2014 Box Office So Far…
1 Transformers: Age of Extinction - $1,087.3 billion
2 Maleficent - $757.4 million
3 Guardians of the Galaxy - $752.6
4 X-Men: Days of Future Past - $746.0
5 Captain America: The Winter Soldier - $714.1
6 The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - $709.0
7 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - $707.2
8 How to Train Your Dragon 2 - $615.0
9 Godzilla (2014) - $525.0
(Guardians leads the US box office with $328.6 million.)
At the A to Z Blog today is Nicki Elson with her awesome 90's Pop Culture Favorites Challenge theme.
Mage Revealed by CD Coffelt
Book two in the Magic Withheld series
Find it on Amazon
Check out the trailer on You Tube
Lisa Regan is celebrating the one year anniversary of her first novel’s release by holding a t-shirt fundraiser:
Buy a Finding Claire Fletcher t-shirt and all profits will go to Operation Underground Railroad or O.U.R., a non-profit organization founded by a former CIA/Homeland Security agent. They use cutting-edge technology to locate and track child pornographers and human traffickers. They use their findings to assist law enforcement all over the world to stop these monsters and rescue kidnapped children.
IF I DON'T REACH MY GOAL, THE T-SHIRTS WILL NOT BE PRINTED AND YOUR MONEY WILL BE REFUNDED.
YOU HAVE UNTIL NOVEMBER 12, 2014 TO PURCHASE A SHIRT.
You can purchase one HERE
Milo James Fowler’s Creepy Freebies is back! Check his site for a list of participants, plus keep an eye out for those joining the giveaway, such as Roland Yeomans. Creepy Freebies lasts through Halloween.
Horror Movie Trivia Answers
1 – Simon Pegg, Nick Frost 2004 – Shaun of the Dead
2 – Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David 1982 – The Thing
3 – Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci 1999 – Sleepy Hollow
4 – Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner 1976 – The Omen
5 – Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, Brian Cox 2002 – The Ring
6 – JoBeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson, Heather O’Rourke 1982 – Poltergeist
In a piles of leaves, as requested! (Sort of - I don't rake leaves, I mow them.)
Have Authors Killed Blogging?
Are authors and writers putting a damper on blogging? Are the constant book announcements, cover reveals, book releases, blog tours, and reviews drowning out interaction and interest?
I pull up my Feedly reader, and over two thirds of the posts are just that. It looks almost like a Twitter feed of promos and links.
We all want to help each other, but I’ve begun to wonder if we are the only ones paying attention anymore. I follow almost two thousand blogs and used to have an eclectic following, but it seems that many who weren’t writers have fallen away. (And yes, I do know I gained a lot more writer followers when I started the Insecure Writer’s Support Group three years ago.) They aren’t blogging much anymore, if at all. (I know a lot of writers and authors who aren’t blogging, either.)
I’ve always tried to offer a variety here, because no one wants to read all promo. (Besides, I’m not a book blogger site or a review site – that’s not what I do.) I want to focus on entertainment and fun, and yes, I am trying to work more of me into the posts.
What do you think? Have authors and writers put a damper on blogging? Have we hit promo overload?
How many of those top films of 2014 have you seen? (I’ve only missed the top two.) Any news that interests you? Get any of the trivia correct? Ready to dive into a pile of leaves? And do you think authors are hurting blogging…?
I mow leaves too. :) So much easier.
I've wondered about the same thing, Alex, in terms of blogging. Maybe it's just that we've all got so much to promote. But I've also wondered if it's that the discipline of blogging is difficult, as well. Maybe it's only natural that writers would handle that better than non-writers.
Wow...I've seen NONE of those movies. I'd better see if Netflix has them. :)
Very surprised at Godzilla, I thought it was very poor!
i def think bloggings bubble has burst a bit...and dont know that i would blame writers, but i will say that there are a lot of writers/poets out there that just dont realize the social aspect of social media...when all it is is a place to pimp your own stuff, it loses its appeal to me as well...
whole lotta superhero movies on that list....woot...
For me personally, that's been the single greatest factor in my inability to interact more fully with the community. Everyone's got a book to sell, and when they aren't selling theirs they're selling someone else's. I realize most of the people here came here for that reason, but they only have something (for me) interesting to say during a blogathon (which is also why A-to-Z tends to be the best blogging month of the year). But then, most of what people blog about when they aren't talking about someone's book release is pop culture nostalgia, or (and I don't mean to make light of this) complaining about a health ailment. It can be extremely alienating. It's hard to see real personality in any of this when everyone is basically doing exactly the same thing. I have no idea why most of these people are even writing. I'd be a hundred percent more interested if they posted more about what inspires them (but know it seems disingenuous when you include fellow bloggers in that context), who their favorite writers are, and why. Any blogger that only seems to read the books released by other bloggers also sacrifices credibility.
None of this is to say we shouldn't support one another. But it looks bad when it comes across as completely indiscriminate, uncritical, and above all not particularly fun to read.
Godzilla would have won if more of him had been in the movie! Just saying! He is the star - I'm figuring a contract dispute! LOL
As far as blogging it's changing and it's in a transition stage. There's only so much time for reality and virtual anything, and there is just so much information available! The novelty has warn off a bit and real life does interfere - plus I think the 140 character limit is easier than filling a full page, although, I still don't tweet, or FB. Time is a factor. Maybe the blush has simply gone from the rose...
Transformers at the top means they'll make yet another one, won't they? I liked the first one, but I'm kind of over it now.
Congrats to CD on her new release!
We possibly have hit that threshold - and yet I always feel that I want to help my writer bloggy friends promote their books, so I'm not wanting to stop doing that. I can imagine that your feedly list must look kind of repetitive, though, with over 2k of blogs and many of them doing the same sorts of posts!
I do love the A to Z for that reason you mentioned - the eclectic range of themes people come up with, and also the varied 'type' of blogger that participates.
I think there is also the reality of the outside world. I blog a lot less because of my lack of online access and also because I hate to post when I can't comment back. Sadly yes there is an overload, especially on review sites that sometimes post 5 or more reviews a day separately. Who do you think is popping on your blogs that much? I have been keeping on Guardian's box office rise through wikipedia. Can't wait for it to beat Maleficent and I want to see Transformers knocked from number one. Enjoy the fall Mini-Alex.
So interesting that the top selling movies are of similar genres. And I haven't seen any of them yet.
As for blogging, I think the community that has evolved around you and some others that I follow and follow back are still there and not dying. But I do agree that some blogs are too much promoting theirs and their friends books. We all want to help but it's like with self-published authors mostly that too much of the promotion is to the same audience. They need to expand out to reach book review bloggers and new readers, not promote to the same people. It gets tiresome.
I feel like I've found a good niche of promoting books and authors because I love books. But I try to focus on the posts being advice we can all use, not just book promotions. And it seems to be working.
I do think cutting back to one or two days a week of posting is good. It's too time consuming to read blogs more these days and we need time to live in our worlds, not just the internet. Let's try to keep our blogging alive here in good ways.
I've seen a few of those movies. Still want to see more. Yikes, Shaun of the Living Dead, I should've known that one. My kids loved it, and that dvd is in our collection!
Great Post on blogging! May I mention it on my blog?
I like hosting other authors on my blog and developing relationships with them. It can be difficult to find fun things to blog about or even socialize when most of your time is consumed with a day job and caring for your family. It's hard to find time to read and comment on blogs, so I tend to focus on the ones that offer writing/promoting advice or other useful information. I visit Passive Voice multiple times a day, but I've cut back on commenting/submitting articles to that site too. Blogging doesn't seem to sell books the way writing the next book does. I still enjoy blogging, but I admit it's less social than it used to be.
When I started blogging, it WAS my writing. Now my blogging is in addition to it...which means it takes a back seat in priority. It has to, or I'll never reach my goals. That said, I want to support other bloggers, but I've been careful about supporting only those I really know and believe in on my site, so my blog doesn't become a big billboard.
As for blogging itself, it seems to me that after a point, it becomes hard to come up with new subject matter and many writer/bloggers slip away. More seem to focusing on Twitter, Goodreads, FB etc. Perhaps those sites are easier because they take less of a time commitment. They are quick hits. There are many bloggers I've loved who don't post at all anymore, and I miss them. But my own production has lessened each year, too so I can't criticize.
Interesting question about blogging. I totally get it. If I accepted every request to blog about a book, it'd be full of nothing but reveals and releases. I wonder if it's so much authors/writers as it is publishers. They can get so much more on a blog post than they can on a tweet of FB post. It could have just have been a fad that's past its time.
I've seen six of the nine films.
I've only seen one of those top grossing films - and I wasn't impressed.
Did see The Purge: Anarchy this weekend and liked it a whole lot better than the first one. And the Jack Ryan movie, too, was better than I thought it was going to be.
Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption
I think blogging, like everything else, just evolves and changes. There are 'sweet seasons,' and when I first started blogging, I thought they'd last forever. But, like everything else, they pass. That's what seasons do. The thing is, there's always another season around the corner.
