Monday, September 10, 2012

An Ode to Book Bloggers.

I'm posting a day late this week because I'm taking part in the "Celebrating Bloggers" blog hop, sponsored by Terri Giuliano Long, the author of In Leah's Wake.  Terri's got the details on her blog here, but basically, the idea is to share some love for book bloggers.  (Hint: click on the link -- there's a giveaway.)

Y'all might not realize it, but there aren't a whole lot of marketing opportunities for indie authors (or at least, not a whole lot of ethical opportunities, which I'll talk more about in next week's post).  On Amazon, I'm one author in a vast sea of others.  You can gain exposure by making your book free, and you can certainly move a lot of books that way (free is everyone's favorite price, after all), but if readers are snapping up 30 or 40 free books at a time, the chances that they'll ever find yours on their Kindle or Nook or Kobo again -- let alone to getting around to reading it -- are kind of small.  And then you have to hope that they like your book well enough to go back to the place where they bought the book and leave a review, or -- best of all -- that they remember your name and spend money for your next book.

Granted, you can take out an ad somewhere like Facebook.  But how many people will see it, let alone click through to buy your book?  If you're like me, you've got something like Adblock Plus installed on your computer, so you don't see any ads.

But book blogs?  Ah, book blogs are marvelous.

Book bloggers themselves are marvelous.  For starters, they're readers.  Nobody in his or her right mind would start a book blog if he or she didn't like to read in the first place.  I know some bloggers who just wanted a place to keep a list of all the books they've read, and the blog grew from there.  So you know that they're looking for books to read and review.  And they're upfront about the types of books they like to read, so if you do a little homework, you will know immediately whether they might like your book.

Book bloggers, as a tribe, have the patience of Job.  They often put up with pushy authors who want to know why they haven't yet seen a review of their darling.  Sometimes, authors turn unprofessional, even abusive.  It takes a thick skin and a sense of the absurd, I think, to survive as a book blogger for long.

But bloggers don't just do reviews.  They also provide a platform for indie authors to gain visibility.  Over the past year, I've done numerous guest posts, a couple of Q&As, at least one character interview, and a post that broke the fourth wall and let me talk directly to Joseph and Naomi.  This not only gives bloggers content for their blogs, but it lets us authors showcase our creativity in different ways than just writing fiction allows us to do.

So hats off to you, my book blogger buddies, and may your tribe ever increase.
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