As publicist for Gray & Company, I sometimes overhear conversations our publisher, David Gray, has with potential authors. A writer will come to David with a kernel of a book idea or even a rough book outline– asking if our company would be interested in publishing the book
David often replies: “Do you have a blog?”
Some authors answer: “Ugh. I don’t want to write a blog. I don’t have time” or “Blogging doesn’t interest me.” It might be better to reconsider and have a closer look.
Laborious and time-consuming as it is, writing a blog can be a very important first step in the actual process of writing and researching a book. At the very least, developing a Facebook page (sort of a mini-blog) based on your book project or idea can be an excellent way to begin.
Here’s why I think blogging is so important for authors and would-be authors:
Prove you have something to say
Any writer knows that interesting, well-written content is the basis for a successful book. If you don’t have something to say, you probably won’t write a very good book. Blogging is your chance to prove to yourself (and potential publishers) you actually have something to say on your subject, so much in fact you find yourself writing about it on a regular basis.
Blogging also gives you an opportunity to organize your content by deciding what to write about on a given day. Many bloggers I know keep a running list of ideas– a “blog bank” of sorts where they can reach in and pull out ideas for future posts. Once written, the blog entries are separated into categories and placed into archives for future reference. Sound familiar? A lot like organizing content for your book.
Learn to be disciplined
Writing a blog isn’t easy. Sometimes you just don’t feel like posting and the ideas don’t come. Although I’m not an author, those I work with tell me the process of writing a book is similar. You need to write regularly on a schedule whether you’re in the mood or not. The discipline of writing a blog is great preparation for writing your book.
Build your audience
Through blogging (or Facebook posting) you have a wonderful opportunity to interact with readers, not only to get feedback on what you’ve written but to get new information and ideas.
One Gray & Company author, Carlo Wolff, author of Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories, is using his Facebook page to communicate with readers while working on his new project, Invisible Soul, a book about Cleveland soul music. Check out Carlo’s Facebook page of the same name (and be sure to “like” it) to see how others are contributing ideas for the book and giving him additional references. Notice all the “likes” Carlo is receiving for his posts, an indication his book will be of interest to readers once it’s actually published.
Great publicity tool
When your book is actually published and you’re ready to publicize and promote, you’ll be absolutely thrilled to have a blog or active Facebook page. You now have a built-in platform for announcing when and where the book is for sale, creating links to Amazon and other online retailers, and publicizing your upcoming book signing events.
You can use your blog or Facebook to offer book giveaways and post excerpts. The possibilities are endless. And best of all, your blog readers and Facebook fans are targeted readers (i.e. those who already have an interest in you and your book). Your publisher will love you. Guaranteed.
If you’re now even half-convinced to write a blog but don’t know where to begin, check out one of my earlier posts about Lynda.com, offering instructional videos on how to set-up a WordPress blog.
Once you begin blogging, send me the link so I can subscribe. I’ll be watching for the book that follows as a result of your successful blogging. Best of luck!
These books began with blogs