Hi Alex - haven't seen any of the movies and am unlikely too .. but have seen lots of movies.
Re blogging - I try and find interesting blogs to follow and some authors are very good at providing different and salient information.
I agree there are too many book promotion fests, book cover fests, book chapter fests ... I'm sure people (authors and bloggers) could be more creative - some most definitely are ... and as the others have said the A-Z is a great way of meeting new friends, reminding oneself of old friends ...
For me it was joining Facebook that really hurt my blogging time. I agree that constant posts about promoting books does nothing to encourage me to read a post. I prefer to read interesting content from authors, editors, and agents.
Elizabeth, so many have books now.
Fran, I liked it.
Tony, working on more personality here. I do like my pop culture though.
Yolanda, that made me chuckle.
MJ, unfortunately, they will.
Trisha, you imagined well. And that's another reason I like the Challenge. It brings out a variety.
Sheena-kay, five posts a day is a lot.
Natalie, you're right - it's just promoting to the same people. And I like the way you do your blog.
Cathrina, thanks! Yes you can.
Liza, I don't want to be a billboard either.
Suze, hope that season arrives soon.
Hilary, I'll try to stay interesting for you.
Fascinating blog post, Alex!
I have to confess that none of the top ten movies made their position on the list by any thanks to me -- I still haven't seen any of them... Although I still definitely want to see Guardians!
You raise some really interesting questions about blogging, Alex. In its infancy, blogging seems like it used to be a way to share thoughts, ideas, and personal perspective -- it was frequently each blogger's "online journal" so to speak. But I see very, very little of that any more, or it is often from unknown, unvisited bloggers. Now days it seems like depth has been replaced by breadth. Blogging is now often considered to be just one small part of the wide swath of an overall online "presence" and it fights for limited attention against Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and all the other social media. Many Bloggers now frequently use it as just one leg of some sort of online platform they're building for whatever reason, and frequently it's to sell books.
But it's not just the people who write blogs. Readers are also pulled in many more directions and it seems like they don't really have the time or inclination to spend on long posts from a large number of blogs.
So blogging is undergoing an evolution and change, but then everything else in life does too. I miss having the time to visit more blogs; I miss having the time to get to read deep thoughts from people I'm interested in instead of just a lot of short "read my book!" or "buy my product!" promotional blurbs; I miss having the time to blog more myself.
But when I do, I try as often as I can to make it a sharing of something creative, such as something I've written or a new song I've put together.
*Shrug* I dunno. Blogging is changing, but I still enjoy it.
Thanks for some interesting thoughts, Alex. I'll be thinking on them for quite a while...
Blogging has always had its ebbs and flows. As a blogger you have to make your blog interesting and refreshed to gain and keep followers.
I don't see authors as a problem. They are just one piece of the puzzle. There's something for whatever you are interested in. As such, tastes of readers change. So if you are only blogging about how-to, selling something, and buy my book all the time, a lot of people will tune out.
Transformers just needs to die already, but no chance of that. Marvel is cleaning up.
And yeah we yapped about that, blogging has become a lot of look at me look at me, screw thee, type of thing. People want all the attention with none of the effort and those that just toot their own horn annoy. I wouldn't say it's all writers, but they make up a good portion of them. Plus many get stuck in their rut, they think that just because they are a certain blog they can't talk about certain things. Well pffft to that, the cat will go on about anything and everything.
Promo overload? Yes, definitely. Blogging is still fun but it takes a lot of time, which I (for one) don't have in the summertime. The instant feedback on shorts and poems is addictive and I always return a visit/comment but some of my favorite blogs from when I started mine have gone inactive and I guess I haven't had time to hunt down the new. Yours is a good example of a wide variety of content with staying power. But the films I watch seldom top the box office list.
My take on this is blogging has a life of its own.The normal blogging within the community sharing the same keeps it alive. There is a tendency to connect to be informed and to be within the circle. Contrary to some opinions I think book promotion is a noble thing. Promotions is basically info display. So it is good as the intention is to inform.
I still need to see those movies. Sheesh.
I don't want to say blogging is a fad, but it kind of is. One day, the chance I'll be doing it might be slim. I used to have a Myspace, and then I moved on to Facebook, eventually stopped using Myspace, got onto Twitter, still have my Facebook but don't get on it regularly, etc.
And sometimes I think it takes away from actually writing or helping others with their writing, so there are times I don't worry about posting regularly.
I'm in awe of those movies totals. Wow!
I've been putting blogging on the back burner to my writing, and that wasn't always the case. I do like browsing feedly, but I am commenting on less and less these days.
I jumped into a pile of leaves like that one last week, just for fun. I'd love to take Mini-Alex with me to do that, and it would assure I wouldn't harm him.
You know my thoughts on blogging, since I just posted about it. People think they can sell books without making the effort at connections. I think they will learn that it doesn't work that way.
Be well, Alex. xo
Blogging has definitely changed. I'd say it coincided with the legitimacy of self-publishing in the last couple years. Now everyone has a book to promote, and their blog site is their main webpage, so…can't sell books if people don't know about them. The irony is people might sell more books if they were more about content and personality on their blogs than advertising and book blurbs. There are studies showing people are more likely to buy a book if they think they "know" the author. My two cents.
I don't think anybody's put a damper on blogging, but I can see your point with promo overload. While I'm more than happy to host a promotional tour, it has to offer something original in terms of content - an interview, a guest post, or a review. I'm not interested in just reposting the same cover and blurb anybody can find with a quick Google search.
As for returning comments, I think we're in an age of social media overload. When you have to monitor your blog, an RSS feed, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Goodreads, Booklikes, etc. it can be overwhelming, and it's easy to get sidetracked or 'stuck' in one particular bit of media. Personally, I try to set aside some time every night to respond to blog comments.
Congrats to Lisa! Sounds like a great organization to highlight.
Part of the blogging problem happened when Google dropped Friends. I checked in daily to see what the new posts were when it was up and running. They basically shot themselves in the foot when they discontinued it. Feedly, Bloglovin, etc never filled the hole for me.
I wonder if new writers just starting out find the glut too dominating or whether the information flow is the same for them. Or if it is only my "feeds" that are clogged with ads and marketing.
Speaking of which, a big Transformers-sized Thank You for the shout out. It is very much appreciated.
It does seem like everyone is promoting a book these days. I've always said what will happen if we all become authors - who will buy our books then?
The same promotional information over and over is boring. If we're going to keep doing it, we have to offer something different to each site.
You know that I've been at this for a very long time, and blogging has continued to evolve. Back in 2005, blogs were just online diaries.
In a way, I do think writers have created too much noise. If you're not a writer, you're just going to tune it out, as all the promotion gets annoying. We all hate SPAM, so why would we willfully go to blogs for more of it?
Wow I've only seen Guardians of the Galaxy, guess I'd better get watching!
Great post on blogging. I think blogging an interesting, thought provoking post takes a lot of time and effort and doing a book promo blog tour is so darn easy, so sometimes I take the easy road to keep posting, plus I love helping my blog buddies. But I think you're right that flooding the same people with covers and promos, gets tiring and probably doesn't actually sell too many books.
I love blogging but I've cut down my posting to one to two days a week to try and have more time for writing and to also make my posts hopefully a little better. :)
I think so. I know this makes it hard for authors who need to promote. But, non-author blogs are doing quite well.
I've seen more blogs do as you do and have original content follow by promos.
Then again, I've only done a handful of promos (not including my current blog tour) and my followers have slipped. And return visits are down a lot too. Hum...
Good morning, ALEX!
I can't believe the Transformer movie made that much dough! I didn't even go see it and it had Marky Mark! Most of these I haven't seen just cause it costs so much to go to the movies we save it for the ones we really want to see.
I do see a lot of promo out there on blogs. I figure you can only plug yourself so many times before people stop coming around. I agree we need to entertain not just use the blog as ad space.
You are doing a fine job.
Hi Mini-Alex! I mow the leaves, too, but first I have to pile them for the BOY to jump in them. :)
Oh and I've seen only one of those movies. :(
My son and I were playing in the leaves yesterday until they were mowed! It's tough to say authors may be hurting blogging with too many promos. There is a lot of them. I try to keep my blog schedule so that just one day has promos and then my other two days are entertaining. Yet how are authors going to promote themselves? For my upcoming tours in the new year, I'm trying to do as many interviews and guest posts as I can rather than just promo posts. I think those sorts of posts attract more readers.
I haven't seen any of the movies. Seldom go to a movie. Sometimes I buy the DVDs, mostly children/teens stories.
I like to read blogs that do more than just promote their books. I like advice and inspiration.
I agree, Captain. I do see a lot of promotional stuff on authors' blogs. While that's okay, I think they should spread the love. I also think they should be more sociable. My feed looks like a big advertisement. I took my follower buttons down. I noticed writers getting into a competition about followers. That IS NOT what it's all about. It's about the connections.
I need to come out of my writing cave and see a movie or two.
*waves to Alex*
I agree with your thoughts here on blogging, Alex. I've grown weary of all the promo stuff. If a blog includes other things, I don't mind, but if that's all it is, it gets old real fast. I don't know what the answer is, because how else are writers supposed to let folks know about a new release? Its a dilemma, for sure.
