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Monday, August 6, 2012

What Did Writers Do BEFORE Blogging???

I'll tell you a secret.

I do not like to blog. It takes time away from what I adore - writing. Most of the time, it seems an exercise in futility, rather like standing in the middle of the Sahara and giving an impassioned speech. "Is anyone out there?" I can hear myself screaming. Better still - "Is anyone reading this damn thing?"

I began writing and publishing before blogging became a requirement for authors. In those days (the late 90s), authors did book signings and tours. I did a lot of that. It wasn't all that bad, maybe because I expected it to be part of the author life. I was never required to give a speech at those signings. Nor did I believe anyone expected me to entertain them. I was there to smile, say 'hi', talk a bit about my book, give out chocolates and hopefully sell my stories.

Now, though...ugh.

Every single day is another blog whether it's on my own site, another site I own, as a guest on other sites, or as a member of the sites I'm a member on. Good god, even when I was a teenager and liked to interact with people, I didn't have to interact this much.

I have to wonder if blogging really does any good in reaching fans.

When I first discovered I liked horror (after seeing all the Nightmare on Elm Street movies), I started to read Stephen King's novels, beginning with his earliest. I was enthralled. I thought he was a god. I pictured him as being well over six feet, dark, handsome as hell. When I went to the library to get one of his books in hardcover and saw his picture - whoa. Frankly, I was crushed. I couldn't believe he looked like he did (sorry Stephen). Then, I read a nonfiction book he wrote on writing. Some of the stuff he said didn't set too well with me. At that point, I figured it was all TMI (too much information). I liked it better when he was a god in my mind with an air of mystery about him.

Did you ever consider that it's the same with all this blogging going on? Do fans buy our books because they like our blogs? I doubt it. Do they become fans because of our blogs? I doubt that too. Has any writer become a bestseller because of her/his blog? If they have, then I truly believe it's a major fluke. There is so much out there to read, if my fans read all my blogs, they wouldn't have time to read my books. And maybe, just maybe, I'll say something in a blog that doesn't fit in with their previous image of me and they'll say bye-bye.

For now, it seems there's little choice for authors. Blogging, having a website, having an internet presence is considered a marketing tool, so we authors slog through it as much as we can.

For me, nothing will ever compete with writing a book. Wow, what a feeling. Judge me on that, not my blogs.


I'm pleased to introduce my latest offering from Ellora's Cave. Claiming Magique is Book One in my Appointment with Pleasure series. Don't have a release date as yet, but here's the cover art and blurb. Enjoy. :)


A man at the center of power…a woman who won’t be ruled…

They call her Magique.

Sought out by the District’s elite, she’s no ordinary call girl, deciding who will pleasure her for the evening. Her preference is for several men at once. Games of bondage and submission heighten her arousal and desire to have a strong male take her…to be adored.

Lobbyist Hunter Prescott was only looking for a good time, not a woman who unleashes a hunger so deep it changes his world. He won’t stop until Magique is his alone, a prisoner of his lust, powerless against his growing need for her body and heart.

With this man, resistance isn’t allowed. For this woman, he’ll create a world of sensual delight and yearning like none she’s known. Proving that only with trust and true surrender will she find unparalleled rapture.


Marie Rose Dufour said...

I have to agree. Blogging is a major distraction. It reminds me of prompt writing on a test. Ok, go! What? Sometimes, I don't have anything to say. I have exactly two "readers" who read and comment on my blog. I love them both. They are also writers and bless them for taking time out of their busy writing day to comment on my blog. Do I think my blog helps me as a writer? Absolutely not!

Tina Donahue said...

I feel your pain, Marie. All I want to do is write novels. That's it. All this other stuff is so difficult.

Karen H in NC said...

I'm a reader, not a writer and I tend to agree with your remarks. There are way too many blogs out there. If the authors have a difficult time keeping up with their own blog, guest blogs and other social media, you are only one person. I don't mean that to demean you, but think of the reader? I'm only one reader and there aren't enough hours in the day to follow and/or read all the blogs for all the authors I would like to know about. So, for what it's worth, here's my two cent opinion:

#1: Keep the website updated. If you want an individual blog associated with your website, do it for your own vent but your fans will read and comment.

#2: Take part in group blogs (like this one) supported also by another group media such as Yahoo groups. Get word out that way to route potential readers back to your group (or guest) blog.

#3: If I could, I would do away with Facebook (total time suck) and shoot that twitter bird (I don't have an account & don't visit). I've noticed that unless authors have an assistant, something suffers. Some authors neglect the website in favor of FB. I personally think that is a mistake. Not everyone is on FB and thereby miss a lot.
I felt forced to get on FB because that was the only way to really keep up with some of my favorite authors. However, I don't check every author every day to see what's going on. I'm missing stuff...but I'm retired and I don't even have enough time.

