Blogging Part 4–The Future is Now

Welcome to WANA Wednesday, based off my best-selling book We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media. Today is part four of my blogging series, which you might have already gleaned from the title cuz you guys are super-smart-perceptive that way😀. I am going to say something bold, but deep down I know that I’m right. Blogging is the way of the future for anyone trying to sell a product, including books. Those who connect with their potential consumer and give a human voice and personality to their product will reap tremendous advantage. I know many of you believe me and understand that you need to blog, but I tend to be a person who needs to know why. Today I want to put some things in perspective, and help you understand the why behind what we are doing. I am going to pan the camera back so you can see the big picture and where you, your book, and your agent (or future agent) fit in.

Agents and the Future

Want to be popular? Start gunning for sacred cows. Shove people out of their comfort zone and watch the fireworks. I blog every Wednesday on trending changes in our industry and give ways to keep up. But change is coming fast and some people are resisting. I can understand that and appreciate the desire to hang on to what is familiar. But my job isn’t to make you guys comfortable, it is to prepare you for success.

Recently I had a somewhat heated discussion with a writer who felt I was out of line telling writers they need to blog to be competitive. Hey, can’t make everyone happy, right? Anyway, this author adamantly defended that the quality of the book was all that mattered, and that an agent who wanted a writer to have a platform just might not be the right agent. Her agent didn’t require that and so on and so forth.

Let’s think about this critically for a second. I completely agree that the quality of the book must come first. So let’s just get that out of the way.  Let’s talk agents and what on earth does that have to do with blogging and social media?

I know many of you are dying to get representation. It is easy to put agents on a pedestal and forget what they do….they work for us. It is their job to sell our work and command the highest price and the most extra goodies for that work. Conversely, it is our job to give our agent the most to work with.

What do you think will land a better deal? A very well-written book alone? Or a very well-written book combined with blog following in the thousands who know that author by name?

Having a blog gives your agent an advantage when trying to broker a deal for your work.

But let’s take this another step. We should be making sure that a prospective agent not only understands the current market, but looks to the future trends as well. Most of us are wanting to be career authors so we need to make sure we are signing with an agent who has vision. Back when I was looking for an agent, I almost queried this one guy until he rolled his eyes and sarcastically dismissed eBooks at an Agent Q&A. In my mind, this was a clear sign that he lacked vision. Not a good fit.

I wanted an agent who would push me to do all the things that would pave the way to a successful long-term future. I advise you look for the same. Hiring an agent who won’t use e-mail and blows off social media is like going to a doctor who won’t use modern fandangledy gizmos like MRIs or CAT scans. Could they do just as good of a job? Possibly. But do you feel safe putting your future in their hands?

Every teenager glued to his iPhone, every college student linked perpetually to FB, every grade school kid with a laptop is a glimpse at our future reader. A good book alone might be enough now, but my challenge is for you to plan for the long-term (and look for an agent who will do the same).

See, everyone is flocking to social media. Why? There are a lot of reasons, but I will only address two.

Practicality

Companies need to sell goods and services. Authors need to sell books. There is an old saying in sales, Fish where the fish are. News flash. The fish are all schooling on social media. Why?

The old marketing methods are failing. People use their DVRs and fast-forward through the commercials. We toss out mass mailings as we walk in our front door. Radio? Try Pandora Internet radio. E-mail advertisements? We use spam filters or open junk mail accounts for when we are forced to give an e-mail address. We get people who know us to contact us via text messages or e-mail us on Facebook. Newspapers are fading into the history books, and most people no longer have a home telephone. The cell phone industry should bow down and kiss the feet of telemarketers. I believe it was their non-stop barrage of calls all hours of the day that got even the most technologically challenged to say, “Enough! Sprint, sign me up!”

If people are going to hear about your book, then it needs to be via social media.

Authenticity

In an age of plastic surgery, air-brushing and CGI, we are stewing in a sea of fake. There has been a recent trend toward that which is genuine or authentic. We are more sophisticated than ever before in human history, and many of us are no longer buying the carefully crafted marketing campaigns with airbrushed models and Photoshop trickery. We want to hear from people…REAL people. We pay way more attention to our Twitter pals or FB friends than any marketing trick.

If our Twitter peeps rave about a book, we know they likely read it, and we trust that opinion far more than a shiny placard in the front window of a book store.

