Apr 1, 2012

B is for: Building a platform - pointless time suck or preparing for the future?

One of my favorite blogs to follow is The Intern, a young, editorial-assistant-turned-Big-Six-author who, of anyone out there, is the poster girl for building an online presence. So I read with interest this post on the benefits of social media for budding writers...or lack of them.

To sum up what you can read by following the link, a writer friend of Intern's did an experiment: she social mediaed the heck out of her book for six months, then erased her entire online presence and watched what happened.

Can you guess? Right. Nothing. Her Amazon sale numbers remained exactly the same.


So...what do you think? Is her experience the norm?

And if it is, would it change the way you blog?

18 comments:

Laura Barnes said...

What an excellent post. One could argue that the online presence she created before carried her for later, even though it had been erased. Word of mouth now fuels her without the media. I'd like to see an experiment done the opposite way: no presence and then add it. It might change the results.

Krista McLaughlin said...

Very interesting idea - I guess I can see where it doesn't make a difference. Not everyone tries to find their favorite author's blog to read about their struggles or not. They just wanna read the book. Hmm, I'm not sure.

elizabeth seckman said...

I don't think a platform could ever hurt, but I do think we have to remember to put the novel first.

Kyra Lennon said...

Not to be a copycat, but I agree with what Elizabeth said! :D

T. Drecker said...

I'm agreeing with Elizabeth, too. Blogging is fun and can be supportive for us 'lonely' writers, but I think that's about it.

Tobi Summers said...

I think the best part of blogging is making friends and connections with other writers. I'm sure I'll promote my book when it comes out, but I don't expect to really sell it based on my online presence. I just think it's fun to meet all these new people.

Kimberlee Turley said...

When I watch TV, I automatically tune out the commercials. Blogging is getting to be the same way. If everyone is pitching something I'll start to gloss over the advertisements and just stick with the socially interactive part.

But if through a personal connection, someone recommends a product, then I might try it out.

I try not to use blogging for platform building for this reason, because I think insincerity is too easy to spot.

Tamara Narayan said...

That is fascinating and completely believable. I think the book itself is it's strongest saleman. If it's great, it will sell. I will keep up with social media anyway because it's fun.

Andrew Leon said...

From experience, I would say that, basically, all of my e-sales of my book have been due to blogging (not that they are that much) while all the physical sales have been due to my presence. At this point, the vast (more than 90%) majority of my sales have been due to a personal connection with the buyer either in person or online.

Cassie Mae said...

Interesting for sure. I'd never change the way I blog though. I'm addicted to the online communication, whether or not it'll boost my *future* sales, lol.

Kristi said...

I agree with Cassie...I love blogging more for the social aspect and connecting to other writers/readers that are as enthusiastic about it as I am.

So (for me) the fact that it may not actual help future sales probably wouldn't change a thing.

Great, thought inspiring post! :)

Kristi said...

I agree with Cassie...I love blogging more for the social aspect and connecting to other writers/readers that are as enthusiastic about it as I am.

So (for me) the fact that it may not actual help future sales probably wouldn't change a thing.

Great, thought inspiring post! :)

Suzi said...

Now that I've gotten into blogging, the social aspect has become more important. It's great to make friends.

But even so, I am/will be buying books from author's I have made connections with online. And many of them I might not have discovered if not for being on writing blogs all the time.

Bev said...

This is the experience I had with social media. Had a blog for about a year and accumulated about 70 followers in that year. Closed it but continued to post on Facebook under the same name for another year. There I developed relationships that weren't being met on my original blog. Re-opened my blog and in a matter of weeks was almost at the same Follower count that took me a year to get previously. Social media is exact that. Social. I'm not that impressed with Twitter. Unless people are looking specifically for your product they're not going to find you.

Thought provoking post.

Stopping in via the A-Z blogging challenge.

Bev @ Blue Velvet Vincent

R.A.Desilets said...

I definitely love being in touch with other writers - and I don't think being in touch with people is really meant to make my sales higher. For me it is about learning and growing with other writers. I think it is important to get your name out there, and get your concept out there - but relying on social media for sales shouldn't be the case. You should rely on your concept, log line, and description instead.

My social media keeps me motivated to write, not to sell.

Sarah Pearson said...

Occasionally I worry that I'm not properly 'building a platform' for any future work, but then I realise that I'm having to much fun to change things :-)

Carrie Butler said...

I focus on being authentic and making lasting relationships. So, no, I wouldn't change anything. :)

Great post!

Lisa L. Regan said...

In terms of promoting my future books, I feel better having read this since I already feel like I'm not doing enough. LOL. But I didn't start my blog to sell books, I started it to meet other writers and learn stuff from them and that has been very effective.