Kevin Radthorne emailed me the other day to suggest we discuss the topic of blogging, specifically whether or not blogging authors out there have developed readers through their blogs. In his email he asked:
“for authors, are they able to see any measurable sales results from having started blogging? I ask this because blogging is the hot topic of the moment, and everybody's jumping on that bandwagon. However, most of the authors I've talked to about it primarily cite the connections to other authors' blogs. That, to me, does not seem to be their target audience, which should be readers. I don't get much sense that readers are spending a lot of time at writer's blogs.”
To me this topic covers a lot of different sub-topics that relate to why an author should even have a website and some sort of forum (be it a blog or a message board or a newsletter) to discuss their work and writing process at all. As this is something I want to discuss in depth, I’ll open up the discussion to your first and work from our comments.
How many of you—as authors—have noticed measurable sales results from your blog? Do you believe that this information is quantifiable (so you see hits through your Amazon link, etc)?
How many of you—as readers—have bought books by authors you have discovered through their blogs? What made you decide to pick up their book?
Given that the onus is on authors these days to do as much promotion as they can, and that most blog programs provide a free format that allows for easy updates without waiting for your webmaster do it for you, have you found blogging to be a worthwhile experience in the promotion of your books?
I want to get as many opinions on this as possible, so please ask your author friends and neighbors. The results of marketing and publicity, and the impact they actually have on book sales, can be hard to quantify especially in the online realm. While reader (and author) testimonials can’t stand for facts, they can highlight why people read blogs and what drives them to buy.
I look forward to reading your thoughts.