The Age of the Writer

This is an amazing time to be a writer. This is the age we have all been waiting for. The time where we would RULE! I am going to give a little perspective. I have been a writer for years. I always found this scenario funny, yet it happened time and time again (and still does).

So, what do you do?

I’m a writer.

No, I meant what’s your job?

Um…ever been on the Internet? Seen all those little symbols known as LETTERS or WRITING? You like television shows? Thank a writer. Books, blogs, song lyrics, movies, video games, magazines? Thank a writer. You like knowing how to hook up your computer or work your microwave? Thank a writer. We are already an important if too often unnoticed component of advanced society, and I see a new role emerging for writers…particularly bloggers.

Why Bloggers Will Rule

Skilled bloggers, I believe, will have a distinct edge over their non-blogging or half-ass blogging competition. Agents with foresight are seeing that. This is why we are seeing more and more blog-to-book deals. Successful blogs come with a ready-made audience and committed following. This makes them a better investment for any publishing house.

Also, any agent worth her salt will tell you that only two things sell books—quality of the book (which is paramount) and word of mouth. Social media is becoming the new global village. Who are the villagers talking about? With some hard work and sacrifice, they could be talking about you. My blog has sold books and created fans in such places at the UK, Italy, Austria, Egypt, the Netherlands. Only on social media are we going to gain that kind of influence for the cost of a little time and effort.

Blogging is one of the most effective forms of social media for a writer. We are in the Information Age and most people are on information overload. There are a gazillion things being thrown at us all at once. We have more choices than we know what to do with, more information than we could ever absorb in a thousand lifetimes. Now, with self-publishing and e-publishing everyone can be published. The old gatekeepers are no longer present, and there is more competition than ever before.

What do people tend to do when given too many options? They pull inward. They find favorites and stick to them like glue. We become like the kid with a bazillion toys who drags around that one ragged teddy bear with no eyes. Blogging is a powerful way to gain a loyal following and become a favorite.

How do you become a favorite? Actually, it is simpler than you think and we will talk about that next week in Blogging Part 5–Oooooh! I can hear the groans of protest. Hey, you want this blog to be 10,000 words long?😀

In the meantime, any thoughts on future trends? Questions? Suggestions? What scares you about blogging? Does blogging excite you? Intimidate you? Overwhelm you? Have any of you tried some of the methods I’ve been teaching? What are your successes? Problems? Hurdles? I’d like to know. Also, if you are blogging using my methods and have started to blog on topic. Let me know and you might make the New Kids on the Block–Hangin’ tough! Sorry about that.

For a look at how pivotal social media is…watch this. Then get super excited about your writing future. You’re gonna need shades😀.

Happy writing!

Until next time…

Give yourself the gift of success so you can ROCK 2011. My best-selling book We Are Not Alone–The Writers Guide to Social Media is recommended by literary agents and endorsed by NY Times best-selling authors. My method is free, fast, simple and leaves time to write more books. Put that gift card you got for Christmas to good use.

Mash-Up of Awesomeness

L.A. Times has an interesting article. Amazon’s Kindle opens a new chapter for publishing. 

Workshops

I highly, highly recommend NYT Best-Selling Author Bob Mayer’s workshops. Who Dares Wins Publishing is offering numerous Write It Forward On-Line Workshops. Learn everything from how to write a novel, to how to self-publish successfully. I will even be teaching a class in March about social media and building a platform. For $20 per workshop, you can learn from the best in the industry from the comfort of your own home.

Talented best-selling romance author Candace Havens will also be teaching a novel writing workshop.

New Kids On the Block

Manon Eileen is running a new and fascinating blog series, discussing psychiatry and philosophy and their influences on writing.

Peter St. Clair has an excellent blog anout the archenemy in fiction.

Funny Stuff

Author Piper Bayard

Author Tawna Fenske

Writing Stuff

The AWESOME Chuck Wendig chimes in about self-publishing.

Writing to Publish by Sharon Leah

The Mystery of Building an Author’s Platform by Annetta Ribken

Terrell Mims has started a new series on the Hero’s Journey. New writers, this is a MUST-read.

