I’ve noticed a weird trend lately, and it’s bugging me. As a writer, I go to a lot of writing blogs. I just randomly end up there. Sometimes I don’t even know how I got there… but there I am, staring at the screen, confused, wondering what year it is.
For the most part I enjoy blogs about writing. Some of them are a bit dull, but if everyone was brilliant, I wouldn’t be half as entertaining. Therefore, dullness doesn’t disagree with me.
Wanna know what does…? Indie authors blogging about their books without a link to their book on their blog.
Let’s pause to dwell on that for a sec.
Look at this blog. My book is everywhere. In the sidebar, in the menu, hell, if you click on the picture of my face it’ll take you to my website that is, you got it, all about my book. And my site… that’s a whole other blog post. My site is a huge advertisement. If I’m not selling you Seed, then I’m telling you to follow me on all the various sites I’m on: Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads… I’m starting to feel like an internet virus. Don’t like horror? Awesome, follow me anyway. Think I’m cute? Sweet, follow me so I can convert you to the dark side.
I’m naturally nosy. I want to know your business whether you want me to know it or not. Therefore, if I come across a blog that’s the least bit interesting, I want to know who you are and how to get in touch. That goes double for writing blogs that sport sad entries about paltry book sales and how the writer is thinking about giving up. My knee-jerk reaction is to look for the book you’re talking about, and most of the time it’s just not there.
How does that make any sense?
If you’re going to take the time and energy to write a blog, why wouldn’t you use the time and energy you’ve spent to your advantage? Put a link to your book in your menu, and for gods sake, get a sidebar. I hear they’re giving those doodads out for free these days.
There’s nothing that annoys me more than someone whining about book sales when they, quite simply, don’t advertise themselves. Look, the rapture came and went and Jesus didn’t make a cameo, so I doubt you’ll be struck between the eyes by a Christmas miracle anytime soon. This isn’t even about legwork or ‘putting in the hours’ to get people familiar with your novel. Just put a link somewhere. Anywhere. But somewhere where I’ll see it. Make sure it says ‘Check out my book!’ or, better yet, use your cover image and turn it into a link.
But then there’s another problem…
A lot of indie writers have blogs where they review books, post about upcoming books, and generally exude a sense of indie author community awesomeness. But more often than not, these writers/bloggers, who are also struggling to get their name out there, bury themselves beneath their super awesome generosity. I can’t tell you how many blogs I’ve been to where the page is full of book covers and links, but there’s absolutely no way to tell whether it’s just the blogger being nice and helping out a fellow indie, or if it’s the blogger’s book. If this is you, make sure you have something obvious in your menu that leads people to your work. If you don’t like that idea, start another blog just for your own stuff and link to that.
The point is: you’re a writer, you want to sell your book. Don’t shy away from marketing yourself. A lot of people think that if you self-promote, the clock strikes midnight and you transform into some e-marketing whore. Sure, I guess that can happen… if you’re doing it wrong. If you’re spamming. If you have little to no common sense. But the cold hard truth of the matter is: if you don’t want to self-promote, you should probably get cracking on those queries and hope you get yourself a cushy publishing deal. Because unless you’re signed with Simon & Schuster, you’re not going to make it.
As an indie you market yourself. Nobody else is going to do it for you. And if nobody’s doing it, nobody’s buying it.