I read a lot of blogs–on writing, on blogging, on cooking. My Bloglines feed reader is chock full. I make a pass through about once every month or two to unsubscribe from blogs that just aren’t working for me, that I usually skim and skip because I tend to add a few every month and it’s not like my time is getting any less full.
This morning I unsubscribed from one author blog that I’d expected great things from. I subscribed to the blog listed on her author website because I’d read an interesting post from her on some group blog somewhere (I read lots of those too, so I don’t remember where). And in the two or three months I’ve been subscribed she hasn’t BLOGGED once. Her updates were infrequent and solely about promotion of her latest release.
Now I understand that published authors have to promo their book. Whenever I am finally out there, I’ll be doing the same. I don’t at all mind when I read promo stuff on an author’s blog–as long as that’s not the only thing being posted. I read author blogs for a number of reasons. Advice to those of us trying to make it as writers. The knowledge that I’m not alone. A peek into the personal lives of my favorite scribes. Thoughts on the publishing industry. And, when it comes down to it, sheer entertainment. As the pro blogger blogs are apt to say–content is king. Readers want to get something out of their time on your blog. Reading about nothing but self promotion “Buy my book!”, even if it pertains to a contest surrounding that release–that’s not giving the reader anything but a bonk on the head “Buy my book!” repeatedly.
Frankly, I think it’s tacky.
If you’re a published author and you’re going to have a blog on your website, use it to actually BLOG. Share something with your readers, be it professional advice or snippets from your personal life. But BLOG. If you’re just going to use it to post release dates, promotional appearances, etc., then don’t call it a blog. Call it “News” or “Updates” or something. Because that’s all that is, and it’s a disservice to readers to make them think it’s something else by calling it a blog or journal.