Blogging About Your Book

The Blogosphere, the wonderful world of blogs, is now upon us. Blogs, which are online diaries, journals, or logs, are one of the hottest and most influential book promotion techniques. The word blog is a contraction of the term Web log, and blogs are written on an endless array of subjects in an equally endless number of styles, formats, approaches, and viewpoints. As we go to press, some 120 million English-speaking blogs are estimated to exist.

In comparison with other publicity vehicles, blogs can be a great bargain. They cost little or nothing to create, produce, and distribute; you don’t have to pay printing or mailing charges or need any special technical skills All you have to do is sit at your computer, type your content into a template, and when you’re finished, send it to everyone on your list. Templates are available from a number of services, including 

Most blogs are commentaries that are written in a personal, conversational tone. Since they don’t have to be balanced, like many other publications do, their content generally reflects each blogger’s feelings, opinions, or observations. Many are passionate about their subjects, positions, or points of view. Overall, blogs are less formal than Web sites or other online publications like newsletters and e-zines.

Blogs can be written in virtually any format. They can follow any publishing schedule or no discernible schedule. They can come out each day, weekday, week, or whenever-it’s totally up to the blogger. Since blogs can be updated at any time, they are often most topical.

Blogs can be powerful promotional tools for books because they enable writers to:

Establish expertise. Writers can show and impress others with their expertise. In a relatively short time, writers can build impressive bodies of published work in their specialty areas. They can also establish themselves as specialists more quickly by writing blogs than through other, more traditional routes.

Build followings. Blogs attract groups of devoted readers and supporters. Reading their favorite blog is often the highlight of their day. Blog readers frequently subscribe to the blogger’s positions, outlooks, or points of view, so they buy and help promote the blogger’s books and products.

Provide information. Writers can inform readers about news and developments relating to their books and topics. In addition to text, blogs can contain graphics, including photographs and links to other sources. They can also publicize speaking engagements and list when they’re scheduled. If fact, blogs can contain anything that you find in other publications or on Web sites.

Expound passionately. The writing in blogs is personal, so writers can express the full depths of their feelings. They can speak directly to others who share their passions and intensity. And they don’t have to give equal time to others who may not agree with their positions.

Receive feedback. Writers can get comments, suggestions, and information from their readers, which they may or may not decide to post. The feedback they receive may be of invaluable help for their future writing projects.

Encourage dialogues. The conversational style of blogs and their eagerness for feedback can encourage exchanges with readers. These conversations can be fertile sources of information for future projects. They can also send up trial balloons and test concepts being developed for upcoming work.

Make contacts. Blogs attract intensely loyal readers who often become the writers’ strongest supporters. All writers covet strong readership bases because they can become virtual fan clubs. For many faithful readers, a day without their favorite blog is as unthinkable as starting the day without coffee.

Break the isolation. Through blogs, writers can be in contact with the outside world, which they often miss out on in their work. Besides giving them new ideas and information, contact with others can break their myopia and help them gain newer and broader perspectives.

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