P.S. Love Mini Alex in the leaves. I mow mine too. Then I put them on my pile of black gold. (Compost) :-)
My take on the blogging thing is that the market is just altering, like always. Blogging was the big trend, and now it's taking a twist toward other mediums like pinterest, instagram, etc. With the social media revolution, it's to be expected, right? Writers write, therefor we keep blogs.
My hubby always rakes - then puts them in the truck to take to the local compost guy. Takes a pile of truck loads, but it works :)
That's a lot of money spent on movies!!! And lots of hours of fun :)
I know the blogging seems harder to keep up on than it once was. It was easier as an aspiring writing than as someone ALSO publishing and marketing. And I think it wears on me a bit when so much of what's up is promo instead of 'get to know you' stuff. My favorite thing about blogging was that at one point it seemed the deepest, and some of that has gotten lost. We get promo exhausted and lose steam. Or something.
Interesting topic, Alex and I liked reading all the responses here. I think it all depends on what "circle" you are in for blogging. Most of my peeps are general bloggers and as long as the cat and kid pictures keep coming, we are fine!
I've dropped way off in my blogging. Most of the blogs I visit aren't by writers, but more by readers. Some are a bit of both. I think people need an outlet to express themselves, and things like facebook and twitter make it easier to do so than blogging does. That's probably one big reason the blogosphere has shrunk a bit.
Chris, glad I could get you to thinking. Blogging is still my priority.
JL, they will indeed tune out.
Pat, variety is important.
Yvonne, I've been around long enough I've seen the same thing happen. And thank you!
Debra, and that's why I limit my posting.
Robyn, he would gladly go leaf hopping with you. (Wow, that sounds weird, doesn't it?)
LG, and I know that's true from my own experience. Many have read my books because they got to know me here first.
Bob, and you do that well.
Huntress, that is a very good question.
Kathryn, that's why I cut back.
Holly, don't know why that happened.
Heather! That's good to know. And I didn't give Transformers any money either.
Christine, they do, and I think you handle it well on your blog.
Robyn, that's why comments have always mattered more to me, because those are connections.
Mowing leaves is better for the lawn anyway. Although I do rake once in a while so my grandson can jump in the pile. :)
I've seen the blog world change in the 5+ years I've been blogging. Some people are just burnt out, I think, others have book contracts and are too busy, etc. I can see where it gets taxing to keep up - even if you enjoy it as I do. I'm down to posting once a week, and even that can be hard to keep up with sometimes. I do love the social aspect of it, and have met so many great people. It's been a really good experience. Not ready to quit but may be taking more breaks in the future. Appreciate your faithful support all these years!
It has nothing to do with writers putting up what they have for sale and everything to do with social sites just being 100% easier to reach the people who follow you. Social sites are where the comments and conversations are happening. Most of the time I myself just put up a big ole' post on G+ where back in the day it would have gone in my blog. It's just easier to make a G+ post and then have convos around that. The other part of that, people like to read the whole post/blog right there and not click to another site. Blogging has just move to social sites.
I think a lot of authors HAVE put a damper on blogging. And this, above all, is why we go absolute minimum on the promo and we try to be as sociable as possible. I follow a few blogs that are just constant promo, and it's always awkward to interact with them because all I can say is, "Wow, cool release! I really like the cover!" or something like that. But how many times can I say that same comment on the same blog before I get burned out? Do these folks really not have anything else to talk about?
Also, nothing grinds my gears more than someone stopping by our blog only when they have a book for sale. They comment for a week or two, we congratulate them on their release, and then immediately after they stop talking to us. Hint: if that's the only way you're going to interact with us, by treating us as nothing more than a sale, then not only are we NOT going to buy your book, but we're NOT going to waste our time reading your blog either, because you clearly have no time to "waste" on ours.
Not a whole lot of leaves yet on Long Island to dive into :( usually happens in November. And very interesting! Blogging is something I have always wanted to do but I was always too all over the place with it. When I really set out to just have fun and enjoy blogging is when I really felt passion for it. I have noticed it slowing down a bit but I attributed it to change in seasons--school starts and maybe less people have time to blog?
Crap, seven comments posted while I was trying to leave my last one!
Karen, it is.
Hart, it has lost some depth.
Betty, I need to find more like your circle.
Karen, I've tried to stay faithful!
Brandon and Bryan, you said it best.
Beth, and unfortunately we just came through summer which is always the slowest...
My eyes do tend to glaze over with all the book promotions and because of that I've deliberately not done much promoting of my books on other people's blogs. When I do, I try to spread them out so that it's not all over the place all at one time. I DO appreciate all the support I've gotten, but ultimately, I'm not convinced that promoting to writers is what I need to do. I need to promote to readers and kids who might read my stories aren't following me. So, I think getting bloggers to READ my book and having them post reviews to Amazon or Goodreads is more important. But we are all so busy, even reading a fellow author's book can be difficult.
We are all doing the best we can. And we'll keep doing it until we can't.
I saw "Days of Future Passed" and loved it.
Even though it had nothing to do with the Moody Blues.
Gosh, I hope someone got that.
Guardians of the Galaxy
X-Men: Days of Future Past
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
How sad... I've only seen 3 from that list. I saw Fury over the weekend... AMAZING!! I think Shia Labouf totally redeemed himself with his role. It was an amazing film from a totally different view. Living in a tank would drive me crazy.
I agree, in fact I have talked to a couple of other friends/bloggers about blogging dying out and how one wants to quit because she doesn't get any new traffic. She wants her posts to reach more people and audiences. And I've also noticed a huge decline in participants when it comes to hops/fests and not just mine but everyone's. I don't want to give up blogging cause it's a part of me but I have slowed down and even took a vacation from it over the summer.
Have authors killed blogger? Yes and no.
Good call in skipping Maleficant. It was visually stunning & Angelina Jolie was great, but the story was phoned in and the characterization of the three faeries infuriating (to me).
Everything goes in phases, and honsestly, I think blogging has slowed because things like Instagram & Twitter appeal more to shortening attention spans & scarce time. Promos seemed to have gotten out of hand for a while, but I do see an effort by writer/bloggers to add things of interest to promo posts rather than just spitting out the basic info, and that's a good trend.
You offer a valid point about authors and blogging. We tend to exist in a blogging bubble--our community--which probably isolates us to a great extent from other bloggers so we don't see a growth and expanded interaction due our own stagnation albeit a slow degeneration. It's vital to keep reaching out into other blogging realms and infuse new life into the medium.
I do think many authors are diminishing the excitement and freshness of blogging due to promos and limiting subject matter to repetitive writing topics. Some writers seem to only or mostly post about their own giveaways and topics about their works that may or may not be of interest to most readers. Personally, I skim through or ignore a lot of the promo pieces--it's same ol' same ol'. After all how many of the same cover reveals can we stay excited about in one day? Maybe new tactics are needed. Promo is important, but somehow it needs to stay fresh and exciting.
I have found that my posts with cover reveals and other author promos have the least number of visitors and comments, excepting someone like you, Alex, who takes action to stimulate a following of every post and has loyal readership because of your own social blogging activity.
I'd much rather read about authors than their books. What I do enjoy reading more about is the articles about marketing, sales numbers, and other business end content. If I want the fantasy stuff then I'll get the books and read them. ON the blogs I'd rather read about the real tangible stuff of lives and business.
This was an excellent post. Nice and simple in presentation, but with content that stimulates thought. Thanks!
Wrote By Rote
Wow. That's a lot of money in those movies.
Blogging probably changes like everything else, boomed at first and now, dying back. There's more social platform popping up all of the time and we can't be everywhere. The ads irritate on twitter, but so far, they haven't bugged me on the blog-o-sphere. It's more of a general time constraint problem...*cough* want to let on your secret to keeping up with so many blogs???
Wow. That's a lot of money in those movies.
Blogging probably changes like everything else, boomed at first and now, dying back. There's more social platform popping up all of the time and we can't be everywhere. The ads irritate on twitter, but so far, they haven't bugged me on the blog-o-sphere. It's more of a general time constraint problem...*cough* want to let on your secret to keeping up with so many blogs???
Oh, and I haven't seen a single one of those films and there's probably only a couple that I might consider seeing. Transformers at the top? Another sign that the end of the world is near.
Wrote By Rote
I totally agree about all the promo posts. I love helping out but lately I just feel like we are all preaching to the choir. I don't have the passion for blogging that I used to, partially because of stress in real life but also because I am going through promo and blogging fatigue.
I think the promo posts have always been there (and I've always shied away from them) but other kinds of posts have dwindled so the promotion seems to be almost all that's left :(
And I'm afraid I'm as guilty as anyone of adding to that malaise this year.
I'm not sure if we have reached promo overload or not. I just know that I can't visit as many blogs as you. I just don't have it in me, but I try. Yours is always the first I visit.
