it another way, imagine yourself in the reader’s shoes for a moment; while trying to choose between four similar types of books sitting in front of you on a bookstore shelf, aren’t you more likely to choose the book written by an author that you follow and read about often? A blog is an ongoing presence on the internet and in reader’s homes during and in between book releases. Often times, reader loyalty can make a pivotal difference in whether they buy your book; if they are a follower of your blog and they enjoy your blog content, 9 times out of 10, they are going to choose your book to read instead of someone else’s. Readers are eager and willing to become loyal to you and your work; in this day in age, readers need to feel that they have connected with the author on a more “personal” level. They won’t actually have a personal relationship with an author but they will feel like they do. Author Blogs create a vital link between an author, their work and their readers.
Author blogs and websites should always be linked to one another; readers understand the difference between each of the platforms and therefore, they have the option to visit one or both.
It is also very important to keep the look of author blogs and websites up-to-date in a technological and visual sense. It is highly recommended that websites in particular, receive an complete overhaul once every 2-3 years at minimum. If your website is outdated, you are projecting that image to your reading public which can suggests that you and your work might also be outdated or unfashionable. We suggest that you shop around and ask for examples of previous web design experience and take your time making a decision; for the amount of money you will need to spend on a website update, re-design or overhaul, you really don’t want to rush into anything.
Most importantly, take advantage of the internet and utilize the multitudes of networking tools and options available to you; at minimum, have an author website and blog but don’t be afraid of joining other social networking sites that can be used to promote you and your work.
Examples of some popular networking sites are:
Book Blogs Ning
Bobbie Crawford-McCoy --- Founder, Owner & Editor of Pinnacle: Author & Book Promotion