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  1. #1 by kayspringsteen on December 29, 2010 - 3:03 pm

    Anyone who still resists, who still believes it is ONLY about the quality of the book, consider how many people approach agents with limited spots for clients on a daily basis. If the agent has to choose between a great book by a great author, or a great book by a great author who blogs well, who do you think the agent is going to be drawn more to? As much as we all want to say it’s about the art and not about the money, it’s about both. An author who has a successful following in the blogisphere is also demonstrating that s/he will go to whatever lengths it takes to self-promote. And for those who don’t think an author should have to self-promote…you’re kidding me, right? Or perhaps you aren’t all that serious about writing after all.

    • #2 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 29, 2010 - 3:11 pm

      Preaching to the choir, LOL. To me it is just common sense. I can appreciate that writers already are overwhelmed, but that is why I began this series. Blogging and social medai are not as hard or time consuming as many writers believe. Now, if you are going off half-cocked with no plan…sure. It is a HUGE time suck. Thanks for the input, Kay and for taking time to comment.😀

  2. #3 by Peter on December 29, 2010 - 3:11 pm

    As always, thanks for the shout out. My blog continues to grow everyday thanks to the advice I have gotten from you (as well as the traffic that comes from here). What people don’t realize, and I’m surprised you didn’t mention it, is that as soon as you hit the “post” button from your blog, you effectively become a published writer. Obviously that’s only the first step in the long road to “authordom” (yes, I totally just made that word up), but it is perhaps the most important one other than actually writing the book. Thanks for the advice and hopefully 2011 will hold a place for a book written by Peter Saint-Clair…lol

    • #4 by Patrick Thunstrom on December 29, 2010 - 6:27 pm

      “What people don’t realize, and I’m surprised you didn’t mention it, is that as soon as you hit the “post” button from your blog, you effectively become a published writer.”

      This is true, and is something that has helped me get over jitters when submitting articles or even as I advance my own blogging.

      • #5 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 29, 2010 - 6:29 pm

        It was a good point, and one I hadn’t thought of. I will have to mention that next week😀.

  3. #6 by joannaaslinn on December 29, 2010 - 3:12 pm

    Hi Kristen,

    Happened on your post at Bob Mayer’s blog and had to take the next step to check out your very energetic and informative corner of cyberspace. (I am subscribed!) Excellent, inspiring and motivating posts–looking forward to implement so much of what I’m learning! Thank you for your time and dedication! Best wishes in 2011!

    In answer to one of your questions above, I find that when I post consistently, speaking to the readers on subjects people relate to, I wind up being found. I also believe self-publishing will rapidly grow into a much more respected means of getting one’s work out there–possibly THE means one day. Time (and sales🙂 will tell!

    Joanna Aislinn
    Dream. Believe. Strive. Achieve!
    NO MATTER WHY
    The Wild Rose Press
    http://www.joannaaislinn.com
    http://www.joannaaislinn.wordpress.com

  4. #7 by Charles Warren on December 29, 2010 - 3:23 pm

    Thanks for your informative and encouraging blogs as well as the links to other resources. I have been reading We Are Not Alone, but continue to have difficulty knowing what to write in a blog resulting in my not blogging nearly as often as I would like. Hopefully as I get deeper into your book it’ll become more clear. Keep sending the helpful info.

  5. #8 by netta on December 29, 2010 - 3:31 pm

    Thanks for the link love, Kristen.🙂

    It’s not *only* about quality, but if the quality isn’t there in both the book AND the blog, you have a problem.

    I blogged almost daily for six years, and you know what I discovered? I became a much better writer toward the end of that experience than I was in the beginning. Blogging not only helps you improve as a writer, it’s also a legacy of sorts. I now have six years of experience and snapshots of my life from which to draw for inspiration, information, and something my kids will have long after I’m worm food. The best part? I made some life-long friends and formed some amazing relationships with the people who thought I had something to say. It’s a win/win situation.

    If you’re not blogging, you’re missing out of a lot more than you think.

  6. #9 by Heather on December 29, 2010 - 3:35 pm

    I’m actually a newbie writer working with a seasoned author. I’m internet savvy and am setting up a website for him and asked him if he’d like to have a blog. He looked at me like i was cross-eyed. lol

    But I’ve had a blog running for a year posting ONLY book reviews because I couldn’t think of anything else to write about. After reading your Blogging series (and wanting to read more & more) I am excited to think i’m on the right path and you’ve encouraged me to blog more than just book reviews.

    My question is how do you know who you’re reaching. I’m on blogger (heatheraine.blogspot.com) I have had a “follow me” thing on there all year long with only 3 followers. I just recently added an email subscription form too. Is there something more I can do to encourage a connection? Or is that good? Any advice on how to find the audience besides just posting cool stuff and letting people find you according to their internet searches?

