Friday, October 31, 2008

Blogging for Book Promotion

I've been something of an evangelist lately. I have been telling book promotion clients, other authors and publishers, and other book publicists that the single best thing they could do to enhance their books' visibility and to improve their Google rankings is to blog.

They already know that every book needs a Web site, and everyone who's trying to establish credibility and build brand needs an online presence. That's a done deal. But, frequently, I enounter resistance when I tell people that they need a blog, too, if they're serious about book promotion.

I can understand that. "To blog" is the silliest sounding phrase in the English language, and it doesn't appear in any of the Marketing 101 textbooks anyone used in school. Blogging for book promotion is a new concept, and its value is difficult to quantify. My saying that it produces miracles doesn't help, because even though I can cite half a dozen examples, everyone seems to think that those were anomalies. Those viral marketing opportunities happened accidentally, and they can't be reproduced on demand. Therefore, they're not worth pursuing.

Yet I do insist that no book promotion (or any self promotion) campaign is complete without a blog. I can't prove to you that it will be worth your while. You'll have to take that on faith. Then you can prove it to yourself.

Search engines love blogs. One search engine, Google, provides a free tool for creating and hosting a blog. It's called Blogger, and you can't beat the price. Spend 30 minutes fooling around with Blogger (once you've set up a Gmail account for yourself), and you'll be able to set up a credible blog that can be the cornerstone of your book promotion campaign.

Argue with me, if you'd like. Tell me about that $30,000-per-month book publicist you hired who's going to make you rich and famous. But why not give blogging a try as well? What do you have to lose? Blogging could be the making of your book promotion campaign. Blogging might bring the media to you, and it might bring you the readers who wouldn't find you in any other way.

So the evangelist in me says: blog. Blog for book promotion. I think you'll be thrilled with the results. And I don't get paid a dime to say so.