Yesterday I was involved in a lively discussion about group author blogs with two other writers. Among other things, we discussed best practices for running group blogs, existing group blogs, and their efficacy in terms of promotion and, ultimately, author awareness and sales.
Personally, I don’t think group blogs are effective sales or marketing tools. When I think about the group blogs I read, only BoingBoing, Lifehacker, and GeekDad come to mind, and they aren’t run by authors trying to promote their books. I am actually a member of two group blogs — SFNovelists and the Apocalypsies — but I am in both of those groups for professional support more than promotion, and rarely post.
Ultimately, I don’t read any group author blogs that I’m not a member of. If friends of mine are in group blogs, I will occasionally read their posts, but not always. I generally prefer the more personal posts they are likely to make on their own blogs.
I’m wondering if other people feel the same way, or if I am just hopelessly out of touch. If you’re an author participating in a group blog, do you feel the group blog has been worth the time and effort you’ve spent maintaining it? If you’re a reader, do you read group author blogs? Do you read the posts by every author, or just the ones you already know you like? What interests you about this sort of blog?
In case it’s not clear, I would love to be wrong about this. I would love to discover that group author blogs are amazingly effective and well-loved by readers everywhere, that they’re a great way of gaining a wider audience for no money and very little time. Yes, I would dearly love to be wrong.