Blog consultant Mark White has written a recent post on the benefits of blogging as a means of promoting books. While you may be tripping over Nigella, Jamie and Michael Palin in Waterstones, the number of titles with the PR benefit of TV behind them is tiny.
But one medium easily available to all authors and publishers is blogging. Book blogging is a no-brainer so far as I’m concerned. The benefits are huge, in terms of getting a book in front of more people, boosting web traffic, engaging readers. It should be done routinely:
Using a blog allows you to get in front of your potential readers, engage with them and hopefully really grab their attention – done correctly, it can not only give a feel for the book but expand on it and pique the interest of potential buyers, readers and future loyal fans. Setting up a blog to promote your book should be an automatic step in the book promotion process and it can be a very powerful approach.
Here are his top seven tips for effective blog promotion:
- Give your blog the same title as your book
- Use the same domain name too
- Make sure it is linked visually with the book
- Make use of the layout and design
- Use incentives and promotions
- Use your blog marketing opportunities
- Don’t forget your offline and other online marketing
You can read what he has to say about each of them here.
As a minimum, start off by linking to you authors’ blogs – for example as Palgrave Macmillan have done on a single webpage of blog links. And then encourage other authors to get blogging by setting blogs up for those who are interested.
It’s also possible to build multiple author blogs around a subject area, which has the advantage of sharing the workload and building a useful subject resource.
Or even blogs based on publishing companies and imprints, such as Harper Collins’s 5th Estate blog, the Penguin Blog, or Simon and Schuster’s bookvideos.tv. I’ve written elsewhere about bookvideos.tv, which I think is an interesting use of video blogging to promote books.
For findability, word-of-mouth marketing, and those intangible things like authenticity and engagement that are so much part of the new media culture, I would place the importance of brands in the following order:
- the author
- the product
- the publisher
But whichever approach you take to blogging, we’re only going to see more of it. It just works.