Deb Rachel Makes The Case for Blogs (And Other Social Media)

As a writer, I’ve embraced social media. A blog? Check. Facebook and Twitter? Done and done. A video book trailer? Why yes, thank you for asking. I’d love to share it with you.

I’m of the opinion that every little bit helps. No matter how great your book publicist, or how enthusiastic your agent, there is no one in the world who cares more about your book than you do. So it’s your job to make sure that you reach everyone you can, however you can.

I can’t speak to the world of fiction writers. I’ve don’t know from writing novels. But I do know that when it comes to writing non-fiction, social media is your friend. And, for me, it all started with blogging.

Deb Molly made great points yesterday about why novelists don’t need to blog. And I’m not going to say here that memoirists or non-fiction writers absolutely must, because that’s not necessarily the case. If you hate blogging and overcommit, you’ll burn out. If you are only blogging because you are supposed to, your readers will sense that. But from my experience, if you’re dedicated to blogging, enjoy it and can manage it in a way that works for you, it will pay off.

A few reasons why non-fiction writers might want to blog:

– Blogging builds a following. If you are writing about a specific topic—searching for new friends, stuff white people like, happiness—readers with similar interests could come in droves. If you have a compelling personal story—you’re a suddenly single dad raising a daughter, you are the mom to a maybe-gay son—people will want to support and cheer you along. If these people read your blog every day, there is a good chance they will also support your book. Or at least, you will have that ever-elusive “platform” that publishers are always going on about.

– Blogging can help establish you as an “expert.” If you write a great fashion blog and prove your knowledge online, you might suddenly be called upon as a style expert. Journalists are always looking for sources to weigh in on stories, and having a presence online about a specific subject makes you easy to find. Once you are quoted in one story, another writer may come a-knockin’. And suddenly you are the go-to fashionista. Again, platform.

– Blogging provides instant feedback. If you write a cooking blog for the 20-something set, it’s helpful to hear back from your fans. What do they want to cook? What recipes confuse them? How do they entertain? Who do they feed? You can get all this info pretty immediately with comments.

– Bloggers help out other bloggers. It’s a really friendly community, this Internet weblog group. I’m always struck how helpful bloggers are with links, supportive tweets, guest posts, all of it. You never know who you might meet, and making connections in your field will prove invaluable. Connections beget connections, and it’s a small world out there. That blogger pal you just met might have the agent who will one day become your agent. You just never know.

– It’s fun! Or it can be. If you set reasonable goals for yourself, and don’t let it stress you out. Remember that you do this because you love to write. And get to writing.

So…. did I make my case? Anyone running over to WordPress right now?



5 Replies to “Deb Rachel Makes The Case for Blogs (And Other Social Media)”

  1. Love that book trailer! It really gives the flavor of MWF SEEKING BFF.

    It does make perfect sense for a nonfiction writer to build a platform online. Any way you can reach out and make a connection is potentially beneficial — and you never know how far that reach will extend, especially with the internet. You could be making connections you don’t even realize. That’s worth a little effort, right? 🙂

    I tend to think it might work for fiction writers, too. I know there have been studies that show it doesn’t necessarily translate into book sales for us, but I figure it can’t hurt.

  2. Social media and blogging is about connecting with readers – fiction, non-fiction alike. It’s a big decision to share your personal life though – and not everyone is comfortable doing so. But blogging to create a rapport with readers is great – IMHO.


  3. That is such a great trailer, Rachel. And I’ve been looking forward to hearing your take on this subject as a non-fiction writer. I think you made great points and frankly, in this day and age, I suspect most people wanting to pursue a platform couldn’t imagine doing it without social media. But certainly for all of us writers, non-fiction and fiction, the medium is here to stay, so it will be interesting to watch how it evolves over time–whether its impact is lasting/shifting/whatever.

    As they say, stay tuned…

  4. Your trailer is so cute!

    I think you’re right that blogging can be a vital part of a non-fiction writer’s platform, probably more so than for fiction. But you did hit the nail on your head when you said you have to be comfortable with it and enjoy it. I’m glad it has worked out so well for you!

  5. I love the trailer!!

    The instant feedback thing is a good point, & probably the most appealing aspect of blogging to me. It takes a really long time to write a book, and by the time people are actually reading it, you’re long past the writing phase. But with a blog, you can start getting feedback minutes after you type the last sentence, and there’s something really gratifying about that.

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