Interesting questions about blogging. I know most of the blogs I follow are writers so I'm not sure my thoughts are biased. I enjoy the short mentions like you do on your blog and have founds lots of books that way but I skim through excerpts I find on other blogs. I don't know the answers but I hope to keep blogging for a long time to come. I do spend more time on twitter than I used to.
Promoting to readers - exactly, Bish.
Al, I got it!
Dani, I heard he did a really great job in the role. And new traffic just doesn't seem to be coming in. Guess we need to go find it.
Nicki, that film just didn't interest me.
Lee, well said. That's what makes the A to Z Challenge so appealing. We get to reach out to a bigger community. And thanks, appreciate the compliment!
T, I keep telling you, it's all in the clones...
Julie, I feel your fatigue.
Ian, maybe that's it.
Michael, thank you!
"Transformers 4" is surprising, but "How to Train Your Dragon 2" is more surprising. It's a good movie, but I didn't think half a billion dollars good.
Me too on mowing leaves. I would have to rake an acre--uh NO.
I don't want people to ever get bored with my posts. I try not to showcase too many covers, but I think when a book comes out, it needs to be shown. However, I think it's true that the ones who see it are other writer types. Social Media changes daily. Blogging has been around a LONNNG time so, I think people go onto new things. I have a lot of traffic, so even though my lurkers aren't talking, at least they're reading. Maybe--sort of.
I had seen all but one and T4 was awful... really give the story and direction to someone who can give it life or at least a better life. What's JJ up to, maybe he can fix it too? I knew all the horror film answers except one, I never did see the ring... I think.
Wow! It looks like you struck a nerve, Alex! I do think there is too much self-promotion and other promotion on blogs. I try to skim through it, but I can't possibly read all the books, and sometimes I'm at a loss as to what to say.
For me blogging is part of my writing, where I experiment with different kinds of things; and, of course, I get to play with my photography. I also like to explore and write about all kinds of things. And I'm writing my Northern posts, because it keeps me moving on my manuscript as I try to figure out how to write a book.
It takes me a lot of time to write, research, illustrate, and lay out a blog post, but it's creative play for me. I love the social aspect and live for comments and feedback. I will never become promotional I reviewed your book because I enjoyed it, and I'll probably do others.
I would quickly lose interest in blogging if it were only about showcasing writing.
Have a good week!
I do think blogging is being used more by writers than anything else - if you look at the A to Z challenge, the majority of the blogs taking part are writing blogs.
I haven't seen any of those movies - I'll have to get them on DVD.
There's a lot of talk on the Blogosphere about declining readership, plummeting sales revenue, and increased competition from social media such as Instagram and Tumblr.
One of my writing hats is working as a travel blogger, and many sites have been hit hard in the past couple of years. Some of the biggies have even shut down.
On the other hand, some sites are doing well. Black Gate, a fantasy blog I write for, has seen readership steadily increase. It appears that blogs are falling into two camps--the small few that do well, and a mass of blogs that have tiny readerships.
My personal blog has been stuck at about 300 hits per day for the past two years. I'm going to focus more on Twitter as it's more interactive. Yeah, some people actually have worthwhile conversations on Twitter! I'm also considering starting a newsletter. We shall see.
Can you believe I haven't been to the movies in a year or two. I normally just stay home and either read a book,play a video game or hit up redbox. I really need to see Guardians though as Rocket Raccoon was the first comic book I ever bought. Naturally he's one of my top 3 favorite characters comic book wise. I love to be part of a blog personally. I love getting comments and returning them. I think a lot of the newer bloggers just don't realize they need to do this to gain regular followers is all. Luckily I had Jaclyn to show me the ropes. Matt @ JC's Book Haven.
My favorite is Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
I've not been blogging much the past year, mainly for personal reasons. And I took the summer off to write a book.
But I do see an enormous drop in comments, not just on my blog but on many others too. And there are some who have disappeared. I think, like any other venture, oversaturation will cool off any endeavor that previously exploded with success. People eventually become burned out and move on to the next latest and greatest thing.
Its vital to have a niche. You have entertainment but a good blend of other topics too. I have science and a decent blend of other stuff. I think having that one thing to focus on, the blend it with this that and thee other thing is important to keep a healthy following.
All of my followers and blogging friends are writers, so I have to admit that's what we post. Straight up cover and blurb doesn't cut it for me, though. I like a personal post to go with it. Something about character, or what inspired the book, or--you know what I mean. I don't like straight promo, which you're right, we're seeing a lot of. I've noticed fewer people blogging, too. It's very time consuming and if it's nothing but straight promo, why bother? I like your posts, Alex. There's something for everyone here.
I love what Lisa Regan is doing in connection with her book anniversary.
Blogging is changing. I'll be making some changes next year, but I don't know what yet - toying with a few ideas. But I plan for the Tiki Hut to still be a place for writers and readers to hang out and de-stress for a few minutes.
I missed the first two on the list as well! (And Godzilla--don't judge me! LOL I heard it's great and will definitely be adding it to my home collection. I'm just in the 'no buying movies' zone until the holidays are over. They're good, cheap gifts family can get me that I truly love.)
As for blogging... YES! I do think promotion is killing blogging. (And that does not mean I'm upset at anyone or think they're wrong for doing it. Just how things have evolved.)
All of the comments here have great points. People do run out of things to say, blogs used to be diaries, but now are mostly website storefronts. There are so many new releases now there's an almost constant opportunity to host some kind of cover reveal, etc.--which we all want to do to help our friends.
I haven't blogged in nearly a month and I don't really have a reason to. In fact, I'm reevaluating if/how I'm going to move forward with it. I don't think I'm a good enough writer to be a writing advice blog. (And let's face it, folks like Moody Writing, Anne Allen, etc. are probably all we really ever need.) Nor do I have indie publishing mastered to a level to really offer much to anyone there. I'm tossing around the idea of doing a weekly vlog on just my writing process and reading habits. 10 minutes of random thoughts just to share with my close writing pals.
I guess I need to watch more movies since I've only seen one of those ten (Guardians of the Galaxy).
I do find commenting on promo type posts easier than content type posts, but I have noticed a slowing down of blogging and most blogs having quite a bit of promo/cover reveals. Next year I plan to limit promo type book stuff to one post a month, although I'll be talking about writing and books the over posts.
To be honest, I LOVE when my blogger pals publish a book and I also think it's necessary for them to get the proper exposure. That said, though, it's tough to go through my Feedly list and see 10-20 cover reveals for the same book....on the same day...and try to leave a meaningful comment with each....or even half. Again, don't get me wrong, cover reveals and book announcements are great and I think the blogosphere is a great place to get the word out, but it does get a bit tedious when there's a deluge.
I think social media killed blogging a while ago...leaving mostly writers and moms over here! Not that there's anything wrong with that--people who don't like to write or share recipes would just rather post to Facebook or Twitter than write out a long blog post.
Most of the writers I know say blogging doesn't sell books. I don't know if that's true or not--I blog because I enjoy it. I keep my blog 75% or more content because I personally would rather read content. I have to slip a little promo (for myself or others) in every now and then because I also want to make sure my book does well--but I comment on reviews/cover reveals on a regular basis. Blogs that are all reviews are hard to comment on, to be honest. Especially if they review a different book every day. There's only so many ways I can say, "Sounds like a great book" when it's book #3 in a series I know I'll never read!
I've also noticed there's a change in the blogosphere, with less regular blog posts and more focus on promo. Though it's nice to see release news and such from other writers, it can get a bit tedious when 30+ blogs all have the same cover reveal, release party, etc., in the same short timespan.
I do want to start featuring more blog posts which review albums and books, not only writing-centric posts. If I can transfer over all the pictures on my old computer, I'd also like to have more blog posts featuring my photography.
I hit the wall last year. I got tired of reading "Thanks for sharing. Congrats! Great post." After I'd spent hours thinking about and writing something. I turned to doing more promo for two reasons: I liked to support other writer because I know what an uphill climb this publishing can be. I also didn't have to write all of the post. It cut my blogging time commitment.
Then I wearied of reading the same post again and again. I wanted to help writers, but I thought it was becoming counter productive to see the same information on all the blogs I visited. What could I say in a comment, except "Congratulations. for the umpteeth time?
I'm taking a break to consider what I'll do next, to meet some new people and--if all goes well--give myself a different perspective.
I do think your post was right on. And your question about writers hurting blogging is one I'm taking with me to think about. If we are, we're shooting ourselves in that proverbial foot.
Yes, Alex, I do think authors are at least giving blogging a stab in the side. There is TOO much promotion, and when I see it, I usually skim past. I don't read as much when I see that's all there is. (SALE, BUY ME, COVER REVEAL, ETC.) I'm a little more tolerant of those writer-bloggers I've read, but a Marketing focus is more apt in an advertising format rather than a place where I go to read interesting topics and learn about new places.
Agents and publishing venues advise writers to blog, so they are partly to blame as well. If you offer something else in addition: it sweetens the lure. (such as occasional free books a la Milo and Roland; or film notices as you do), but something of interest besides the overabundant PROMO. How much do we hate advertising on tv? Blogs aren't that much different - we go to see something interesting but we have to tolerate the sales pitch. Low-key and subtle would be better. Yes we have to sell books if we write, but that shouldn't be a blog's focus. Getting to know the author should be. (well, you asked. . .)
