Friday, January 14, 2011

Free toaster with purchase

What to do, what to do?

Actually, I know what I'm going to do. I just wonder if I'm crazy.

I'm a writer. (You've seen my header, right? This shouldn't come as a surprise.) And my first book is about to come out. And there are hundreds of people/blogs/articles out there telling writers how to promote their books, how to get them out there, lalalalalala.

Conventional wisdom says: start a blog, build a readership, get them to buy your book.


I started a blog. I built a readership. And then . . . that turned into relationships. And for the same reason I'm not going to hit you guys up to come hear about a great new business opportunity at my house, I kinda don't want to pitch my books to you.

Don't get me wrong. You'll hear all about them. I know a lot of you as my friends are going to be excited about my book and want to read it and I love you for it. I'll ask a lot of you to review it or post it about it on your blog. 

But what conventional wisdom also says is that I should be running around trying to make a lot of new blog friends so that THEY will want to buy/advertise my book for me too.

And I can't do that. I just can't. This blog has become a space for me to hang out with people I enjoy. Of course I'm going to do some giveaways and be all excited about my book and talk about it often for a while . . . but it's not really the point of my blog anymore. 

Honestly, if we saw each other in real life all the time and every time I saw you I was blabbering on about an amazing XYZ product you HAD to buy and it's all I ever talked about, it would get a little old, right? I have friends who do network marketing and are excited about their stuff (Avon, Scentsy, etc.) but it's not the ONLY thing we talk about. 

My blog isn't going to be all about my book. It'll be lot about my book for a little while because that's major in my life right now and I"ll focus on that the same way I fixated on getting our new house or having baby Eden, but that's just because it's a natural part of what I'm doing. I can't bring myself to be all like, "Help me get to 200 followers and I'll do this fantastic thing for you!"

I like having people come here who want to be here because we're at least slightly kindred spirits. So I don't think I'll do any contests where it's about trying to get more followers/readers. I mean, sure, I'll probably do something with a component where I can give someone more chances to win if they post about my book on their blog, but with the intention of getting more readers for my BOOK, not my BLOG, if that makes sense.

And then when the craziness of this book launch dies down in a while, this blog will still be my happy space, the place it's always been.

I don't have any issue with authors using their blogs to market their books. It's when they suck you in under false pretenses and then suddenly they're selling you something. You know, like if you went to lunch with a friend and then suddenly they started pulling out flip charts and rattling on about magnetic balance bracelets and how you should buy some and sell them to your friends. And then you're sitting there like, "What the heck? I thought we were hanging out?"

I don't know. I'm being weird about this, I'm sure.  And I realize I'm thinking out loud.

But it's my blog. That's what it's here for. :)


Susan said...

I feel the same way about my blog.

You're book is going to rock out regardless. It's called word of mouth. I'm sure you already know I'd love to review your book on my blog (not that too terribly many people will see it) because I love the way you write and I'm going to tell everyone I know even if you don't ask.

PS- Thanks for being mad I'm not published. It makes me feel good that you care. Pray for me.

NIKOL said...

I love Google Reader, and seeing posts that people delete. Even random notes to self.

The "Earwax" part intrigues me.

I look forward to checking out your book!

Melinda said...

I totally get what you're saying, your book is coming out and of COURSE you're going to talk about it and of COURSE we WANT to hear about it! We're excited for you! But I get that you don't want to go to far or whatnot, when we were moving one of my best friends asked if we could go to lunch and then tried to get me to sell Mary Kay under her. It was horrible and I was really hurt and pregnant and crazy. :) There's my super long comment for ya! But really, YAY for your book! I'm very excited to read it, I wouldn't mind reviewing either if you need someone!

Kazzy said...

You have already indirectly built your readership by building relationships. This summer I am reading your book and Becca W.

MommyJ said...

I love your blog because you are real. I don't read blogs where very clearly, on the surface, you can tell the blogger is trying to garner more attention/make more money. I get why it has to be about that for some people. But it turns me off very, very quickly. I'm much happier to find those blogs written by kindred spirits... like this one.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I say it's your blog and if you want to turn it into a glowing Neon Book Sale you can. The difference between the blog and a lunch date is that people can slip out unnoticed if it's not what they ordered for the day. IF that happens, they'll peek in later to see what's up. Don't you worry little missy, if you lose friends over posts about your own book, they must have been self-interested friends in the first place.

