Searching for Author-Bloggers

Do children’s authors blog? I went on a quest to find good author-bloggers to use as a model for my own blogging, and found out they are a rare species.

When I embarked on my journey to become a published children’s author, it became clear very quickly that not only would I need to master the craft of writing, I would also need to learn how to do some amount of book marketing and self-promotion.

Now, I have a bit of an advantage over other authors because my day job is in marketing. But just like with writing, knowing what to do to market yourself and your book is very different from doing it well, and requires a consistent amount of effort as well as trial and error.

There are many tools in the marketing trade, and one that is commonly used in other industries but which doesn’t seem that common amongst authors is blogging.

As a marketer, I like blogging as a marketing tool because it is a medium that retains its value, and is more beneficial the longer you keep at it. This is in opposition to running ads, for example, because once you stop paying for the ads to be shown, you stop making any sales from them. A blog, on the other hand, is like investing in a dividend-paying stock.

So do children’s book authors blog?

I have posed this question at a number of author events, and the answer is generally, no, because blogging takes time away from writing, and most authors are better off putting all their writing eggs into their books instead of siphoning off some of that creative energy into a blog.

That sounds very logical, so of course I disagree with it.

The more you write, the better you get at it. Ergo, blogging regularly should be additive to your skill, not subtractive.

Blogging is like cross-training for athletes. When athletes practice an alternative sport, they build different muscle groups and expand their repertoire of motion, making them better at their main sport. Same thing with blogging.

Blogging also makes you be more honest about yourself. I have a long list of article ideas that I will probably never write because they are things that seemed like they should be on my blog, rather than things I genuinely care about. Most of these have titles that start with, “10 things that…” Instead, I find I just can’t bear putting something up on my blog that doesn’t represent the me I know I am.

This article, in fact, was originally going to be a listicle of author-bloggers that I have found online and would recommend that readers go check out.

In the process of searching for good author-bloggers to include in the list, I have come to realize that they are kind of a rare species. In a sample of 50 author websites, only about half of them had a blog section. Many of those were more like a “News” page with announcements of book release dates and school visits. There were several that I would classify as “failed blogs” in which the author started out blogging regularly and gave it up after a few months. Only about ten blogs had fresh content that provided more than just a news announcement.

Instead of putting the list in this article, I have put a new page on this site with a list of the author-bloggers that I think are doing a great job and are worth reading. If you know of someone who should be included, please send me a note and I will gladly add them.

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