The only movie I've seen on your list is Dawn of The Planet of The Apes. Mini-Alex looks adorable as always! I've also noticed a change in blogging. I'm still grateful for the loyal followers I have, but find it's a much slower process to gain new followers.
Susan, I do try to keep it short.
Maurice, I didn't like the second Dragon movie nearly as much as the first.
Fundy, so would I. (And I appreciated you reviewing my book.) My posts take about two hours to pull together, so I understand.
Sean, I need to find more people willing to chat on Twitter.
Matt, that's a plus. And go see Guardians - excellent film.
Stephen, that's why I blend.
EJ, make sure Godzilla is on your list! And be a bummer not to have you blogging. Don't worry, I will never offer writing tips!
Cherie, smart move.
Stephanie, that made me chuckle. My books have sold well through my blogging, but I'm glad I only have one more to do.
Carrie-Anne, I'd like to see more of your photos.
Lee, much to think about, isn't it?
DG, that's why I rarely mention my books here. And I am trying to add a little more about me.
I've also cut back on personal posts because of times. I also don't read as many blogs as I used to. I still leave a comment when I do visit. It is one of the best ways to interact with other writers and people in the arts. I like it and use it to build my brand and promote the arts.
I blog with irregularity. Meaning I, more often than not, am losing interest. I'm not an author and have nothing to sell so blogging to me is simply for fun. I have a hard time keeping up with followers...many of which are just there to solicit a visit to their blog from me.
I have seen many blogs come and go...some very entertaining ones just disappear for no good reason. I suspect they, like me, are fed up with playing the comment game.
I'm just here to entertain or provoke some thoughts, and for social interaction. If I have to visit a blog just to get someone to read mine then it's not worth it.
I'm trying to get back into blogging, but I'm only playing by MY rules. For those who miss out or don't understand, it's their loss.
I've lost a lot of followers just because I don't always comment. The only thing that tells me is that all they care about is the numbers and feedback. I'd much rather gain one friend than lose 50 followers.
You bring up a really good question. I think it's cool to promote other author's work, but it's also important to have other things to discuss in a post. That's how we get to learn about each other and build genuine relationships.
The book promos are a bit much. Stressful actually. I'd rather read something a little more personal.
I enjoyed Nicki Elson's post about the 90s. It was a great decade! I totally agree about the promotion thing getting too much. I see it more on Twitter than with bloggers, but it still puts me off. The only film on the top list that I've seen is How to Train Your Dragon, but I tend not to be an action movie girl.
My initial impression of Blogger was that it seemed to be an extension of Facebook, with followers being the equivalent of friends.
I follow roughly 20 blogs because it is all I can manage. I will check out other blogs when I see a comment of interest, a guest post, or even a preview on someone else's blog.
If I do not follow someone's blog, it is not a personal thing-it's just that I used to have a lot more blogs on the reading list, and I'd lose track of posts in a matter of hours.
I have no idea how you manage to actively follow as many as you do.
It also seems that the act of commenting is largely reciprocal, rather than generated by the reading of the blog.
I read your blog regularly, but only comment if I feel I have something to say, and even then, since I am usually late to the party, something to say that has not already been said.
So have authors killed blogging?
I don't think so.
But I think blogging was never really about reading.
And I am not sure that is any different.
I saw Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and enjoyed it but felt like it was more of a transitional film, setting us up for the next one. I enjoyed the first one more. And yes, I think the promotional nature of blogging has hurt it a lot. I don't mind the occasional promotional post, of course, and it's good to know what my author friends have coming out but I also enjoy thoughtful, entertaining, random posts about subjects other than what book somebody has coming out. I think review blogs are designed well for that purpose.
I've been following your blog about three years now - came over via Klahanie's site. I'm not a movie buff, nor television fan. So when I'd start to read your blog I thought it was only about movies and such. Strange as that sounds, I just stopped coming by to comment.
I'm still not into movies but was evaluating sites to determine if I wanted to keep following them. Lo and behold, I scrolled down to the bottom of your site and there's an interesting note on blogging.
I suppose it's been unfair on my part to only go midway down the site and then skip off. Sorry about that. I think I'll keep you and come back more often to read what you sharing on an "other than" movie highlights.
I rake and use the leaves as mulch in other parts of my yard. Take care Alex.
Eek! I haven't seen any of the top movies! Actually, I can't even remember the last time I went to the movies...
I agree that sometimes there is an over-saturation when it comes to cover reveals and book promos. If that's all anyone blogs about, then what exactly is the point of their blog? Where is the actual voice of the person who is blogging everyone else's work? But on the other side, I usually sign up for those sort of things so I can help other writers promote their work, and so that when I actually publish something, I'll have made good connections and there will be people that will do the same for me. I don't think blogging has been killed, but we do need to make sure we have variety and actually think about what we want to put out there.
I've seen 4 of the top 10 films of the year. I feel like a failure.
And I don't think blogging is dying. I just think the reciprocation and the comraderie that has always existed is dying out as people seem to care more about building an audience than a community.
Unfortunately, I think you're right about the "marketing" trend of blogging. That's why I've cut back so much on blogging; I can't (and won't) buy every book being advertised and feel a bit guilty just leaving "congrats" comments on 90 percent of the blogs I follow. I don't want to only post book reviews or book tours, yet I don't have that much to say on any topics. I do enjoy reading blogs though, and I'm glad you are getting back into more "blogging". But, someday maybe author blogging will change again. Fads come and go.
It does seem like a lot of authors are endlessly blogging book covers. It is difficult to keep posting new stuff after a year or two, so I understand why they do it and why they give up on commenting. I guess it will eventually level out. Personally I want to support and encourage people if I can, but I'm not too keen on simply signal boosting promotional stuff to no one in particular. The problem is that you need to reach readers with that stuff, and most of the audience seems to be other writers.
ps I guess we can expect a lot more Transformer movies. Hurray?
Workingdan, comments are more important than followers because those are the people who interact with me and are my friends. And I'm just here to entertain as well.
Shelly, working on personal.
Interesting points, Larry. And of course, your comments are always valued here. I try to get to as many of my friends as possible, but even I fall short and can't visit everyone.
Karen, that is one of the purposes of review blogs.
Dixie, thanks! I usually put the movies up front, but I try to feature at least four topics per post, sometimes more. Hopefully I can keep your interest.
Sarah, well said.
Karen, and that's sad.
Donna, maybe it will.
Moody, exactly - we're only reaching writers. And unfortunately, there will be more Transformer movies...
I confess, when I open my Feedly tab and look at the list, I hit the X on posts that are duplicate cover reveals and blog tours. I'l visit ONE, tops. I want to read about people's lives and about writing in general. When I agree to do a book promotion for someone, I insist on an interview -- and I focus on the writing process so that hopefully my followers (who tend to be 95% writers) will get something out of it besides another book advertisement.
I think it depends on what corner of the blogosphere you're in. Every year there's Blog Action Day (this year it was October 16th), and none of my blogging buddies do this, yet it seems to be a huge success. The crafty blogs I follow are kind of in a different realm, not so tied to the writing blogs.
I've only seen 2 of the top movies this year, but those might be the only 2 movies I went to see, period.
I don't have time to check back today, unfortunately, but here's my two cents in a two cents kind of way:
I don't think authors have killed blogging, but I do think authors have killed blogging for other authors. I get tired of seeing promotions from people for books they have not and will never read. If you want to tell me about a book, read the book first. I've been cutting out blogs, lately, all author blogs probably not coincidentally, that have nothing to say. And I think it's a sad thing if you're an author with a blog and you can't manage to say anything on it. It does not make me want to read any books you ever write.
I have noticed the drop in comments on your blog, which has made me feel better, because, at least, it's not just me.
The real issue is that there are other ways of communicating that offer a quicker response time and are more quickly digestible.
The next Hobbit movie can go suck an egg, and I kind of hate myself that I will pay money to go see that steaming turd when it comes out. At least I will be able to write a review of it, which will almost make it worthwhile.
I have not seen any of the mentioned films. Personally I like to see authors and their new books on line. I have bought many of the ones that have been promoted on Blog land (yours included)
The A to Z is still a popular way of making friends we're here to prove that.
It's such a delicate balance because we've put so much work into our books and we want people to know about them. But where is the line? I feel like I'm drowning in promotions some days and other days I wonder if lax promotion is the reason certain books don't sell. I've decided for myself that although I will promote my books, I'm not going to be pushy about it. If my books don't do well, then they weren't meant to do well. I'm pretty sure this means I won't make a single cent, but I'm okay with that.
Yes, I think you may be right that all the promo and review and commercial focus has put a damper on blogging. Maybe even more so the cosmetics and fashion bloggers with a million followers and a high commercial profile have given bogging a bad name.
