This post is part of a series: “Why blog?” The 4 posts in this series include:
– Reasons to blog, part 1: Personal development; Develop your ideas; Develop your writing; Help others
– Reasons to blog, part 2: Get noticed; Network; Education; Business; Offline opportunities
– Why seniors should blog
– Why authors should blog
This blog’s target audience is total beginner bloggers – and especially total beginner bloggers who are seniors, and/or are authors and writers, whether new or established.
If you are in this category, being an author/writer is your passion. It consumes a large chunk of your life. If you’ve been writing for a long time, and succeeding to at least some degree, you may wonder why you should even bother to do all the extra work and time a blog would take. You may feel that the learning curve it will take requires too much effort in terms of the returns you might achieve in your remaining years. If you’re new to writing, you may be assuming that the traditional publishing methods you’ve observed in the past are still viable and that one of these days, soon, you too will be “discovered” by a big publisher and quickly become a rich and famous author.
Well, maybe. But probably not, sorry to say.
The returns on an author blog are valuable, even essential, today. I think every author hopes deep down that his or her work will become a “classic.” Or at the very least that you’ll sell enough copies of your first run that your costs in producing your book are covered, right?
If that’s true for you, you have to face the fact that the world of writing and publishing is changing with astonishing rapidity. Just in the past week or two, as I write this, another very major bookstore chain has closed its doors. Independent bookstores have almost disappeared in many places.
Publishers are shutting down, or changing their focus to already well-known writers who have a guaranteed audience. And publishers now expect you to market your own books. If, that is, you can even get your book published by a traditional publisher, large or small. Two-thirds of new titles are now self-published.
Even the format of books is changing, and dealers reflect that. Amazon, the enormous online bookseller, sold more paperback fiction books in e-book (electronic book) format this past year, than in paper form. Traditional bookstores are keeping individual titles on the shelf in smaller numbers and for far shorter periods of time, and are removing books in favor of selling other non-book products customers are more likely to purchase. Even libraries are starting to turn to e-books and e-subscription services rather than their past emphasis on traditional books and paper-based materials.
Books are also competing with endless forms of new media which are being introduced constantly. The younger generations are tuned into these new forms; the population of potential purchasers of traditional books is decreasing at the same time.
Nonetheless, people still want to read. And write. Even young folks dream of becoming authors. But to become even a moderately successful author, we must face the facts of today’s world. We must take steps into that new environment, foreign as it may seem to us. And creating an author’s blog is an amazingly simple, interesting, and adventuresome way to step into the brave new world of writing and publishing in the twenty-first century.
So I realized you need more information. Stay tuned as I introduce some really important reasons “Why authors should blog” in the upcoming mini-series. I’ll be covering:
Part 1: You like to write; Build an audience;
Part 2: Build your brand; Improve your writing; Start right now;
Part 3: Market, market, market;
Part 4: Some “but’s”;
Part 5: A final wrap-up quote, and some excellent references to check out.