Monday, September 17, 2012

Blogging, Readers, and Book Sales

So a conversation some friends and I had the other day got me to thinking. For years we've been told that as authors we have to blog. If we want publishers to consider us we must build that illusive platform, one plank of which is blogging. But the conversation I had with my friends the other day went something like this...

"Do you ever read (insert favorite author's name here)'s blog?"
"No, not me. I don't have time to read blogs."
To the next party in the group. "What about you? Do you ever read So-n-so's blog?"
Shaking head. "Nope. I don't even know if she has a blog. Does she?"
"Yes. She blogs." To both parties. "Do you read any blogs?"
Both sticking out their lips. "Not really. Every once in awhile, I read an agent's blog. Other than that, not much."

This was eye-opening, if a bit alarming. But it got me to thinking and I want to take a survey of a large segment of the population to see if these statistics were just unique to that small group, or if in general they hold true across the board.

So I've created a very short survey and I'd love it if you would participate.

I'll come back in a few weeks after I've given plenty of time for lots of people to respond, to give you the results.

Click here to take survey

Thanks, everyone!
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38 comments:

  1. Filled out the survey, Lynnette, but I KNOW I'm atypical of the average. I'm ADDICTED to reading blogs:)

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    1. You *are* unusual in your blog travels! You're every blogger's dream reader!

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  2. Interesting, Joanne. :) Thanks for participating!

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  3. I LOVE reading blogs, probably why I also love to blog! It is a fun way to read more by authors that I love while I wait for new books to come out!

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Good to know. Thanks for participating! :)

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  4. very very little, Lynnette - I'm too busy writing & researching to do a lot of blog reading as well, much as I may want to

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    1. You and I sound like we're on the same page, Murray. :)

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  5. Lynette, I have completed the questionnaire. I write a blog where I review books and interview authors and I Ahve had people contact me to say they have bought books based on the recommendations in my blog

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    1. I think review blogs are probably the exception to the rule, Wendy, because most people who follow a blog like that are there specifically to learn about new books to buy. For most blogs that is not the case, though.

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  6. Completed the survey...lots of good questions. I'd be interested to hear what others had to say:)

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    1. Stay tuned... I do plan to make them public.

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  7. Lynette, I do read a few blogs from time to time, but they are not authors. I have purchased a book from discussions on those blogs.I am most likely to read a blog if the blogger posts a link to facebook when there is a new blog post up.

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    1. Yes, I think Facebook is definitely becoming a key factor in readership. Thanks for taking time to answer the questions.

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  8. I did the survey, I more often read blogs where an author is being interviewed than a blog written by an author.

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    1. I do enjoy a good interview - especially if it is about one of my favorite authors. But I rarely go looking for them.

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  9. I don't think blogs directly generate sales, but they give an author a presence online that's friendly and accessible. I consider it an Internet "home base." It's especially nice when authors respond to comments and make readers and fellow authors feel like part of a community.

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    1. I agree with your assessment about replying to comments, Anne. I think that is so important to keeping a community viable.

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  10. I stopped individual blogs quite a while ago. I still reads blogs like this one and Colonial Quills that are cooperative efforts. Even those I don't read as much anymore. But other than that... nope.

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    1. We're honored to be one of the blogs you still read, Pegg! :) Thanks for responding!

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  11. I think as authors we should taylor our blogs to readers not authors.

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    1. I think the problem most authors have with this is that the term "readers" can be so ambiguous. However, when we take time to nail down the type of readers we'd like to reach, their age, their reading habits, etc. it becomes easier.

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  13. I'll be interested to see what the results are, but I won't be surprised if they slant strongly in agreement with your friends in the post. Truthfully, I've always felt blogging was a poor platform for fiction authors. Most readers won't love us enough to care about our personal lives, and most readers won't love our subject matter enough to read about our research forays. What they love is our fiction. That's what they want.

    Non-fiction, of course, is another ballgame altogether.

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    1. I so agree, Katie. I've never felt that blogging was a very good option for fiction authors. There just is no easy or natural sales conversion there.

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  14. I took the survey, too. Can't wait to see what the results are.

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    1. With 60 people responding now, only one of the answers has surprised me, so far.

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  15. I took the survey as well. I try to find the time to read certain authors blogs. But in all honesty, I'm too busy trying to set time aside to write my books, without succumbing to procrastination! :)
    It certainly will be interesting to hear the outcome of this survey.

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  16. Don't need a survey to tell that blogs were really relevant until Twitter and Facebook came about. Now they are a time sink. The world has gone much more "microwave" in their interactions. Short, sweet, and now.

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    1. I think that's a big part of it, Bonnie. True.

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  18. When I do read blogs, I'm always glad I read them. However, I don't read blogs as often as I used to since Facebook and Twitter are now available for instant communication, as Bonnie pointed out.

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to take the survey, Dee. :)

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  19. Well, if I find a link to an interesting blog, I may be influenced to buy a book. Good writing trumps for me, and I love finding this in all sorts of ways. But I may just be the perfect example of folk not buying after reading a blog post: I offered a free book of a work I thought excellent and as yet have had very few takers. If I had read my critique, I'd have leapt at the chance to own that woman's work. Instead, only seven folk commented, and one of those was the book's author. (I assume she doesn't need another copy of her work.)

    It is possible, of course, that no one reads my blog, though I linked to the freebie on Facebook. Sigh.

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    1. Normandie, Publicity is a key in getting people to read the posts. But you're right, some posts just don't "click" with people like others do. I've had posts where I wrote my little heart out only to get 2 or 3 comments and other posts that come easier that will get many comments. It can be frustrating, I know. Hang in there!

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  20. Lynette, I couldn't get the survey to open. As far as reading blogs...I probably read 3-4 a day, I skim a dozen or so, and take the time to comment, gulp..., once or twice a week. For me it comes down to time. I can't access the blogs at work, and I can't sit at my desk reading them on my iphone. By the time I get home, I'm writing my own stuff...

    I sure hope the people reading mine are less busy than I am.

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    1. Sharon, Sorry you couldn't get it to open. Not sure why. Time is definitely the killer for me, too. Thanks for taking time to comment!

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