As an author, I'm constantly looking for the most effective ways to promote my book - like all writers. I have my own blog and I belong to several online sites for writers and readers. I contribute regularly to those sites.

I've been doing some investigating lately and I discovered that, although I've posted several blogs on many of those sites, I seldom get any comments. For example, I have 13  posts on my Crimespace blog and only 2 comments total. Is blogging on these sites a waste of time? What are your thoughts?

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My thoughts are that social networking tools afford authors in this day and age a greater platform to reach readers that writers of yesteryear could only dream about reaching. Use it or lose it. The door has been blasted wide right open.  

Oh, I totally agree, James. I'm not questioning the importance of online social networking; I'm a firm believer in it!

I'm questioning whether or not it's a waste of time to post to my blogs on various sites, including Crimespace. I'd like to hear what others think about that - whether or not they've had success with that.

I can't say if it's a waste of time or not. I think it really depends on what you are expecting to get out of it, and how much time you're devoting just to any one site. If you are actively trying to promote a book, I can't recommend putting too many eggs in a small basket. (like this site. It's not that heavily populated. It's a good community to discuss and make a few connections, but you shouldn't expect it to change your sales too much) You also shouldn't expect any one site to really do anything big. I think it's not a waste of time. Every little bit helps to build your overall fanbase. It's simply a case of knowing what to expect from any given site and allotting time accordingly. 

Of course, this is coming from somebody who has yet to get a novel published. So I suppose you can take what I say with a healthy dose of salt.

Thanks, Jonathan!

Believe me, I have my eggs in many baskets because I agree with your philosophy. I'm just trying to make the best use of my time by focusing on what works. After all, gotta have time to write.  : )

Well, every little thing helps. And I don't think making connections/having good discussion with writers is ever a complete waste of time. Not saying that too much time should be spent blogging on a site where you have no views. I think we merely have to discern for ourselves what is working for us and what is not. This site is a decent way to make some connections. Not sure it's the best place for promotion. But regularly connecting with fellow readers/writers is probably going to always yield at least some sort of reward.

Good point, Jonathan! Thanks!

Exactly how does social networking like Facebook work?  It seem to me that only people that are "friends" on Facebook will look at one's posts.  Who in the whole wide world apart from my very few "firends" will know to look at my post and therefore see my book be promoted.  Therefore I think that social networks is a waste of time unless you know millions of people around the world that all crazy  about reading.

AWARENESS, if potential readers are aware that your book is out there then that is cool...make them aware. They may buy it, they may not buy it, but they are aware that the product is out there. A writer has to decide whether to post blogs on a popular site or sticker campaign a public toilet. On both counts certain people that frequent such places will be aware of the products existance. A writer that doesn't blog or furnish urinals with stickers is slacking. AWARENESS.  

I'm certainly not against blogging, James. I have my own blog and I'm thrilled with the following on that site. My question was directed at social media site blogs, other than my own.

I find it interesting that I've been posting blogs here for some time with no noticeable following but when I post a controversial question on the forum, there are numerous comments.

First off,  our blog site is where authors advertise their books.  Not just new releases, but repeat ads for all their books.  Many of these authors never appear on the forum.  They are strangers to the regulars.  I've ended up not going to the blog site any more.

 

Secondly, promotion by authors seems just as hopeless in the electronic age as it was when they traveled about from book store to book store.  There are too many sites, too much competition, too large and too resistant an audience.  The Kindle sites no longer let authors talk about their books. Good Reads is the same way.  Twitter is a time waster.  Many subject-specific sites are chat rooms that only want book discussions and small talk.

 

As for blogging:  Considering it takes time to write a decent blog, yes, I think blogging is a waste of time.  Now if you have an interesting theme and build a large following, then you may have a good reason to blog.  Note that many bloggers end up inviting others to blog on their sites.  That's because they cannot take that much time to keep the thing going.  I read few blogs, and when the blog is not regularly renewed, I drop it.

A blog or website can be a home for an author. It's probably not going to be where an author gains the most exposure. That'll be through social media. But it's still an important part. The benefits of having a blog/website aren't much, but the damage of NOT having one is greater than that.

Thanks, I.J.

Good point! I think most writers are too busy with their own promotion to pay much attention to the blogs of other writers on many social media sites. I'm fortunate to have my own blog site and I'm thrilled with the following there.

As I mentioned in an earlier comment, my question on the forum today has gotten more responses than several months of blog posts on Crimespace. Interesting!

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