Anna Lewis is the co-founder of CompletelyNovel.com. Follow her on Twitter at @anna_cn.
The Author Blog Awards aim to highlight to readers the great content that you can find in author blogs and microblogs, reward those authors who engage with their readers online, and encourage other authors to do the same. Nominations are now open so please head over to www.authorblogawards.com to nominate your favourite author blog.
What you need to know
8 March 2010: Nominations open
Anyone can nominate an author blog that they think is worth of recognition by visiting a dedicated competition page on CompletelyNovel.com. The nominations will be compiled and a shortlist created for the blogs that receive the most votes.
2 April 2010: Nominations close
5 April Shortlist Announced and voting open
There will be three categories:
- Best Published Author Blog
- Best Unpublished Author Blog
- Best Author Microblog
Everyone will be able to vote for their favourite blogs from the shortlist.
15 April: Voting closed
20 April: Winners announced at London Book Fair
The rise of author blogs
As an author, how do you keep engaging with your readers? How do you keep a buzz going around your book, and also have people to contact when your next one comes out? Constantly touring the country, trying to engage with your readers is one option, but unless you really like road trips and paying for petrol there’s a limit to how much you’re going to want to do this. The low-carbon answer is to keep in contact with readers online through a blog or microblog – and that is exactly what loads of authors are now doing.
There are plenty of reasons why you might read an author’s blog. On the fiction side, you can get a fascinating insight into the mind of the writer and how the book was written. Writers can also give you some handy tips if you have writing aspirations yourself – this can be both regarding the business of writing, and then publishing. You may well be aware that Neil Gaiman has a huge blogging presence, as well as being an avid Tweeter, and keeps his fans up to date on his progress of his latest book and book signings. Author Cory Doctorow, one of the curators of Boing Boing also offers interesting insights into the effects of copyright law and DRM on the life of an author.
On the non-fiction side, it’s worth checking out whether the author you like has a blog as a way to keep up to date on their subject matter. Malcolm Gladwell and Seth Godin also have a big blogging presence but we are also seeing lots of newer authors engaging with their audience online. As the cost of setting up a blog starts at free, there’s no barrier to authors who self-publish their work, and many of those are producing some excellent material too.
Rewarding the best
The Author Blog Awards aims to highlight and reward the authors who are doing a great job of engaging with their audience online. The awards are being run by CompletelyNovel.com with help from Jon Slack. They have also partnered with publishing news website BookBrunch and publishers such as Allison and Busby, The Random House Group, Quartet, Simon and Schuster.
To encourage as many people as possible to nominate and vote in the awards, we will be offering prizes including books, eBooks, eReaders, event tickets etc to randomly selected participants, provided by CompletelyNovel and the partners in the awards.
We’re also very pleased to announce that we will be announcing the winners at London Book Tweet, the official London Book Fair Tweetup, organised by Publishing Talk and the London Book Fair. Hopefully see you/tweet you there!