In the churning, revolutionary world of publishing and indie publishing, most of the ideas, below, while still relevant, are out-shone by a single, cohesive concept.  Fiction authors should blog in order to draw traffic to their site, and to offer multiple ways for readers to subscribe to their newsletter.  All other reasons are distant second.  — t.


Yesterday, I said that adding two blogs into a weekly schedule that was already maxed could be construed as idiocy, but there were several very good reasons for launching them.

Here’s some of those reasons

Stories Rule, my “other” blog replaced a monthly e-newsletter that cost me about three times as much to run, only put my name in front of readers once a month, and was a major pain to set up each month – from page layout to content.

Stories Rule will eventually mesh almost seamlessly with my readers site and the two will bring traffic to each other.

A blog, unlike the monthly newsletter, allows readers to trip over me and my work when they’re cruising the net. Access is completely open – they don’t have to sign up for anything (although they can, if they want to subscribe to the feed via email or a reader).  They don’t have to hand over personal information. The blog also gives them a reason to come back at least weekly.

This blog, Anchored Authors, actually started life as a non-fiction book proposal, that none of the major how-to publishers were interested in publishing (one of the biggest said the target audience was “too narrow”!). However, I feel strongly enough about the subject – hell, I’m living it! – that I wanted to put it out there for others like me to tap into, and they could use my experience to avoid some of the nastier potholes an anchored author can fall into.

Writing a blog about this subject, instead of a book, means I can build an audience, tweak the subject, refine my thinking via your comments and feedback, and also build an audience and a platform, if I ever want to try selling the book again.

And yes, I would also like to think that this blog will be successful enough that I can make some money with it one day, which will help finance my fiction writing career.

Blogs, working in conjunction with a traditional website, can constitute up to 90% of your marketing effort. The remaining 10% is held over for book launches, which are short-term blasts every now and again.

That makes blogs particularly effective for time-squashed authors looking to maximize their web presence and their platform – and I’m not even thinking about non-fiction authors here. Fiction authors need platforms, too. Fiction editors like to see authors who have strong reader bases. Blogs are great at building your platform and help you get around the publishing Catch-22: No-one will publish you if you don’t have established readers, and you can’t build readers if no-one will publish you.

First appeared on Anchored Authors, October 5, 2008

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