Assuming a book has sold any significant number, an author of a book has a built-in audience. The readers of a book will want to know what the opinions are on related topics, or how the author sees the content of the book relating to new information. The author can write (has the talent to) if he or she wrote a book. So, all authors should blog.
Guy Kawasaki and Malcolm Gladwell both started blogging this year, and have significant readership. This allows for an ongoing conversation that the author with readers, the readers with each other, and the readers with the authors. There is no easier way to keep the author’s ideas expressed in the book fresh in the minds of his or her readers. When the author announces a new book, it is almost guaranteed that at least 25% of the readers will buy the book within the first month. I am basing this is number is based on 37 Signal’s readership, and how many Getting Real e-books they sold in the first month of the release, (around 19,000 blog subscribers at that time of this post according to their FeedBurner stats) with the only marketing being a blog post and a sub domain page on their site, and enthusiastic readers’ word of mouth.
Malcolm Gladwell blogs to point out new examples of the points he made in his books Blink and The Tipping Point. As do As do Guy Kawasaki regarding startups, as does and Seath Goodin regarding marketing, as does Joseph Jaffe regarding new marketing. In the case of Robert Scoble and Shel Israel, they used a blog to introduce the ideas of blogging in a book they wrote, and then continue to point out new examples of the points in their book as news items break.
Almost every book I have purchased in the last year was because of blog buzz. Only one was based on Amazon ratings and reviews. Some are because I read the author’s blog, others are because the books keep coming up in the conversation in various blogs. Or could it just be that these books just happen to be popular with blog readers?
Books I have purchased from being influenced by the author or the book in blogs/podcasts (I am not going to link to my Amazon affiliate links because I want to make a genuine point in this post, and do not want it to appear that I am doing this for the commission):
-Naked Conversations, Robert Scoble and Shel Israel
-Life After the 30 Second Spot, Joseph Jaffe
-Ruby Programming, Dave Thomas, Chad Fowler and Andy Hunt
-Agile Development in Rails, David Heinemeier Hansson, Tomas Hunt
-Learn to Program, Chris Pine
-The Pragmatic Programmer, Andy Hunt, Dave Thomas
-The World Is Flat, Thomas Freidman
-Getting Real, 37 Signals
-Defensive Web Design, 37 Signals
Future book purchase from being influenced by the author or the book in blogs/podcasts:
-The Tipping Point, Malcolm Glawell
-Blink, Malcolm Gladwell
-Freakonomics, Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
-The Clutrain Manifesto, Christopher Locke, Rick Levine, Doc Searls, David Weinberger
-Rise of the Creative Class, Richard Florida
-The Ten Faces of Innovation, Thomas Kelley
-Creating Customer Evangelists, Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell
One thing to note is that I did not first hear about them, nor was I marketed to about them by any traditional means such as TV, newspapers, magazines, or radio. It was all through reading blogs (by the authors in some cases), and in many cases, hearing the author speak in a podcast. I am wondering whether it is more blogs or Amazon reviews that are influencing blog readers to buy a given book.
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