Kristina P. said...

And this is why I love you. Because I feel the same way. I really struggle with staying true to myself and what I want my blog to be, and telling people how amazing I am and pimping myself out.

OK, I guess I don't have that big of a struggle.

Marion Jensen said...

I'm presenting at the LDStorymakers conference in April, and I will be preaching this exact sentiment. Do you care if I mention this post? It's spot on. :)

Becca said...

Yeah. Yeah. I so hear you. But, hey - pimp your novel all you want, because this is your party. And I hope I'm one of those people who is actually invited to blog about your books, because I'm going to do it anyway (and you know how I love to be invited somewhere I"m going anyway...)

Melanie is made of awesome, I'll say. And people will agree. Because you are.

Kimberly said...

I haven't even finished a book yet and I've had some of these same thoughts. Your blog is real, a genuine piece of who you are. I totally get not wanting to mess with that.

But hun, I am SO posting about your book the second I get myself a copy. No need to even ask.

Karen Peterson said...

I don't know if you ever read Jody Hedlund's blog, but she recently wrote about how the publication of her book didn't really do much for her blog at all. She'd had a few curious visitors, but most readers didn't check out her blog.

So, rest assured. I don't think ANYONE expects you to turn your blog into a sales pitch. It's just another way for interested readers to get to know you.

Karen Peterson said...

Dang. Posted too soon.

What I meant to say was that your blog is another way for readers to get to know you, while you still get to maintain connections with people that are already your pals.

Stephanie Black said...

I know that however you choose to mention your book here, it's going to be witty, funny, and fun. I enjoy your style, and yours is one of my favorite blogs.

LisAway said...

So you know I like you very much, and I would like you very much if you begged for followers, but I have to say this is a very happy post for me. Also, if you change your mind and start asking for followers I'll be super cool with that because you explained where you were at in this post and it would only mean that this route didn't work out like you'd hoped. I think you are excellent.

And you forgot to write about the earwax.

But mostly, do I really get a free toaster when I buy the book?

LisAway said...

And also, I look forward to hearing as much about your book as you care to tell and as often as you care to tell it. :)

Emily said...

Whatever. I'm totally going to read your book and write about it on my blog! :)

wendy said...

well of course you have to promote your book
or else how would I know about it ....
I am very much in awe of people who are able to write.
Put their feelings and thoughts into words.
I have feelings and thoughts..............and they are just there, plugging up my brain
I really am quite brilliant (tee,hee) if I could put it all into words.

Terresa said...

Yep. Totally with you on this, all the way. You are authentic, every time I visit here, it's you and your voice, and ditto to everything MommyJ says. I agree 100%. :)

Andrew & Sarah Clawson said...

I LOVE YOUR BLOG! 'nuff said!

Amber Lynae said...

Hey Melanie... we love your blog , we love you. And that is why we will read your book... that is the great thing... we know you keep it real.

Lisa S said...

I just started reading your blog, so I don't really know you. I want to know about your about it please. Those of us who appreciate your writing care about your successes. So when do I get my toaster?

DeNae said...

I'm already dealing with this, all before even having published anything. I thought I'd blog with the same end-game in mind, but like you, I really prefer thinking of my blog as a place to hang out with my friends. When the time comes to celebrate my own published work, I'll have to figure out a way to do it without pestering my friends. Turns out you all mean too much to me to lure you over to my place, only to try to sell you something!

L.T. Elliot said...

This is kind of why I've ditched my blog of late. I don't want it to become a gimmick but I don't know how to find my way back there right now. And I loved my place. I loved my blog. Where did you go, blog? Where?

I'm glad you're not selling me magnetic bracelets and tupperware or any ware. Of course I'll get your book and read it but that's mostly because I frickin' want to--not because you told me to.

P.S. I love the note to google reader. Laughed my butt off.

Dedee said...

That google reader note did rock! Tee Hee Hee!

I understand--somewhat--what you are saying. I hope you find a happy place with it soon!

Kelly O. said...

Erica wants to read it and tell all her fanfiction friends about it. I can't wait to read just cuz I love you and you can be assured I won't pick up any mistakes.