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Monday
Jun132011

The Successful Author Blog - Is It A Myth?

 

Photo by Rob Boudon (click pic for link)

Last week I talked about what I learned from Kristen Lamb's talk on social media. One of the things that became a well-discussed point in the comments and then on Kristen's follow up post was the suggestion that authors shouldn't have a blog about writing. Not to say you should never talk about writing, but that you shouldn't have a writing specific blog (like this one, lol.) Kristen's point is that you are only reaching a small niche audience if you stick to writing topics (other writers) and you're missing the opportunity to reach a much wider group of potential readers.

 

So I totally get her point. Even though, like I said in the original post, I do not regret doing this blog because it has brought me wonderful friends and great opportunities I wouldn't have otherwise.

But this did leave me thinking--okay, so how do I adjust and broaden my platform? Part of what I do is my author blog where I focus more on romance-friendly stuff and photos of hot men on Tuesdays and Thursdays when I'm not blogging here. (My job is such a hardship, right?) But am I doing what I'm supposed to be doing?

So of course, I wanted to research who was doing it "right". Which successful published authors had (non-writing) blogs that were interesting enough to make people read it on a regular basis?

I first stopped by some of my favorite authors' sites. Almost across the board, the blog posts are pretty much all about upcoming releases, cover reveals, news about conferences and signings, etc. All helpful information but not something you'd like sign up to read weekly.

But I couldn't really find any stand out blogs from the authors I went to. I could think of a few authors with debuts coming out that had good blogs. I think Tawna Fenske does an excellent job having broad appeal on her blog. Her theme is humor with a heavy dose of sexual innuendo (she does talk about writing some). She's funny and entertaining and the blog gives you a feel for what her writing voice is. It makes you want to read her book. I also think Stephanie Faris does a good job covering very broad appeal topics like Do You Remember New Coke? Though she writes middle grade so her blogging is not necessarily tied to her genre.

I also love Chuck Wendig's blog. He does blog about writing regularly but it's not a "writing" blog. And he's hilarious. Totally subscribe-able. But other than that, where are the multi-published authors who have killer blogs? I gave up and asked the hive mind of Twitter. Here are the suggestions:

Neil Gaiman
Jennifer Crusie
Ebony McKenna
Patrick Rothfuss
Meg Cabot

But really, people had trouble coming up names. Now, this is a limited sample because most of the people who follow me on Twitter are fellow writers. So, like me, they tend to hang out at blogs about writing. But still.

This made me wonder is the successful, engaging author blog that rare? Do readers really care to see more than news style updates once an author is published? Are we all stressing ourselves out over something that nobody else is doing well either?

I don't know the answers to those questions. My instinct is that a non-writing reader would probably be more interested in following a favorite author on Twitter and Facebook to just get to know them organically and in bite sized morsels rather than regularly reading their blog. But that's just conjecture. And if you throw the whole self-pubbing thing into the mix, then you have even more complicated questions because then your online platform is your ONLY way to get to readers. The whole topic fascinates me.

So I'm dying to know what you all think? Which author blogs (non-writing blogs) do you love to read? What are those authors doing right? As a reader, what do you want your favorite authors to blog about? 

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