An Author Blogs

I’m slightly puzzled by this part of Dear Author’s post on Marketing Do’s and Don’ts:

Bad Marketing: Blogging. The Lipstick Chronicles is a very strange blog. It reads more like a bunch of personal journals than a blog about an author’s work or maybe that is the focus of the blog – personal journal entries. I think it is a strange way of marketing. Sarah Strohmeyer of the Bubbles fame wrote an entry where she describes giving her husband a blowjob. Ugh. That is just not a vision I want to have while reading a Strohmeyer book. I kind of think of authors like my parents. They are completely asexual beings else I would not be able to read a sex scene that they wrote.

Isn’t that what blogs are meant to be? Personal journals?

I understand if you don’t want to read about authors giving blowjobs. I do see that it might make some people uncomfortable, and while it doesn’t push my limits, I see that it does push others. Me, I put it on the same level as reading sex scenes written by other people.

Take Jill Shalvis. Her blog is a personal journal, and is one heckuva funny one. I always look forward to her posts. And she gets at least 30-40 comments per post.

But it’s the paragraph that comes before this that I take Much Issue with:

Good Marketing: Blogging that includes information about your books. When the next book is out. What you are currently working on. What motivates you. Where you write. Look at the questions asked of an author in an interview or the questions readers ask authors at the Romantic Times Ask an Author, if you are looking for blog content inspiration.

Maybe it’s because I write. IMHO, I think writing’s all about hard work. BICHOK (Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard). There is no mystique to it.

So really, there’s only so much about the writing part of things you can write about. I’m an unpubbed, but I do know that when I yanked my writing stuff off this blog (mostly anyway) to my LJ, my stats rose. There are other variables involved, including the fact that moving the writing stuff elsewhere meant that I needed to come up with more non-writing related content, but I do think that it helped a great deal.

Likewise, there’s only so many posts you can write saying “My latest book’s out! Go buy it!”

That’s not real content, IMHO, and I don’t stick with blogs like that for long. I can just sign up for your mailing list and find out when your next book’s coming out.

I interview authors for my blog (Melissa, your questions are coming, I swear!). I make it a point to ask something different from the norm. At least, I try. Should I stop? Life would be easier for me if I could.

But that leads back to my point: Content should be original. Sticking to Dear Author’s parameters means that content will quickly start being reused, and no longer be original.

10 Responses to “An Author Blogs”

  1. December 12, 2006 at 4:37 pm

    I must be a private person, because I don’t like talking too much about my personal life in my blog. I have a hard time keeping my personal blog personal. I keep wanting to write it like I do my Magical Musings blog.

    I’ll have to check out Jill Shalvis’s blog. Besides liking her books, I sent her a recipe as part of a recipe chain, so I practially feel that we’re buddies.*g*

  2. December 12, 2006 at 4:41 pm

    I don’t talk very much about my personal life, I don’t think. I think that me the blogger isn’t a very ‘deep’ persona because there are a lot of things I don’t blog about.

    You should! She’s funny!

  3. December 12, 2006 at 8:46 pm

    I blog about a bit of everything on my writing blog and include photos and other stuff. I have a separate blog that is all personal stuff.

    When I visit writer/author blogs I want to see a bit of everything. If all I see are promo’s of their books then I stop visiting. I can go to the publisher’s site or their website for those things. A blog is a journal of sorts and I like to see it used as such.

  4. December 12, 2006 at 11:15 pm

    I like to see a little bit of everything on a blog. I tend to keep my personal life ‘nameless’ and speak in generalities. Most people don’t notice, but some do. I don’t think a blog should be just about your books, but it’s okay to mention what you’re working on. I do think I’d draw the line about discussing ones sex life. But that’s just me. 🙂

  5. December 13, 2006 at 12:51 am

    We at http://www.thelipstickchronicles.typepad.com have always felt that to stand out in a crowded market, to attract readers to our books, and to be leaders in the internet community, we need to generate fresh content on a daily basis. But most of all? We reveal our true selves in our fiction, so it’s a logical extension of that heart-on-the-line attitude that makes our blogs equally self-revealing. Sarah’s controversial blog may have raised eyebrows (and caused a lot of other writers to tut-tut her honesty) but the readers of her books embrace her view of life, her wit and her truth. Have you read The Cinderella Pact? In my view, it’s a landmark in women’s fiction. Check out her post today, and you’ll see another side of an author readers trust to take them where few writers can.

  6. December 13, 2006 at 5:09 pm

    I like to see a blogger mix it up. Kate Rothwell’s blog is a good mix of writing, personal stuff, funny asides about popular culture and even politics.

    I don’t read many blogs that only focus on writing because process is personal and I can only read so many blog entries on it before I start thinking the author is lecturing us all on how to write or she starts to repeat herself.

    I absolutely hate when an author’s blog is all promo. If I wanted that, I’d go to her website. A blog should be differentiated from a website because if not, what’s the purpose of reading it?

    The most interesting blogs have a voice, IMO.

  7. December 13, 2006 at 7:55 pm

    I just try to be myself and I quickly stop reading blogs that promote a ‘my way or the highway’ form of approaching writing, or anything else.

    And I don’t want to read about anyone’s sex life. Eeeeyuck. All sex all the time gets just as boring as promote-promote-promote, imho.

  8. December 14, 2006 at 7:28 pm

    Michelle, I agree.

    Jordan, if I discussed my sex life online, it’d be on a truly anonymous blog. If you knew me in real life, you’d probably be realise it’s me on this blog.

    Nancy, thanks for dropping by! I do think it’s great that you guys are trying to be different. 🙂

    Lauren, I agree with you on Kate’s blog. Exactly! I don’t expect people to enjoy reading my writing blog very much for that reason, and why I moved it off this one. And yes, voice definitely does matter.

    Tambo, you’re doing a great job at being yourself. 🙂

  9. 9 sasha69
    December 15, 2006 at 1:05 am

    I think Blogs are more than marketing tools. I think they are a way for readers, for anyone to get to know ME, Sasha, the person and the writer.

    I discuss my private life online. In a “general” way mostly. But I also think that my blog is about more than my books. It’s also abotu more thanmy personal life. What I want readers to get out of reading my blog is an idea of who I am, and what I write…and a good time. 🙂 I like to post dirty jokes, hot men, even erotic photos of women if they’re nicely done. I post excerpts, and personal stuff. But I’ve yet to have anyone be offended by my blog. I think that it’s a good representation of me, and my style of writing, even if it’s not all about writing.

  10. December 17, 2006 at 8:20 pm

    I don’t talk about my private life in general on my blog. But certain blogs are really dull…because all they ever do is talk about their books…or their friends’ books.

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