Dave Taylor picks up on a posting by Steve O’Keefe regarding the pros and cons of author blogs. Steve’s original point was that author blogs aren’t worthwhile unless the maintenance expense can be spread over more than one book.
Dave notes that as long as an author is blogging about something they’re passionate about, a blog is a great addition to a book. In fact, a comment by PR Diva on Steve’s post goes on to say “If the author hosts her own blog, then she has the opportunity to interact with her fan base, share information and create more of a relationship (all words that marketers love).”
Amen! The only thing I’d add to that is that a blog is a great way for an author to extend their book with additional information, points of view, examples, etc. – all things that either (a) didn’t make it into the original book or (b) are better discussed on a dynamic forum rather than in a static book.
This is a core element for the future of book publishing: I feel it will become more important to truly augment and extend the original product with other types of content delivery including blogs, RSS feed updates, etc. OK, maybe this doesn’t add a lot of value for the novel you read on the beach but there are plenty of books where it does make sense.
The book entitled Why Not? is a great example. As I mentioned in an earlier post, this book was so-so, but the companion website is outstanding. It’s not a blog, but it’s a community site where you can contribute and comment on solutions to common problems. If it weren’t for this website, I would have put the book aside and not thought twice about it. The ideas discussed are so interesting that I find myself reading through them every couple of days – other than Google, Yahoo!, Amazon and a handful of others, there aren’t too many sites I can say that about. I don’t know how much work the authors invest in this site every week/month, but given the volume of interesting ideas and comments, I’ll bet they would say it’s been a worthwhile venture. It’s also a great way to extend their book, communicate directly with readers and promote their other products.