    • #10 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 29, 2010 - 4:36 pm

      I will talk about ways to up the traffic to your blog in a future post, so no worries there. As far as Blogger? I tried Blogger and WordPress and WAY preferred WP, which was why I selected it for WANA. I can’t answer that. I found Blogger difficult to work with, and preferred the Analytics in WP. Sorry. Maybe ask someone who uses Blogger successfully or Google it. Ask.com is also a great resource.

      • #11 by Peter on December 29, 2010 - 5:47 pm

        I’ve used a lot of different blogging platforms over the years and found that Blogger is the worst, I always steer people in the direction of WordPress, mostly because of, like you said, the analytics WP offers. Even the stock themes are clean and professional looking, which I also like about WP.

    • #12 by Patrick Thunstrom on December 29, 2010 - 7:53 pm

      I use Blogger myself and prefer it over the small Word Press blog I have through Team Covenant.

      The way I track is via Google analytics, which requires some basic knowledge of HTML, but it’s let me know where my traffic is coming from (Much of it through Team Covenant, actually.) and is much more useful than Blogger’s built in analytics. Blogger’s tracking software is quite useless except for finding out hour-to-hour traffic, something that Google doesn’t really do.

      Hope this helps!

  7. #13 by Susan Bischoff on December 29, 2010 - 4:01 pm

    My DH: big social media hater. He scoffed at me when I told him I was reading your book. Then he asked to read it when I was done. Then he didn’t read it. This was the video that finally dragged him onto Facebook: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFZ0z5Fm-Ng. It seemed like this man signing up for Facebook was a sign of the coming apocalypse, or, at the very least, a news item that might appear next to pig sightings by air traffic controllers.

    Anyway, I loved what you said about an agent who won’t email and a doctor who won’t use an MRI. I get that people can take defense of their comfort zones pretty personally, but sometimes you’ve just got to put on your big girl panties and deal. Which I will remind myself this year. I’ve been just trying to get in there and do it (because you told me to) and not get too hung up on doing it right. So this year I want to try to focus on being more consistent with the blog in terms of topics (for readers as well as my writer pals) and a posting schedule.

    • #14 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 29, 2010 - 4:08 pm

      LOL…I use that video in my presentations. Happy to hear it. Once you get the new format going, let me know and I’ll make sure to list you in the NKOTB😀.

  8. #15 by Wendy Bertsch on December 29, 2010 - 4:09 pm

    Lucky me! I’m a writer of historical fiction with a humorous voice.
    My blog allows me to recycle the mass of researched information that never makes it into my books, and do it with a distinctive attitude I hope potential readers will respond to.

    It took me a few blog posts to hit my stride, but with the help of advice like yours, I tapped into a never-ending source of blog-fare to offer my visitors.

    Thanks, and thanks again!

  9. #16 by Alannah Murphy on December 29, 2010 - 5:04 pm

    That youtube video about Social Media was amazing. I still remember the first time I used a computer. It was 1985. We have come a long way. Good thing I am good with them. I totally agree a modern author needs to have a blog and to be aware of FB and Twitter. I’ve only recently started Tweeting and it’s a lot of fun. Never thought I’d say that🙂 Thank you for another informative post!

  10. #17 by Leo Godin on December 29, 2010 - 5:33 pm

    Great stuff as always. Your blog is spreading through my writers group. I printed one of your posts and one person bought your book. Others are reading.

    This statement is key: “What do you think will land a better deal? A very well-written book alone? Or a very well-written book combined with blog following in the thousands who know that author by name?” I’m reading that advances are shrinking and major publishers are relying on already-famous writers. In the end, publishers are managing risk. The less risk you propose, the better chance you have. The best way to lower risk is to do your own marketing, which in today’s culture must include social networking.

    • #18 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 29, 2010 - 5:42 pm

      Very well said. Thanks for the writer support!😀

  11. #19 by Sanna on December 29, 2010 - 6:06 pm

    It is another time – your are right there – and blogs are important.
    And I am really glad, because without your blog, I would not have had the drive to get my act together and remember what was always important to me: writing.🙂

    So yes, Kristen it is all your fault.😉
    Thanks.🙂

    Now I just hope the German market will work akin to the American one, so that all your wonderful tips are applicable for me, too.🙂

  12. #20 by Mindi Anderson on December 29, 2010 - 6:42 pm

    Since you asked, “YES, I am thrilled about blogging on topic.” I just purchased your WANA e-book, and my hubby has been chuckling as I note like mad on my Kindle. I have my checklists…I am in the content gathering stage.