I guess I still belong to the traditional bloggers, non-commercial, totally without ambitions, and just writing for fun, and when I feel for it. I have no plans to change it >:)
Cold As Heaven
We don't have to do anything with leaves. It's great.
I do find the plethora of book promotions to be a bit much. After all one can only read so much an I have a big enough TBR pile as it is. I would rather read stuff like Lee's party or something. I do realise authors want to get their books "out there" but.... I don't know what to suggest. One of my favourite bloggers doesn't talk about her books very much at all.
Hey Alex, I wanted to make sure you didn't think I was writing specifically about you. I like the movie talk.
Bloggers will always come and go. I think people run out of ideas and move onto something else.
And I always mow leaves too.
Dianne, that's smart.
Liz, I need to look into that.
Andrew, then don't go see it. I know I will dig it though. And I checked - my average for the past two months is 152 comments, which is only down a few.
Yvonne, yes we are!
JA, better to have a clear conscience instead?
Cold, glad I don't follow those types of blogs.
JO, I try not to.
Tony, no worries - I didn't!
I believe...some writers are now publishing, working with editors, etc.
...some bloggers inexplicably quit, which I figured out when checking out the list of bloggers I follow, may two or more months ago...people get busy with things in their life, such as health or project (house renov.)...time becomes crunched and blogging is the one item that can be cut back...
Does that sound about right?
For me, blogging is my expression in my writing. I realized some time ago, that I would never be a published author. I would be one of those writers who love to write.
I've heard that about blogging too. I know there's a bunch of blogs from last year that I ended unfollowing because they stopped updating with no explanation why. People don't have to give one, but they were good blogs, so I wonder what happened. I try not to do too much promo. If everyone does it, then it just turns into white noise, like on Twitter. There's so much promo there and no one really seems to be interacting as much.
I think that over-promoting has hurt blogging, but at the same time, I think other social media venues have also pulled some bloggers away. It's hard to keep up with everything.
I admit, I'm not sure what content to offer these days, so I'm mulling around, trying a few "short" posts and things like that.
Cool pic of mini-Alex!
I don't think authors are to blame fully. There are a lot of us out there, though, and we all want to be heard. As a blogger, I only reserve Fridays for authors to promote their books, but I am trying to do more interviews instead of straight book spotlights. As an author, I rely on bloggers to help me with my blog tours, even if it's a book spotlight.
Maybe the bloggers who dropped away on your feed stopped blogging because they lost interest, or they became too busy.
I have noticed that not many people are following or commenting back, even with the IWSG. It seems for every 10 blogs I follow, I might get 1-2 follows in return. And the same goes for comments. I don't know why. Do they not care about returning comments? Do they not pay attention to who follows them and visits at least once a week? Maybe. Whatever the reason it's sad and disappointing.
Perhaps you should do a Follow blog fest where everyone who signs up for it has to follow all the other blogs that signed up. Too much? lol
I didn't realize Transformers was the top dog!
Yeah, I do think there is too much promo. I do want to promote friends' books though (and tell news when I have some)! I try to keep a friendly balance but I do admit to not blogging as much as I used to. I might blog twice a month. When I started, I was blogging three times a week.
No I you don't talk a lot about your books either.
I haven't seen any of those movies yet. I can't wait!
Congrats to Carol on her new release!
I blog because I enjoy entertaining people and enjoy finding support when I need it. It's also very helpful that I have a built in audience if I'm promo-ing my book (which doesn't happen often). However, I don't do cover reveals anymore and only do 1-2 features a month. My comments go way down when I do a feature. I think everyone's burned out with all the advertising. But I'm happy with my Friday Freebies. I think it's giving back to the community a little. :)
I just have fun with it
We have SO many leaves that we have to rake. If our rider had one of those nifty boxes on the back we could mow...but it doesn't. ;)
Takes us a couple of all-dayers to get the raking done. That first day is fun. The second day I'm nursing blisters and the kids have left me alone to finish, haha
I didn't realize Angelina Jolie's movie made so much. I did see that one though, and I really liked it.
As for your question, I can only speak for me, but I like hearing about new books and/or authors. I imagine it must be very exciting to get published, so I rejoice with those folks who do, even if they don't know it. :)
Susan, and you're probably the best kind of writer.
Patricia, white noise is a perfect way to describe it.
Chrys, people aren't following and commenting back. Too much? Maybe, but that blogfest is a thought!
Lexa, what you are doing now is perfect.
I wrote about this very thing earlier this month: HOW TO PROMOTE YOUR BOOK WITHOUT DRIVING PEOPLE CRAZY.
Before you could self-publish on Amazon, friends who were published were a rarity. So cover reveals and book tours were also a rarity.
Now, Twitter is basically like strolling the pit at Wall Street: EVERYONE screaming BUY ME!
Blogging was the new THING in the 90's. The new THING became FB but posts were too long. Then Twitter pruned you to characters not words.
Still too long for our impatient culture. Now it is Instagram and our self-love with selfies and images over words.
Like Holy Ghost Writer, I am just having fun with my blog, knowing my books and audiobooks will not sell.
I write on what interests, amuses, or puzzles me. Maybe kindred spirits will tune in. Maybe not. I amuse myself. Some days it is an empty house I sing to.
Sorry about the late visit, but I worked until 5 A.M. and I slept most of the day. Being a rare blood courier is draining, but I think of it as saving the world one ill patient at a time.
Thanks for mentioning me along with Milo.
Before my home burned down, I used to mow the leaves too. I still raked a few piles to give my cats mounds to leap into -- or out of to pounce on my dog! :-)
How can blogging be dying when I just spent twenty minutes scrolling through your comments so I can leave my comment? My blog and I are happy together. If the whole world leaves us, we'll continue writing. I haven't seen any of the top movies, and the only one I want to see is Maleficent and that's because it stars Angelina Jolie.
I don't read all that many writing blogs, so I can't really add anything on that side. But .. I do see people following in different ways like through Feedly or Bloglovin' and also more moving to G+.
I do however read a good bit of coupon blogs. Only one of which I've joined through Blogger. The rest just go into my feed.
The feeds are easier and faster so I go that route for the information blogs like coupons.
Anyway, that's my two cents. Also, I just finished off a sleeve of crackers. Thought I'd tell you about it.
Num, num, num.
Holy cow, over 2000- I think I'm a little dizzy, lol! I've been thinking here recently how none of the really big name authors I follow seem to blog, at least very regularly. It's mainly when they have a big announcement or news of an author event. I love to help promote authors, but I try to do it in moderation so that my readers don't get bored by the same stuff(and by readers, I mean other writers). But it's hard to do it in moderation sometimes, as there's so many ppl I'd like to help out.
I can't believe so much has been spent at the movies. I thought movie goers were declining. Cute photo of Mini Alex.
If blogging is dying, it's only because Twitter is easier on phones. So many folks just live on their i-phones these days. Loving the ninja in the leaves. Very autumnal. I think your blog is quite well-rounded.
I've only seen Guardians :(
But I did get most of the movie trivia right (yay!), and I do think too much promo is a bad thing. Some is good because we all want to know when a new book is coming out, but too much is overkill and boring. How to strike is balance is the tricky part, I think.
Oh I haven't seen not one of those top movies Alex.
Two thousand blogs....wow I thought I my feedly was on overload. I shall not complain. I have noticed a bit of decline in blogging and I can't see it has do with authors since I don't follow all that many. For me personally life just seems busier and blogging often takes a back seat. It can be a time consuming hobby.
Blogging is a funny enterprise. For me, it started as a way to write about my hobbies but it became a hobby all its own. I would have given it up ages ago without the social aspect.
Your own blog is very balanced, Alex, which makes it fun to visit. I'm also always impressed with your generosity toward other writers. As for my own blog and blog visiting--there are so many blogs, and such a large number that can be amazingly good, that I often feel overwhelmed and have to scale back. My own blog is okay, but I've found I've largely kept it going because I've met some great people through blogging and I definitely want to keep in touch.
As for promoting books: I'm crappy at self-promotion, and now I have a long, long list of TBR books because of what I come across on your blog and other peoples'. But there's only so much time in my life, so here and there I've cut back on blog visits and TBR books. It just gets to the point where we all have lives and not enough time to spend on any social media. Eventually I figure I'll flake out on blogging, but I can't imagine not visiting my cyber friends' blogs.
Roland, I always enjoy what you write. And visit when you can. I know the hours you keep.
Janie, not dying here!
Ivy, glad you enjoyed your crackers.
Leandra, I try to blog regular and support my friends.
Squid, the social aspect is what makes it.
I think an author blog should only be about the author--not anything else. What's going on in their world when it relates to their writing? Even their author friends should get mentioned, occasionally.
But, promoting all the time is the wrong approach. It needs to be more PERSONAL, or I'm just not interested. I struggle to do this as an author blogger myself. I end up not blogging all that much because of it, but that's how it should go when you're busy just writing without much change.
I agree with Helena. Your's is balanced. Great post, Alex. I think as long as your posting relevant content than you're good. Like you said, authors/bloggers come and go. The promotions never end too, but that's just business, right?