#4: If you have a book release, try a blog book tour. I follow as many as I possibly can. I choice of tours to follow depend on what I read about the book and length of tour. I enjoy blog tours better if the author comes back to comment on reader comments. Choose a tour promoter who has their own presence with following.

Anyway, that's my two cent opinion and for what it's worth, I hope it helps to know you're not alone in your thoughts on this subject.

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hi, Tina,

Well, you don't HAVE to blog if you hate doing it. In fact, you probably shouldn't, because readers will pick up on your unhappiness (even if you don't admit it like you doing here LOL!)

I know a number of successful authors who don't do any blogging at all. You really have to choose the sort of promotional activity that works for you personally.

Me - I blog because I like the interaction, and because, having my own blog, I can post whatever comes to mind whenever I feel like it. And I think I've sold at least some books because of my blogging.

I don't do chats, or hang out much on email loops, or do Facebook, because those don't fit my situation or my personality.

Unfortunately, most of us have to do some sort of promo. You should look for a method that's less personally painful.

Harlie Reader said...

Great post Liz and I love the cover and blurb.

I would have to echo everyone so far that has commented.

Personally, the most important thing a writer can do promotionally is make sure their website is up to date.

I know a lot of people that don't Facebook, Tweet or any of the other social media outlets. But they do keep up with the websites.


Harlie Reader said...

So sorry Tina. I didn't mean Liz. I'm still have asleep and the coffee hasn't kicked in yet. :)


Tina Donahue said...

Thanks, Karen - love your advice. Exactly what I'm thinking. I rarely go to FB. Just can't get into it.

Tina Donahue said...

Hey, Lisabet - the problem is - publishers kind of expect it. They want an internet presence. I promo other authors on my blog. I can see that brings readers in. I also offer contests. Another pull for readers. As to blogging my thoughts everyday - have never done that and probably never will. Although I believe I'm interesting, i can't imagine anyone else coming over everyday to see what I think personally about stuff. :)

Tina Donahue said...

Hey, Marika.

I'm really excited about Claiming Magique. It's Book One in my Appointment with Pleasure series (my first series for EC).

Personally, I like Twitter. Easy. Fast. Not too many words. Gets the word out. My kind of promo. :)

Adele Dubois said...

I'm sooooo with you on the social media fatigue, Tina. For the past month or so, I've taken a break from daily Facebook, Twitter, my blog, commenting on my group blogs (I'm back! Lol)and chat loops while I focused on new writing. The pace has been killing me, and stepping back from social media was the only solution.

More to your point, though, is the need to stay positive with readers and not offer TMI. Nothing turns me off from my favorite authors more than airing their dirty laundry, except rudeness or bad behavior on social media.

Best of luck on the new release!


Tina Donahue said...

Hey, Adele - thanks!

I agree about not airing dirty laundry. I've read posts where authors are trashing other writers, genres, you-name-it. One recent set of posts were really going after a certain reviewer. Although I understood where the authors were coming from, to the average reader it sounds like sour grapes. If someone disses my work on the web, I simply ignore it. I've learned indifference is far more effective than a rabid rant. :)

Harlie Reader said...

Just wanted to add one more thing. I was at a writer's conference in March and I got the best piece of advice on social media...pick one and stick with it. Tina, you like Twitter, then don't worry about FB. Personally, I like FB. Twitter can be confusing and too much work for me.

Just my extra two cents...


Paris said...

I tend to agree with you about blogging. I'd much rather be writing and lately I've stepped back because I had to make a choice about how to spend my energy because if I don't write there's nothing for my readers to be interested in anyway.

Good luck with your new series. It sounds wonderful!

Tina Donahue said...

Thanks, Marika :)

My blog automatically posts to FB. And I do post to FB via Coffee Beans and Love Scenes. But that's about the extend of my FB interaction.

Tina Donahue said...

Thanks, Paris!

I agree with making the smart choice to expend your energies toward writing a book. If you're using all your time to make your blog a success but neglecting your novel writing, then that's a serious mistake IMO.

Kris Starr said...

Thanks for posting this, Tina. I completely agree with you -- trying to keep up with every form of social media is exhausting! And on top of that, it takes away precious time from the most important thing for writers -- writing new books! I don't mean that we should sit back and do nothing, but having to do it all is too much. As other commenters have said, I think the best plan is to choose the form of social media the person enjoys the most (be it Twitter or Facebook or whatever) and stick with that.

Good luck! Your book sounds great, by the way!