    Thanks to you, I do not feel lost in this ocean of Social Media. Your influence is expanding!

  13. #21 by Kerry Meacham on December 29, 2010 - 6:43 pm

    It’s been said over and over that the only constant is change. 10 years from now we may be laughing about how archaic Facebook and Twitter are compared to whatever is the best communicator of that period. Everything’s about best content and best marketing at that point in time. Get used to it.

    The old saying that if you build a better mousetrap (novel) the world will beat a path to your door is BS. You have to do it all. Build the trap (write the book), build a better trap (critiques and workshops), study competition (read your genre), market the hell out of it (blog, Facebook, Twitter, conferences, etc.), and then when your competition comes out with the ultra-trap you respond with the double-ultra-trap (trilogy, series, Pulitzer). If this was easy, everyone would do it. It’s not easy, but it’s what you do because you love it. Hey, if the hero’s journey is easy in your novel, then I don’t want to read it. Do you expect anything different in life?

    Sorry, I went on a tirade. I’ll stop now. Thanks for the great blog Kristen.

    Regards,

    Kerry

  14. #22 by Marilag Lubag on December 29, 2010 - 7:25 pm

    Although I am happy with how social media speeds up the communication, I find it disturbing. It seems to me that because we are constantly bombarded with every ad out there, we do not even get a rest from them. However, I am aware that social media would be here to stay. You’re definitely right about the information overload–something I’m experiencing right now.

  15. #23 by Donna Cummings on December 29, 2010 - 7:31 pm

    I enjoy blogging, because it gives me an opportunity to explore topics and express ideas that I thought would have to wait until I was published! It gives me an opportunity to develop some credibility now, while I’m working to get published, and lets others see what I can do.

    I also enjoy Twitter, and the chance to engage with fun people I might not have encountered otherwise. It also has introduced me to a variety of writers and blogs I had not heard of previously.

    Right now my blog is focused on topics related to writing, but I’d like to transition it to appeal to readers as well. I’m still trying to decide the best way to do that, so I’d love to see any suggestions anyone has. 🙂

    • #24 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 29, 2010 - 7:34 pm

      Read Parts 1-3 of this series and that will answer your question😀.

    • #25 by Leo Godin on December 29, 2010 - 8:17 pm

      Blog about what you enjoy. As a reader, what would you want to see in a blog that isn’t already out there? That’s probably a good start. For my blog, I’m focusing on storytelling. For instance, I wrote a post using a song to demonstrate common attributes of great stories. I also have a podcast review and may add a few video shorts with commentary.

  16. #26 by kate macnicol on December 29, 2010 - 8:23 pm

    As 2010 fades, so does my Miss Droopy-Whiney-pants, I-don’t-have-enough-time-for-social-media attitude. It’s taken me many, many baby steps to get this far and I’m not about to turn back. I see a writing career, a blog and a dang nice pair of leggings paired with black suede boots in my future.

    On New Year’s Eve, I’ll lift a glass of the good stuff in your honor.

    Keep up the good work!

  17. #27 by Manon Eileen on December 29, 2010 - 9:12 pm

    Thanks so much for mentioning me Kristen, it really means a lot😀 So far my blog has really attracted quite some attention and if it weren’t for you (and the help of some other very sweet people) I’m not sure if I would have reached the same, yet!

    I’ve stayed pretty close to the advice you have given through your book and blog posts, and I can say that it really works.

    Do what Kristen says, people! I’ve been around for less than a month, actively blogging and tweeting and I feel really confident in what I have reached so far🙂

    Thank you very much Kristen, for sharing your wisdom!

  18. #28 by Bob Mayer on December 29, 2010 - 9:17 pm

    It took me a long time to accept that content was king and promotion was queen. You can have the greatest book in the world, but if no one reads it, it does you no good. One of the biggest things I’ve learned about promotion is being consistent. Kristen blogs three times a week, every week and she’s consistent. You know you can come here on certain days and get the information you need.
    Honestly, at Who Dares Wins Publishing, the first thing I do when we get a query from an author is google the author. If the author doesn’t have a web site and an active internet presence, it’s going to be a hard sell.