I do think there is too much promo, and I am somewhat guilty of it myself-- I mean, I have two books out this fall and I have to promote! I also feel like I want to return the favor to other authors for sure. But I have been thinking that I want to provide more discussion and fun content.
I'm arriving a little late to this particular party, but I'll say two things about this: first, I've been blogging for 3+ years now, and I think I've been seeing folks say, "Blogging is dead" for the entire time! Just as the book is not dead, neither is blogging. Whether it's healthy or not is another story.
The second thing is this: I think there is a certain degree of insularity in the blogoverse. I know when I started in this I sought out people who were like me, people who were working on writing and stumbling through the process of figuring out how to be a writer. What seems to happen is we form a sort of echo chamber where we give and take the same sort of advice back and forth, and we debate the merits of self-publishing, how to get an agent, swap querying war stories, etc. I suspect a lot of people drop out when they hit a different phase, i.e., they give up the dream, or they achieve the dream and can't fit blogging in (or, they realize they no longer have the interest in blogging the same old way and can't figure out what to do next).
Sorry for the long-winded answer!
Hmm, I left a long comment last night but, it looks like it disappeared.
Ahhh, I know I am guilty of this myself. I just don't seem to have the time I used to have to concentrate on blogging. I still value all your friendships and interactions, but find it difficult to spend the time I used to, chatting with people and searching the blogoshpere like I used to.
Maybe priorities change as time progresses.
Helena, thanks - appreciate that.
Cathy, working on more personal stuff.
Catherine, promoting your own books when they are released is cool. And with two, you'll be busy!
Jeff, I do think we get trapped inside the bubble. Maybe time to break free.
Truedessa, I'm sorry!
Carolyn, perhaps. It does take a lot of time.
Blogging is my single biggest frustration. I have upped my page views since I first started, but it seems like a drop in the Atlantic. I've concluded the only thing that really drives traffic to one's site, if you don't have a huge mailing list, is giveaways. And how much can you give away? I definitely think there's a high saturation level in the marketplace now. My plan of action is simply to concentrate on doing what I do best: write novels. Kick ass with your next book and others will blog/tweet/post about it.
You pose an interesting question, Alex. I have struggled with blogging lately. I don't know if it's because I feel like I have nothing to say or if I feel the need to devote my time and attention to other things (like getting my YA book published), but I find that I miss everyone when I'm not visiting blogs. I do like to visit blogs that have more of themselves and less promotion, but at the same time, I WANT to help my fellow writers in the hopes that someday they will do the same for me. I don't know. I'm not sure what the answer is, but I do feel pretty guilty when I don't make it around the blogosphere like I want to.
I hear you about the blogging. I'm trying to find a happy medium with it. I love to celebrate my friends' news with them, but I felt like I was preaching to the choir, promoting their work to other writers. That, and the fact blog posts like that generate very few sales, is the reason I came up with Promo Friday.
I've only seen two out of those nine high-grossing films! Guess I need to catch up on my movie watching :)
I too have noticed the slow-down in blogging. It used to be that I got comments from new followers regularly, but nowadays I get it from close friends like yourself and my CPs, etc. What's interesting is there are more views on my blog posts than ever... just fewer interactions. Is that the same from you? I wonder if people are still sticking around blogs and reading, but they'd rather lurk than be proactive. New trend, I guess.
I love my blogging!
I'd rather spend hours on blogging, than Facebook/Twitter...
Blogging is the reason I decided to pursue writing.
I don't know if what I'm posting is attracting lots of people or not, because I don't check stats. I only see the comments. That's good enough for me.
Are authors hurting blogging? I dunno. Maybe to a certain degree, with the promo overload. But then, cover reveals/book releases are a great way to pay it forward.
I read blogs to be entertained and informed (wow I've got some movie watching to catch up on! ;) ) and I comment on blogs to join an interesting conversation. So yes, all those book promos tend to make me unsubscribe to blogs. Sure, I don't mind a book promo once in a while--bloggers are writers after all so I expect they'll write books too. But to me, the blog is its own medium and deserves to be regarded as a way to entertain, not a way to direct hordes of readers to a different medium such as books.
After all, I'm not a robot. ;)
I don't think authors have killed blogging at all. The traditional blog platforms are much less popular with young people now than Twitter and Tumblr; I've seen authors with insanely popular Tumblrs. And there's clearly life in older blog platforms, or else you wouldn't have over a hundred comments here, Alex!
But I am oversaturated on promo. Unless a cover is drop-dead gorgeous, then even if I love the author, I don't care that it's been revealed. Much promo is unrelated to what interests me in books, so I just tune it out.
I don't think you can kill blogging but I understand where you're coming from. I don't think writers are considering what they blog about very much. There's not much personality, much of them, or considered posts. If you're blogging you need to take the time to think about what you want to put into your blog. When people bandy about the word author platform I think that's mistaken for selling platform. People want to interact. To read something interesting and if you're blogging then it's on you to do that.
Did better on the trivia, haven't seen any of the movies, but I with the $$$ being spent on movies, I'd say the need for "escape" in society is high, which should continue to bode well for books/writers/authors.
Blogging . . . much to big of an opinion to answer here. But thanks for yours.
Haven't seen any of those movies. I might see The Hobbit but more likely I'll buy the DVD. I try to post "interesting" topics on my blog: reviews, author interviews, word histories. Like you, I've read that just posting book promotion items is bad. However, I've noticed that a lot of bloggers who just do book promotion posting have way more followers than I do. I throw up my hands in bewildered despair. I think it's important for a writer to have an active blog, if only to give readers who are interested somewhere to go.
Alex, I think we're all on work overload--writing, social media promotions, life...
I'm constantly changing my blog's focus so there's an ebb and flow to the visitors. This fall I'm doing a big push for other authors, featuring two guests most weeks with several book giveaways. In Jan-March, when I'm recovering from knee replacement surgery, I'll do mostly personal posts and book reviews. And by then, I hope to be back to renewing my friendships with the bloggers I used to visit on a regular basis. Just gotta go with the flow.
Kristin. there's a balance in there somewhere.
Melissa, which is a great idea.
Julie, I'll have to check, but I think my views are the same. (Sorry, I rarely pay attention to that.)
Michelle, comments are all that matter to me.
Kirsten, I aim to entertain!
John, very true.
Rebecca, more personality - check!
Jeff, many of them were probably established before they started doing promotions.
Patricia, yours is set up well for author visits.
Thanks for the link to Nicki's blog.
This is a great question. I have noticed less interaction (with the exception of YOU!) and I believe it is partly blamed on the lack of uniqueness with posts. I wonder how it's fun for book bloggers to post 10 similarly formatted book announcements each day. As an author, I would love to blog more frequent and creative posts, as well as visit more blogs, but there's only so much time in the day.
I've only seen five of the movies. Yes, I know, how pathetic. But I only get to see movies when 3 out of 4 of my family wants to see them.
I don't know if writer blogs are going down, but I think it's most important to talk about something other than writing at times. Something I plan to do perhaps by next year.
Love those delicious Mini Scarf Alex, nice photo!
Thinking about my own blog and those I follow, I think the frequency has dropped off recently, especially over the summer months. It can be a bit off putting when every post in your feed is showing the same thing. I might read it once or twice but don't have the time to keep re-reading what is basically the same thing. I am interested in connecting with people, finding out about them as real folks not just their books.
Love mini Alex in the leaves!
I've wondered about this too. Blogging has started to look more and more like self advertisement than a way to share thoughts and connect with other bloggers.
I totally agree with you. We have to move away from promos and think about entertaining again. I am guilty of a lot of promos because they are both easy and I hate to say no.
Blogs, like books, are all about the content.
Ugh! I feel so convicted now! *sigh*
Hey, Alex. I love visiting with everyone by dropping by their sites - at least periodically. For me, the only thing that prevents me from doing so is the lack of time - and I hate it when I feel like I'm only self-promoting. I want to do fun things; entertaining things. However, I feel if I don't visit all the folks, they won't visit me either. It isn't that they don't want to, but one gets lost at the fringes. And I just can't put in that time. I could quit my job and write full time, giving me plenty of time to blog. Unfortunately my wife warns me there'd be no money for wine or iTunes - so I can't.
Seriously though, I miss everyone and the interaction. With an 11 hr day job and attempting to be an indie writer, there's very little time for family, etc. *sad face*
I've seen half of these movies. I'm excited to see Maleficent and How to Train Your Dragon 2.
I've wondered the same thing about blogging. I love the connections I've made. I think that's what keeps me going.
Jennifer, I try!
Ken, that's why I don't talk writing often.
Suzanne, thanks, and what you said!
James, can't sacrifice iTunes!!!! But I know what you mean.
I am really confused, I thought I had left a comment. I came back to see your reply and to tell you how much I like the new banner on the blog. My comment agreed with part of your thought - blogging doesn't seem to be as self driven as it once was, now it's more of a community. However, I sit on the fringe of the writers community, being unpublished.
