Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Get over blogophobia to reap book promotion benefits

According to UrbanDictionary.com, blogophobia is real. This book publicist isn’t making it up, which is a relief, because this book publicist has inventophiba (which is not a term you’ll find in UrbanDictionary.com, by the way: fear of making things up.

Since I tell every author and publisher who listen that blogging is an integral part of every book promotion campaign, I can’t help but notice how much of the time I receive push-back. Few authors or publishers argue. They understand that blogging does, indeed, drive traffic to book web sites which is a first step toward promoting books.

But, for awhile, I’ve been noticing that many authors and publishers I talk with – however excited they are about their book promotion campaigns – seem to be experiencing a fear of blogging. They’re afraid of saying the wrong thing, or they’re afraid of saying the right thing (or the incompletely right thing) in the wrong way, and they understand that the Internet is a very difficult neighborhood for those prematurely hit the “publish” button. You can’t get a “do-over” if you publish a blog entry that you’re unhappy with, they reason, so they become immobilized. They delay blogging, and they miss out on the book publicity opportunities that might come their way because they’d rather live with a blank blog than a blog that would impress people as unprofessional, unpolished, or inadequate.

A blog that fails to make a good impression, for whatever reason (typos, sentence fragments, etc.), is a scary proposition. But a scarier proposition, from my perspective, is to have no blog at all.

Failure to blog, from a book publicity perspective, is far more frightening than blogging the wrong thing. Look at it this way. You can blog as frequently you’d like, and building up a robust number of blog entries is a lot like garnering many book reviews on Amazon: you find that one or two entries that are less than 100 percent perfect can be buried beneath the weight of better blog entries that will be more attractive to your target audience.

Blogging can be frightening, because it’s always comforting to have someone else publish your work. It’s always nice to have an editor sign off on your work, and to have a production team ensure that the words you write are ready for prime time.

But, as frightening as blogging can be, it can be a book promotion campaign’s best friend. Blogging can bring the media to you and, even better, it can bring your intended readership to your site – and to someplace where they can buy your book – instantly.

So if you’re blogophobic, that’s okay. You’re not alone.

But take it from a book publicist who has coached dozens of authors and publishers through bouts of blogophobia: if you’re stalled at a blank blog, start filling it as quickly as you can. Don’t worry about copying the styles of bloggers you admire. Leave the research for other projects. Just limber up your fingers and start keyboarding. The blog will happen…and it will become a focal point of your book promotion campaign.

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