This column features sweet and mild fiction and books of interest to women and parents. From time to time, I’ve received complaints from erotic authors asking why their books can’t be included here. They ask if I think I’m better than they are, as if this is a popularity contest like the ones that go on in high school.
To the contrary, the books I select to feature are a marketing ploy, a business decision. It is a question that every author has to answer when designing a blog on their web page.
A blog is one way to attract customers even before a book is published. It’s a little like fishing. The fish are the customers, and the bait is the book. An author uses bait to attract fish to the pond, so that when the author’s next book comes out, the pond is well stocked and full of fish that are willing to bite.
Let’s say that sweet and mild books are like worms; soft and warm. The kind of fish that like worms is bass. Let’s say that erotic books are like tuna; fast and hard. The type of fish that likes to eat tuna is a shark. If this column throws out worms, bass will come into the pond. If it throws out tuna, sharks will start to circle. Sharks scare away bass.
My books, Stars Shine After Dark, and Day Camp in Hawaii are worms that bass will like to eat. I don’t want to attract sharks by throwing out tuna. I just want to throw out worms and minnows. That doesn’t mean that I think bass are better than sharks, or that tuna stinks.
A blog about SEO, Search Engine Optimization, recommended thinking of your blog like an Oreo cookie. An author wants to be as familiar to their readers as an Oreo is to the average consumer. While there are different types of Oreo, just say the word, and most people will immediately think of a chocolate sandwich cookie with white filling. In the same way, authors should post articles in their blog that will let readers know what the author is made of. When people say my name, I want them to think about sweet and mild fiction and arts and crafts.
Writing web sites recommend that every author should have a blog, and post a new article at least once a week. Some authors don’t know what to write about. Well, what kind of fish are you trying to attract? When people say your name, what do you want them to think of? Answer those questions, and topics will come to mind.
Some writers say that they don’t know what to write about in their blog. Posting articles about books in the same genre is a good answer. It pulls the type of reader you want to your site, but it also opens a door to an opportunity to promote your own book. If the other author also has a blog featuring books in your genre, you may be able to arrange a blog swap. If the other author agrees to post an article about your book in her blog, your book will be presented to another pond of hungry fish that are waiting for the next worm to be tossed into the waters.
Just as a fisherman stocks his tackle box with lures and flies that are appropriate to the type of fish he wants to catch, a blog should be stocked with stories that will attract the type of reader the author wants to reach.