This is just a quick blog, as a result of seeing something by Chuck Wendig.
Basically, he stated that authors should have a blog in order to write. By this he meant to experiment, to play with one’s vocabulary and so forth.
An author I know said that this was not what she wanted to do. She writes plenty of other things and doesn’t want to have a blog. Now, that’s all well and good. BUT (I like big buts, I cannot lie), the internet is a funny thing. Some people use Facebook. Some people use Twitter. Some us Tumblr. Some still even use MySpace (I know, we’ll just forget them). Others don’t use any of thing but read blogs.
Any author (as opposed to writer), is writing in order for people to read their writing. There’s no point being an author if you don’t want people to see your work. If you’re relying on just one channel of the internet, you’re missing out on whole swathes of readers and if you’re not using a blog (or website that you post to regularly) you don’t have a fixed point on the internet.
Search engines love bogs. If you want to google for me, my blog should should come pretty high up in the results. That way people don’t have to worry about whether the Facebook, LinkedIT, Twitter, Tumblr or Fumblr link is the right one. It’s called Matthew Sylvester. Simple and easy to find.
The additional beauty of blogs and social media is that they don’t need to take up a lot of your time. Nearly every blog system now lets you tie your blogs into other streams. This blog, for example, is tied into Twitter, Facebook, my author page on Facebook, and Tumblr. I’ve then linked Twitter so that it ties into LinkedIn. See how many channels I hit in one go? I write something and then publish it and BOOOOOM.
What this means is that when a blog is published, I don’t need to go flittering between numerous social media sites in order to let people know about my latest penning, the blog does it for me. This in turn frees me up to go trolling on Facebook and Twitter. Or, if I’m of the mind, to use social media responsibly and interact with my peers (authors and editors), engage with potential agents and publishers and – of course – my five adoring members of the public. Oh, and write stories too. Or edit books.
You’re also missing out on a great way of making a few extra cents (maybe even dollars) on book sales. After all, there’s no point in having a book if it’s not selling. Is there?
The first thing that you see on Chuck’s site, aside from the title, is a whole raft of book covers. These pictures then link through to a page on the book and from there you can choose from a myriad of book shops to buy the book. Me, I’ve only got books on Amazon, so if I was to take this route, I’d link the cover straight to Amazon. My books are listed on Works Sub’d as well as in blogs that I write about them on any given day. Having seen how Chuck has done things, I’m now seriously considering a couple of changes.
Anyhoo, my point is this. If you don’t have one central point that is specifically YOU, where you can lay out your works for all to see and not have them buried amongst tweets and posts on your timeline, how are people going to know what you’ve done and, more importantly, buy them? Quite simply, they’re not.
Furthermore, having them on your blog is a great way to make even more money on the sales (as I mentioned above). All you need do – in the case of Amazon – is sign up as an affiliate. They then give you a little code that, when linking from your site to your book on Amazon, indicates that you’ve encouraged people to visit their site and hopefully buy. As a result, they then pay you for that. So, not only do you make money through royalties, or ‘direct sales’, you also earn commission from Amazon for doing so.
If you’re never as successful as Chuck, or James Patterson, even Richard Castle, there’s no reason to hide yourself away. Engage with people, get them visiting your blog and, more importantly, get them looking at and buying your work.