I've been thinking about that lately, and leaning toward insuring I write a post of substance with each book promo I do. Or just do promos on Wednesdays with links, so I still have my usual material on there. I haven't fully hammered it out yet, but I do get far fewer comments and interaction when it's a book promo site, and I know that I have a hard time commenting on a post that's just a promo, especially when it's the same promo on multiple blogs I visit. So what am I supposed to say then? The same exact thing I said the other 20 times I saw it? I usually then try to go to a previous post to comment, but if I already commented there, I'm not going to keep searching back. So, yes, I love to help out authors by helping to promote them, but I need to find a better way to balance it.
I think it's down to time and the ever increasing speed which we are all being roller coasted to live, now people will give a 5-10 second glance at a blog post title in their feeds or e-mail and if it doesn't catch their eye it's gone, they don't have time to read a long post and commenting takes time and effort, if they can just "click" like/re-tweet/re-blog etc and move on they do. We think sharing to social media gets us off the hook, but all it does is add to the virtual "noise" out there which many avoid. Sometimes I think if the internet fried we'd all come out of a kind of coma and start looking around and seeing life with fresh eyes.
Autumnal mini Alex looks ready for some serious fun.
Cute picture of Mini Alex. : ) Our neighbor raked up a lot of the leaves for the kids to play in and then it rained. Guess we'll be bagging the leaves up this weekend.
I am just getting back to read your response, Alex, and I happened to note rosieamber's comment.
I think she captures my problem with too many blogs on my reading list-if you don't check that list several times a day, they're gone!
I was going to leave this comment on her page but did not see where I could-but to her point on the internet "frying," the wireless went out on my flight the other day, and you should have heard the grumbling, mostly from people older than me who should remember all too well the days when all you could do on a plane was read a book!
Sometimes I miss those days....
You know, I don't mind if a blogger that I read has a book to promote, as long as that's not the only thing I see on their blog. That goes for the rest of social media as well. I'm really careful about which new followers I'll follow back on Twitter, because that's become such a dumping ground for book promotions. Everyone with a book to sell wants me to follow them so they can dump their ads on my timeline. The ones that really get me are the ones who send you an automated message the minute I decide to follow them: "Thanks for following! Like me on Facebook, read my blog, blah blah blah." You go to their blog or their Facebook page and it's the same spam they're dumping on Twitter. And it's because some tin-horn "social media expert" told them to do that. They don't give a flying flip about hearing from you or having anything to say besides "buy my g-d- book."
I don't even think of blogging as social media, although I know it is, because it works about the same. But social media is a conversation, where blogging is more a discussion. A blog entry is different from a tweet or a status update: it requires more thought.
Sorry I vented...
I've seen three of the films and want to see more! I don't know about whether or not authors are killing blogs. I think it depends on what blogs one follows or pays attention to. I've decided that I blog with other writers for myself, not to sell. But want to participate on READER blogs, for that reason. I'll find out how that works very soon, I guess...
I read this Monday and thought about it a few days.
The best we can do is have a blog that is ours. For some people that will be promoting others. I make it part of my posting, because I like to give back and help other writers.
But I also want to do my own thing, so I do that too.
In the end, everyone has to make their own decision about what to do with their space.
Networking with each other has been extremely valuable. Part of that networking is helping each other. That's how I see it. I've learned so much from the people I've met and the articles I've read.
I don't think blogging is dead... it has changed, though. Many writers/bloggers are in a state of change. I usually rethink my blog at least once a year. Sometimes more.
Rhonda, sorry. And you still have a really cool blog no matter what.
Shannon, which is why each promo needs to be unique.
Rosie, we just might! Yeah, I don't have time for super long posts.
Susanne, nothing worse than soggy leaves.
Larry, I still read on planes. On a tablet of course, but I'd rather read than surf.
John, no - I get you! That's also why I check WhoUnfollowedMe.com once a week - I can weed those people right out because they unfollow right away.
Mary, you and I blog similar. I give spot for some promo, but there is a lot of other stuff here as well.
Yes Alex, its all become a big promotional overload. Especially on Twitter. The moment you follow someone who has followed you, one gets a DM with a link to like their Author Page or vote for their book on some site. Gosh, it feels as though some people are not interested in getting to know you, its just a self promotional blitzkrieg for them.To be honest it can get a a bit tiring. Though on all the social sites there are genuine people interested in making a connection and trying to help you out.
Alex, I have always felt that blogging was all about community. I have met lots of wonderful people through my blog (you are on top of that list). I love to help my writing pals by giving them shout outs or having them over for guest interviews or doing their book reviews, so that will never be a problem for me.
As for blogging, many writers are slowly winding down as they are unable to cope with all of it: FB, Twitter, Pinterest, Blogging etc, becomes too hectic.
I myself don't mind the blog content. I noticed that years ago people who were non-writers blogged, but many have gone to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to share what's on their mind. I had to cut back a bit on blogging because I'm a teacher starting the new school year, but I might go back to blogging three times a week again since things have settled.
Well, thank goodness. I thought the allusion was kinda clever.
As far as all that time traveling, I discussed that with my daughter and her boyfriend.
"Well, if Wolverine undid all the Sentinels' destruction, then why is Professor X walking into that place with Magneto? If there were no Sentinels, then they wouldn't need to."
"Wait, Jean killed the Professor. And that was presuming the Sentinels were still coming. If he was dead, he wouldn't have been able to help send Wolverine back."
"But, Wolverine took care of the Sentinels."
"I thought Professor X died? Hey, what's all that crap about Jean and Scott, anyway? I thought they died?"
"Then, what was all that business at the beginning of the movie? It shouldn't have even happened."
"Then you'd have no movie. Only a Moody Blues album."
In classic "Time Travel Paradox" fashion, my brain cramped up.
With SO many new ways to be social online, Facebook, SnapChat, Instagram, Twitter..., I think blogging is taking a backseat. I think it's important to have a blog, but I, like most, don't blog as much as I used to.
Although I'm happy that everyone is supporting each other, I liked it better when I read about the person instead of their book. :/
Rachna, and I will still give shout-outs, but on my terms. And it is about community.
Al, you have a point there. And I think my brain just twitched...
Jenn, working on writing about me...
Hi Alex! Happy Halloween. I hope you're doing well. I think you're on to something. I follow multiple authors on twitter and all they do is promote their book. It's kind of like an endless stream of promotion. Sometimes i just want to hear what people are thinking or what they're up to, not what they're promoting.
I'm fine with author and book promos if there's something more to the post. Society is inundated with ads, which is why I prefer blog posts to have more information in them. There are also different types of blogs...you've just given me a few new post ideas, Alex. Thanks :)
Now, let's see...
1 Transformers... hated it.
2 Maleficent... more predictable than my posts.
3 Guardians of the Galaxy... still need to see it.
4 X-Men: Days of Future Past... is the snoring apparent?
5 Captain America... hated it.
6 The Amazing Spider-Man 2... again?
7 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes... stupid ending.
8 How to Train Your Dragon 2... still need to see it. I loved #1.
9 Godzilla (2014)... Dear Lord.....
So basically, I'm from a diferent century. Yes?
-ff- That stupid flat keyboard!
It is hard to break out of the same circle of bloggers, esp. those from AtoZ. While I love the AtoZers, I didn't gain any new readers in the 2014 challenge, I think partially because I identified myself as a fashion blogger. AtoZ is NOT the fashion audience. Ah well, it was what interested me, so it was a different tact.
I do try to find different audiences and blog hopping groups. Sometimes I discover a totally different blog/blogger in my web wanderings.
I haven't been around much, and while that's due to personal reasons-- I think it is also because most bloggers I know are authors, who're forever only talking about their books.
I've been blogging for 6 years now, on both my blogs-- but I've never really tied them to books sales, not just because I haven't had books to sell, but because I think blogging is more than hawking fare, it is about community.
I love the water-cooler feel of your blog, and love that you use it to generate discussion, debate, and promotion for other authors.
I must say, I miss the days when we all posted real content most of the time. Remember Rach's Platform Building Campaigns? I always loved those. They really helped me get a feel for everyone's writing. :)
What an interesting post with lots of comments that will keep me thinking.
I like hearing about new books when I visit blogs, but I do think that it is more fun to read if those aren't the only posts a blogger has. So if someone only blogs once a week and all they do is promote their books or the books of others it can hard for some people to comment. But, if there are other posts or if the promo posts contain other information than I think readers have a choice of what to comment on.
Definitely lots to ponder!
I'm late I know, but here's what I think.
It's a catch 22.
I feel like there are a small few author/bloggers who are actually trying to be social. The rest are just trying to promote. They don't see the bigger picture. Some authors don't blog at all, but they will not follow your blog unless you post all their book reveals, reviews, and interviews.
Actual consumers who may want to be entertianed and buys books from time to time aren't being entertainted anymore. They are being bombarded with promotions and looking elsewhere for entertainment.
And like someone else said, there is a lot going on and people are busy. People have things they need to promote while trying to be as social as possible and it gets overwhelming.
I wish I had an answer, but I don't. At this point, I blog with the intention to do a little bit of everything, but if I could make just a handful of really good connections or friends in the endeacor, it will be worth it.
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