Top 10 Not-So-Obvious Reasons Authors Need a Blog – The Main Reason is Probably Not What You Think

by Karen Jonson

Sign Up for My Free Blogging Course for Authors Today — and Launch the Most Important Piece of Your Book Marketing Program

I heart blogging

I heart blogging—because it’s the most powerful tool an author can have to promote and sell their books. Learn how to blog smarter in my new free Blogging 101 Course for Authors.

Within days of launching her book, Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend this Never Happened, was on The New York Times bestseller list.

How did this miracle happen? There is only one way: Jenny developed a huge following on her blog—The Bloggess—and the majority of her readers bought her book.

While not everyone is going to have a bestseller (and that is okay), most of us can still generate decent book sales—IF we have cultivated an audience first. And the best way to do that is to follow Jenny’s and many other authors’ success secret—start a blog.

(By the way, it should be noted that Jenny attracted a traditional publisher, because of her huge blog following. However, I think she should have self-published and pocketed all the money versus just making about $1 per book—after all, she did the majority of the marketing!)

And so, it is with utmost confidence that I will make the following statement: If you want to sell your books today, you need to blog!

Many experts agree. For example, legendary publisher Jonathan Karp, who is responsible for numerous bestsellers and who is now President and Publisher of the Simon & Schuster Publishing Group, stated the following:

“Writers have to be promoters if they believe in their work. Blogs are a way for authors to communicate directly with readers and establish a personal connection. It’s a way to reach readers who may not attend bookstore events, and it’s more convenient for authors, too.”

While that comment is true and valuable, it doesn’t even begin to address all of the reasons why authors today should be blogging.

Here are my top 10 not-so-obvious reasons for authors to blog:

1. You will own a marketing home base.

Social media is great, but you don’t own your Facebook page, Twitter account, Pinterest pins, or any other social media work you’re doing. But you can own your blog. And that is critical to your book marketing success. Think of your blog as your marketing hub, and your social media sites as the spokes feeding into it. Your blog is where you can showcase your ideas, your current books, and your upcoming books—all in one convenient location.

2. You can stay connected with your fans.

Today consumers expect more from brands they than just products and services—they also want to interact. I met one U.S. author who communicates every day with her fans around the world. She’s even adjusted her schedule so she’s awake to spend some time chatting with her fans in Europe.

3. You can gain media attention.

If you ever expect to get any media attention for your books, you should know that most media outlets will expect you to have an online presence—including a blog.

4. You can impress the world.

Readers, the media, your friends, family members, reviewers, publishers—you want them all to take you seriously as an author, right? Having a blog is the perfect way to accomplish this.

5. You can test new ideas.

Say you have a few ideas for new books, but are torn on which one to write first. On a blog, you can present your ideas to your readers and get their feedback. What do they want to read next? (They’ll love you more for asking their opinion!)

6. You can fulfill readers’ expectation.

People expect the people they follow to express their opinions, share their ideas, and offer insight and commentary. Your blog gives you a place to do it all without losing your focus in the social media cacophony.

7. You can share works-in-progress with your fans and get them primed to want your books.

If you’re currently working on a new book, your fans want to know about it. They’d love to hear the little details about your research, your character development, your ah-ha moments. Give it to them. They’ll be waiting to purchase your book(s) the minute you hit the publish button.

8. You can develop a marketing groove.

So many authors’ dreams are quashed because they avoid book marketing—and so they never find their marketing groove. Blogging on a regular basis puts your brain in a continual marketing state of mind. This will help you avoid the “cold start” syndrome that undermines so many authors.

9. You can market proactively.

Too many authors wait until their books are finished to market them. A blog gives you a means to get the word out about your book(s) before you write them and while you are writing them. Book marketing fact: You can never start building an audience too early.

10. You need to build a mailing list.

This is the most important reason of them all. A blog gives you a platform for collecting the email addresses of people interested in your books. And an email list is the most powerful marketing tool any author could possess. Start building yours today!

Sign Up for My FREE Blogging 101 Course for Authors

Because I so strongly believe in the power of blogging to turbo-charge authors’ book marketing efforts, I’ve launched a free online course for authors on blogging.

My free course—IBMC Blogging 101 Course for Authors—is designed to help you:

  • Launch a great blog that will help you find readers
  • Understand the power of having an author blog
  • Generate interesting ideas for blog posts
  • Learn the number one secret to help you sell more books
  • And much more

To access this free 15-day course, just subscribe to my blog. You’ll immediately begin receiving a lesson a day in your email box. Click here to learn more and sign up.

This is my gift to my fellow authors – to help you sell your books more efficiently and effectively. I’m excited to share it with you.

All my best for your book marketing success.

Happy Blogging!

P.S. Find all of my recommended blogging resources here.

Photo credit: © yossarian6 from Fotolia.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Gabrielle October 26, 2014 at 2:34 am

Hi Karen, thanks for this article. I have a blog but haven’t worked consistently at it. Now I will:)

Best wishes,


Karen Jonson October 26, 2014 at 8:01 am

Hi Gabrielle,

Great to hear – I think it’s the secret weapon for authors. Let me know if you have questions.

All my best,


maxima October 27, 2014 at 2:10 am

Thanks for this article.


Karen Jonson October 27, 2014 at 5:01 pm

You are welcome, Maxima!


Sheri Horn Hasan October 29, 2014 at 9:58 pm

Hi Karen: I am confused about your comment that Jenny Lawson’s book could have made it to the New York Times Bestseller list without a traditional publisher behind her. A self-published author can attain Amazon #1 Bestseller status fairly easily merely by having a large blog audience to which to sell her book, but isn’t it true that because she was traditionally published her publishing company invested in making sure her book was reviewed by the appropriate reviewers, including those who review books for the NYT Bestseller list? I’m not sure a self-published author can get that same exposure simply based on the number of books sold on the date of publication (which, in essence, has nothing to do with the book’s content.) Once an author has attained bestseller status on Amazon, the book galleys must still be sent to reviewers, which costs money, as does entering books into book fairs, etc. A traditional author not only picks up the cost of printing large numbers of books (a portion of which a self-published author has to pick up herself), but it gets the book in front of the right reviewers, which boosts its chance of making it onto the NYT Bestseller list and others. A self-published author has to pay for all of her own marketing costs, net galley review costs, etc., and having an Amazon #1 Bestseller does not ensure one’s book will be reviewed kindly by professional book reviewers!


Karen Jonson October 31, 2014 at 10:52 am

Hi Sheri,

Thank you for asking – that’s a very good question. Actually, I did NOT say that Jenny Lawson could have made The New York Times bestseller list if she had self-published. What I said was: She would have made more money per book sale if she had self-published. I based this on the fact that many of the people who purchased her book as soon as it was published were people who religiously read her blog. These people would have purchased the book no matter how it was published, because they are die-hard fans. It’s my opinion that Jenny did all the work to acquire her fan base, and the publishing company reaped the financial benefits, since traditionally published authors traditionally make only a dollar or two per book sale. (Of course, I have no way of knowing how much Jenny is actually getting — my comment was based on traditional averages.)

As for making the NYT list, I am not sure about self-published authors ability to get on this list. I have not researched this, as this was not my point in this article. You other comments also are not specifically related to what I wrote about here.

I hope this clears up the point I was making (which was a very minor aside to the actual point of this blog post).


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: