Thursday, February 13, 2014

Making the Rounds on Blogs

Debra reflects on posting comments on blogs.

There are a lot of blogs out there. I myself am involved in three of them on a weekly basis. The past couple of weeks I've been making the rounds to two others as I'm participating in some special promotions. I was at KMN Books for the First Kiss event earlier this month, and today I'm over at Heart of Romance with Sarah Hoss. All of this blog hopping is keeping me pretty busy, let me tell you.

I always have to wonder, though, whether it does any good. I often bemoan the fact that I get very few comments when I post blogs or visit other blogs. Although, truth-be-told, it doesn't really surprise me. I used to be much better at commenting on blog posts by other authors. However, as time seems to become more and more precious these days, I usually forgo making these comments most days. And if I'm not leaving comments on other blogs, why in the world should I expect them to leave comments on mine?

If I'm guesting at a blog I'll make the effort to visit for a week or so before and after my post to support other authors. And if I'm involved in a special promotion, such as those above, I'll leave comments for the fellow participants on their days. It's not that I don't want to be supportive of other authors, it's just the system seems to be inundated with blogs. And the same people visit these blogs all the time. And most of the people visiting are other authors, who probably have just as little time as I have to leave comments and such.
It all comes down to the age old desire to reach readers. Sure authors are readers, too, but, an author's first priority is writing, not reading, so telling other authors about new releases maybe isn't the best audience. I'm sure there are blogs out there dedicated to readers. I'd sure love to find a bunch of them. Or specialty blogs. For example, my latest book features a bull rider. Now getting the word out to rodeo people would probably get me somewhere.

I'm thinking this might make a good summer research project.

For those of you who have a 'following' on your blogs, do you tend to see more readers or more fellow authors? And in what way do you find your followers support you?

I'm just curious here as I try to figure out what works for me.

Until next time,

Happy Reading!



  1. Debra, I'm fast coming to the conclusion that blog visits have no effect whatsoever! I set up a blog tour for Feb/March for the launch of 'Irish Inheritance' but, as far as I can see from my sales figures up to now, I am wasting my time! It's the same few who leave comments - and I do appreciate the support you all give me - but I don't have any idea how to attract new readers. I interact with a lot of people on FB, and some have become real friends (like the two I went to Pemberley with last weekend). I have lots of friends and contacts in different parts of the world. Many will leave comments on my FB posts, but very few on any blogs. Although there appeared to be a lot of interest in Irish Inheritance, particularly when I revealed the cover, that interest has definitely not led to sales! I am in complete despair at the moment, wondering just what I can do to encourage people to buy my book!

  2. I wish I had some answers, Debra.
    That's why I have joined some indie writing loops. Promotion is their emphasis, and many self-pubbed authors are making darn good money (sales).

    Amazon ranking is high on their radar, as are reviews and blog hops. Lots of information on reaching out to readers and not just fellow writers--who, I agree, are wonderfully supportive up to the point of buying.

    Fantastic covers, great website and facebook pages, twitter posts, rafflecopter contests for release promotion.

    Some straddle publishing houses and indie publishing. Or go from houses to indie when they have a following, and re-release backlist. Bundling backlist into boxed sets is popular. So is 99 cent book 1 of a series with links to books 2 and 3 at price points of $2.99 to $4.99. They say they make six times what they did with a publisher.

  3. By indie publishing, do you mean self-publishing, Ana? I've heard too many horror stories about formatting (and other) problems to want to do it myself! This is why I am with an 'indie' publisher who looks after all that side of things for me.
    Also I'm not sure how rafflecopter contests can help sales, since people enter hoping for a free copy, and I wonder how many buy the book if they don't win the contest?
    Giving away books does not, in my opinion, do anything to increase sales (although I've only had a limited experience of this, with one book going free for a short time - had plenty of downloads, but no extra sales followed!)
    I'm also on several indie loops - and have tried everything - with minimal results :-(

  4. Paula...That's just it. I spend so much time putting together posts and blogs and tours...and there doesn't seem to be a payoff in relation to sales.

    I've had two experiences with freebie days. The first had a lot of downloads, but I didn't see a huge connection to sales. The second was very successful. It had a ton of downloads, and my sales afterwards for all of my books were higher than they ever were. That said, the book listed for free was the third in a series, so I wonder if people went back and bought the first two. I've heard that helps. But even my unrelated books all had big jumps in numbers.

    Ana...I've heard a lot of people have success with indie publishing. I just personally don't have the time to commit to doing it right. But for someone who does, this can be a great outlet.

    Thanks ladies for chiming in. It's frustrating, but it sounds like we're all in the same boat. Arghhhhhh.

  5. Debra, my freebie offer of 'Changing the Future' didn't lead to any extra sales of my other books, nor did 99c offer on 'Her Only Future' by Whiskey Creek.
    At the moment, I am feeling totally devastated at the dismal sales of 'Irish Inheritance' despite all the 'advance' publicity I did with blogs about Ireland on my personal blog, and also my current blog tour.
    Quite honestly, I am on the point of giving up completely because I've decided I can't keep putting myself through this kind of disappointment. I shall continue with my blog tour because I've committed to that, but I've made the decision that 'Irish Inheritance' is my 'make or break' book. If it doesn't sell, then I'm giving up - despite the fantastic 5* review I got today! The people who read my books like them - but I'm damned if I know how to attract more readers!