  19. #29 by Alexa Grave on December 29, 2010 - 10:16 pm

    Hi, Kristen. I have been reading your Blogging series with great interest. I’ve been blogging sporadically since 2003 (man, how time does fly). Initially, I used it as a way to vent and journal about my writing experiences. Recently, I’ve realized I need to make it so much more. For the last few months I had to post some essays for my MFA program, and I found that to be greatly satisfying – I actually felt like I was utilizing my blog better. Since I am also a SAHM, I know I’ll only be able to blog once a week for now (Time is my enemy), but I intend to have a mix of reviews (science fiction, fantasy, and horror – the genres I write in), links to useful writing related topics, and some writing tips and prompts. I’ll still likely include a more personal post now and then, simply because that is part of my personality, and I want to remain true to that.

    I just wanted to say thanks for these posts on blogging, and I am finally going to start using tags (yes, silly me never tagged any of my posts…I don’t think I’ll have the time to go back and tag 7 years of posts, though – lol)!

    -Alexa Grave

  20. #30 by Nina Badzin on December 30, 2010 - 12:16 am

    Another great post! As I’ve been reading this series, I’m feeling good about my still new but steadily growing blog. Now I just need the book and the agent! A few more years . . .

  21. #31 by oh on December 30, 2010 - 2:49 am

    Drat. Guess I’d better re-fire up my FB acct. I “dropped out” a few weeks ago. Still, though, I have to get something finished. Must hasten back here to see how to better position my blog which currently is likely too smarmy unfocused mult-everything. Gotta focus.
    Thanks for this entry.
    It’s funny what will motivate a person at a certain time.
    Consider me motivated!

    Happy New Year.

  22. #32 by Training4now on December 30, 2010 - 3:40 am

    If this is true, then I would only be a hobbiest writter. It’s very hard to use social media when most people refuse to stop spamming your pages. BLAH.

    Anyway, great post as usual. Can’t wait til next week.

  23. #33 by amblerangel on December 30, 2010 - 12:20 pm

    Kristen-

    I recently discovered your blog through one of my readers and I’ve learned so much! I’m new to blogging and have been turning to your site as my “go to” now that family and friends harass me if my posts don’t show every M,W and Fr. Your site has been a life saver of inspiration. Thanks!

    • #34 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 30, 2010 - 12:59 pm

      Oh, great! I am so happy they are helpful to you. It’s good that your family is keeping you accountable. Sometimes that outside pressure helps keep us focused,😀.

  24. #35 by hallenger on December 30, 2010 - 3:42 pm

    Writers who blog is possibly one of the most essential publicity tools, especially for authors such as myself who publish independently. It’s one of the best ways to really connect with your audience, bringing not just a discussion of the books you write, but also the sorts of conversations that maybe three or four years ago, authors and readers never really got to have.

    Kudos to your post, and kudos to all the work you have done on this blog to make it something that is accessible to all who read it.

    Happy new year!

  25. #36 by Veronica on December 30, 2010 - 6:37 pm

    Are there any novels that have shot to the bestseller list because of social media self promotion? Personally, when I see a novelist spamming twitter or facebook with pleas to buy their books, I lose any interest I might’ve had in reading their work. But, if I read about their book in a review or from someone other than the author, I might pick it up.

    Social media seems like it’s more suited to non-fiction where you can tap into a specific audience. With novels, the author should be invisible. I want the story, and I couldn’t care less about the person who wrote it.

    • #37 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 30, 2010 - 9:00 pm

      Social media used properly will drive sales. Social media used for spamming is a waste of time. The goal with social media is to create relationships and spread word of mouth. I have bought many fiction books from people I have grown to know and like on Twitter, FB and other blogs. The key to it, as you astutley pointed out, is to avoid the barrage of constant self-promotion. I agree 100% and it is one of the reasons I don’t hang out much on Goodreads. I can’t take the constant barrage of self-published authors who do nothing but self-promote and spam. Yes, social media creates best-sellers. “Julia & Julia” was a blog to book deal that was made into a movie. “Shit My Dad Says” began as just a funny Twitter account. It is now a television show in the fall lineup. The key difference is that we must have an attitude of serving others and giving, not constantly talking about ourselves and taking,😉. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  26. #38 by Meagan (PonchoMeg: The Modern Bohemian) on December 30, 2010 - 7:37 pm