Tina Donahue said...

Hey, Kris - thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

I agree that we can only do so much. If social media and marketing starts hurting the stories, we're all in big trouble.

Redameter said...

Well, finally; someone comes right out and says it. I don't like to blog either. I feel readers are not interested in my opinions or what I ate for breakfast. But so many publishers push it as though it makes a huge difference. Now, yes I think if you are Nora Roberts a blog probably does help, but a author on the net who isn't in the big leagues, I don't think anyone cares. I'd rather write a book instead, or go with my inspiration for the day than try to figure out what readers want to hear from me. Writers are hermits usually, writing one book after another. How interesting can that be for them to hear about. What is interesting is what is floating around in our heads at the time we are writing. What we struggle with, what we can't decide about our characters. And for the most part, most blogs are boring stuff. At least that's how I see it. Do any of you really care what I eat for breakfast, how I wash my hair, what I do for fun? I'm with you on this one Tina. Believe me. A blog is just words put together to amuse someone. Usually someone that is already bored. LOL
And frankly, reading all the blogs out there would be crazy in itself unless you are in the 1% that really likes to read them. Now I do like facebook, because I do get some good stuff there, some laughs and tears. Twitter is like a telegram to everyone that you got a new book or new trailer, so I like it too. But blogging, is blah to me.

Tina Donahue said...

Hey, Rita - what you've said is soooo true. I, personally, have never bought someone's book because of their blog. I either like the cover and back blurb or I don't. It really boils down to that.

Redameter said...

I once met a publists that insisted I needed a blog. I asked why she said it's just something you have to do. Well, being the non conformist that I am, I tried maybe once or twice then resolved to guest blog every now and then.
That isn't fair either, when so many authors are faithfully blogging but Tina is right, if you say or state the wrong thing you could turn a reader off your writing for good.
I think blogging is fine for writers who travel a lot, see a lot, do a lot, but for writers who stick their nose to the grind to write books, I think blogging can take away from the time and effort of the book itself.
I think of blogging as more of journalism than creative writing although I've read some very good blogs, I still don't remember who wrote them, so does that say anything?

Tina Donahue said...

Imagine Hemmingway having to blog or Shakespeare. Excuse me while I laugh. The only blogger I'm aware of that make it big (movie big) was the lady who cooked the Julia Childs recipes everyday for a month. Other than that, I don't know if blogs do any good at all.

Kathy Otten said...

Hi Tina,
I feel exactly as you do. If it's proven that your next book sells the one before it, and social media is a vague unknown, I do wonder why we do it. I did read an article on Linked In or somewhere in which the author stated his reasons why social media is a waste of time and does nothing to generate book sales. I don't know if I agree with him 100%, but I have backed off on lots of it in order to squeeze more writing time into my already busy schedule.

Tina Donahue said...

Hey, Kathy - I think backing away from social media is going to be an ongoing trend, at least for most writers. In addition to writing nearly full time, I have a full time EDJ. Using what little bit of free time I do have to blog, post, market, etc. is nearly more than I can take.

jean hart stewart said...

You really hit a nerve. If I could I'd communicate with only two blogs, not the mad house today's promo has become

Tina Donahue said...

So true, Jean. If I could see some actual advantage to blogging, I wouldn't mind. But it's so hard to tell if it helps at all.

Katalina said...

Beautiful cover Tina! The story sounds great!

Tina Donahue said...

Thanks, Kat!! I love the cover too. :)

Anonymous said...

We're bogged down with blogs, absolutely. I follow four groups, actually schedule them into my weekly online reading, otherwise I won't chisel out the time to read and reply. I agree with Karen H that keeping our websites updated is an invaluable marketing tool. What readers learn about us and we write helps them decide whether to pursue reading our books and involving themselves in a personal blog. Give me a book reader any day over a blogger fan!

Tina Donahue said...

Absolutely, Polly! Hopefully, the blogging thing will die down so writers can write stories. :)

Mary Corrales said...

I'm hear you, Tina. I recently started my own blog and it's a lot more work that I first thought.

Still, I'm enjoying sharing my writing experiences with others. The only other social media I'm on is twitter. I like a quick chat or new book news.

Shawn said...

I do Facebook and twitter but I don't spend much time on them. I blog once a week on a group blog and once a month on another. I tried keeping up my own blog, but it wasn't as much fun as I thought it would be. I'd rather spend my time getting my books written.

Tina Donahue said...

Hey, Mary - as long as you enjoy blogging, go for it! From what I've heard, readers do like to hear about the writing journey. :)

Tina Donahue said...

I'm with you on that, Shawn. I just want to write. :)

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