My thoughts on author blogs:
1. I really enjoy reading blogs by authors whose books I like. I’ve also purchased books in the past, based on an author’s blog.
2. I prefer blogs that are updated at least semi-regularly; every few days, weekly or fortnightly.
3. Professional vs. Personal. I like author blogs that are a bit of both – it makes authors more like real people (I know they’re real people, but it’s kind of hard to explain – I’m more likely to buy an author’s book if I like the image that an author has online.), with writer’s block and kids and opinions on TV shows.
4. It bothers me when I can’t find any information on a book or author online. I think all authors should have websites – domain names are pretty cheap, and you can set up a basic website quickly and easily – if only so that people who hear about the author or their book can find out more and know where they can get the book.
5. I am personally not a fan of the group blog for authors. This is mainly because when it’s shared between three or more authors, it’s hard to keep track of who’s who and often the name of the person who posted a blog is in very small letters. For authors who don’t have much time to blog, or aren’t as inclined to blog but have to, a shared blog is probably the best idea. However, I do like to get to know just one author through their blog.
6. I don’t know whether or not blogs sell books. However, I’ve found my blog to be really rewarding in terms of getting to know other readers of YA (not many of my friends read) as well as authors, people in publishing and more. It’s a community that’s really valuable to be a part of, and it makes it easy to keep up with new books and authors.
7. It’s only worth blogging if you enjoy it. There’s no point to doing something you don’t enjoy. I love blogging. So I blog. No matter what, though, writing and schoolwork come first (and a job… when I eventually get it).
A few of my favourite author blogs
William Kostakis’ blog is incredibly funny. Unfortunately he doesn’t update all that often. He’s the Australian author of Loathing Lola.
Penni Russon’s blog is probably one of my favourite blogs ever. Her blog was what inspired me to start blogging (I’m also very inspired by her books). She’s the author of the Undine trilogy, Little Bird and Indigo Girls.
Kate Constable’s blog is similarly lovely. She wrote the Tremaris trilogy, which I haven’t had the opportunity to read, but I did read Always Mackenzie and it was wonderful. Kate and Penni are also friends, and they co-authored a book that’s yet to come out, but which I’m looking forward to.
Various social media sites and how useful they would be to authors
Facebook – I’m still not entirely sold on Facebook (I’ve been a member for all of three weeks), but it’s still pretty popular. It’s worth being a member I think, and setting up a page so that people can become your fans as well.
Myspace - Waning in popularity, but still useful for YA authors, since a lot of teenagers are on Myspace but not Facebook.
Twitter – I’m not sure if Twitter actually has any promotional worth. But it’s really fun to follow authors and readers and other smart people, and I think it’s a fantastic communication tool
Social media sites you shouldn’t bother with
These pretty much do what another site above does, but not as well, or with not as many users:
Plurk (similar to Twitter)
Friendster, Bebo, Myyearbook (similar to Myspace)
Tumblr (I just don’t like Tumblr. Because it’s damn confusing, that’s why.)
One more thing – Is it worth me doing a follow up post on setting up and promoting your blog? Or does everyone know this stuff already?
And of course if anyone wants to ask my advice on anything to do with blogs, comment or email me.