    There is so much good information here, and lots of valuable comments and discussions from your readers as well. Great work! I agree that blogging can make a huge difference. I started off with blogging being my main writing endeavor online, and now it mostly supports my other work! haha But it’s great.
    I happen to be on Blogger, which I know gets a lot of hate for some reason from WordPress bloggers, but I actually like being on Blogger. I like that people can easily follow me, get my feeds, & be added to my blog rolls. I also like that it is so easy for me to work with Amazon Affiliates, Google Adsense, and Google Affiliate Network. AND, I move so much in real life… I’d like to avoid moving my blog if at all possible. haha
    Getting followers can be hard, but I’m learning and slowly but surely I am getting new followers all the time (and people are sticking around too!) Honestly, Twitter has been like a best friend. haha A lot of my traffic comes directly from search engines too though (SEO, keywords, listings, pings… working??? WOW! haha)
    Anyway, thanks for sharing this. I like being a part of the blogging future. It feels good.😉
    Peace and Love,
    Meagan

  27. #39 by Ro Van Saint on December 31, 2010 - 1:23 am

    Lots of meat in this post! Found it through a RT. Been blogging even before that word was invented (when it was called online journal back in the 90s). It’s truly evolved into the squishy beast that it is today. I like how it’s taken over the standard static website format. Definitely a must in anybody’s writer arsenal.

    There’s this juggling act that goes on between the process of writing and the business of. Some people promote tastefully while others just completely blow at it. You know what gets me are people who join twitter/FB and not take even a little bit of time to chat – just being passive observers. How is that being social?

    Me? I enjoy blogging, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it. The fun factor has to be present. If you don’t enjoy what you’re talking about it really comes through as a drag. I’ve met some really interesting people via Twitter and people on my list, that to me, is priceless.

    BTW, will have to check out your other posts =)

    • #40 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 31, 2010 - 1:45 am

      Thanks. Yeah, doing my part to de-spam social media. I think it is a great tool for writers, but we have to remember it is social media. If I wanted no interaction and constant promotion, I would be better at checking my e-mail, duh. I love blogging because it makes me disciplined and I have seen definite improvement in my skills over the months. That feels good and is encouraging. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. Mucho appreciated😀

  28. #41 by Roni Loren on December 31, 2010 - 4:51 pm

    Love this post (and also makes me feel vindicated for spending the last year and a half blogging, lol.)

    I totally agree with you on having to be forward-thinking and embracing new technology. I saw my agent speak on a panel at RWA Nationals and she was the only one of the four who said a web presence was absolutely necessary and almost a deal breaker if someone didn’t at least have a website when they queried her. It made me want to query her more because I was like–yes, she’s looking at the big picture. A month later I queried her and she offered me representation.🙂 She has me keep a file of all the times someone else mentions me in a blog and all the guest blogs I do, etc. to build a file to help pitch me for foreign sales (the book already sold domestically). So online presence is definitely playing a role.

    Also, I agree, word of mouth and building relationships is paramount. I’ve bought so many books this year simply because I’ve gotten to know the author via the web–books I probably would have never run across otherwise. It makes a big difference.

  29. #42 by A.J. Zaethe on December 31, 2010 - 6:15 pm

    Getting my blog going, has been hard, but I have been pulling along. And hopefully i will start to see some growth. I know what topics to pull on, but still, even then I am having some hard times pulling up information. I guess I need to get more on the ball.

    • #43 by Author Kristen Lamb on December 31, 2010 - 7:46 pm

      Reading other blogs helps stir the thought process. Also might sit and try brainstorming a 100 possible topics using a pad of paper and a ballpoint pen. Writing by hand invokes a different (creative) part of the brain.

  30. #44 by Jim Bronyaur on January 4, 2011 - 1:34 am

    I’m not going to repeat the same comments here… I will just stand and applaud. 🙂

    Great post – first time I’m at your site – but I couldn’t agree more with what you’re saying here.

    Jim

  31. #45 by Maryjo Gibson on January 22, 2011 - 3:56 pm

    Love your information on how to keep the blog going, and the presentation of your page. Made a lot of sense as I was an artist first (doesn’t pay the bills) coupled with my love of history, and now its my blog: http://thiswritelife.wordpress.com/. Working up to the three posts a week, not for lack of information, just time to digest everything, real job, kids, etc. Your constant positive words keep my motivation going. Thanks!

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