In the seven years since I started chronicling my writing journey, I've achieved some writing goals, survived two rounds of driver's ed, seen my eldest off to college, taught, choreographed, and skied a black diamond. The requirement that authors have an internet presence to support book sales has gone from "give it a try" to "you must" to "kind of optional unless you've a YouTube channel, a Tumblr, and a kazillion Twitter followers since the rest of you struggling author types are pretty much white noise."
I've watched some book bloggers succeed marvelously, some give up, and some become authors in their own right. I've seen some authors have great success, some flame out, and some continue to tread the waters of the midlist, like me.
- Blogging helps you figure out your internet presence and is an inexpensive online "home base" for authors who aren't super tech-savvy
- It's up to you whether you want to be snarky and political, or peace-loving and rather neutral. I've seen authors succeed both ways but it's best to choose and not flip-flop
- Goodreads Giveaways are effective and generally well-subscribed (I'm running one above, see?!).
- Rafflecopter giveaways on your own blog are not worth the cost of prize mailing UNLESS you engage the help of other bloggers to publicize your giveaway.
- The blogger community is amazing and blog tours for books are tremendously helpful for getting the word out about your books but don't overdo it--the community is fab but insular
- Make peace with who you are as a writer, self-marketer, and PERSON-OUTSIDE-OF-THE-WRITING/BLOGGING-WORLD. Your family needs you, too. Probably more than your computer :)
- Don't blog at the expense of writing your books!