Does Blogging Sell Books?
Holly Robinson, an author, has an interesting Huff Post article about the current obsession of blogging and social media comments in order to promote and sell books. If you are a self-publisher of your book(s) then you more than likely also become a self-publicist, your own PR and self-marketing machine. But does it work?
Well, I think it depends on what, where and how you write about your books – as with any marketing you have to engage with your potential buyers. And if your audience is on-line or on a social media channel it makes sense for a seller to meet his/her buyers in those places. This principal is as old as the hills!
But, the crux is: Does an author sell books by doing this? (Holly, is quite candid about some of her experiences in this area…)
HOLLY: “Not exactly. Last month, for instance, I was fortunate to have one of my blog posts not only accepted by The Huffington Post, but also collected in an industry roundup by that lion of literary news, Publishers Weekly. Want to know how many books I sold as a result? Two. As in 2. Dos, deux, due, twee: In any language, it’s the same. Thousands and thousands of readers had access to that blog post, yet my take after writing it was about $3.80… Yet, whenever an aspiring author asks me if she should blog, I always say yes, whether she’s going indie or with a big publishing house.”
Of course that is just one example. Other authors may find better results. This is a blog post, but do I expect to sell a book > NO! Like it or not blogging and social media is not just about reaching an audience but also dancing to the Google Search formula. By constantly blogging you are also raising your search ranking profile. Google needs to know you are in cyberspace and what you are about. And you can’t do that with one or two articles. Google (and other engines) are monsters that constantly need feeding juicy, topical content. The blog allows authors to do this quite easily by themselves.
It also means that millions of blog posts by every Tom, Dick and Harriet are out there competing with each other. It gets more competitive everyday. Google has to sift through the mass of content and make decisions as to which are worthy of putting in front of a searcher of related keywords. So are we doing enough of the right thing?
Well in the digital age we have to blog (or put content up somewhere). It simply is no use being 10,001st in the Google search results, the black hole of cyberspace. Most blog posts never see the light of Google’s first pages which must decrease the chances of anyone new finding them.
Actually, I loath this whole idea of feeding Google for the sake of it, I’d rather write a new thriller book. But every product / industry has had to embrace, even reluctantly, this on-line channel of publicity as that is where people are. Yes, more often than not, in the vain hope that it is a worthwhile exercise and that both your audience and the Monster Google find us worthy. But it is rewarding when you finally find your audience and the nice comments and questions come your way.
As Holly suggests: it is one snowflake at a time to make a snowball. So we keep blogging.