First off, here’s my ebook tip of the day: Penguin hates ebook readers. Still no sign of Nora Roberts’ Valley of Silence.
Last Monday, I blogged about a seemingly innocuous topic: websites and my opinion that all authors should have a professional looking one. Some authors believe that websites are unimportant in terms of overall capture of readership because of the low numbers of readers online. When I look at how DearAuthor has grown since its inception and the numbers of other blogs and websites, I believe that online presence is growing larger.
- All About Romance averages 2 million unique visitors in 2005. That’s up from 1.7 million visitors in 2004. That’s alot of visitors.
- The Smart Bitches average 1,417 visitors per day.
- TheRomanceReader logged over 500,000 visitors in 1998. I am not sure what their growth has been since then, but I would imagine that it hasn’t decreased.
Here at DearAuthor, we have experienced tremendous growth, averaging just around 150 readers in April and growing to averaging over 750 for the month of October. On Mondays and Tuesdays, we have our biggest days with over 900+ unique visitors.
Even if we, as a blog, only touch 900 people on one day, those readers touch other readers and so on. Morever, as one reader reminded me, blogland is international. Rosario is from Uruguay, Marg is in Australia, Kristie J is in Canada, Karen S is in England (as is our dear friend Maili) and others are in Tokyo, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, South Africa, etc. And those readers touch readers. An author can build a strong and dependable fan base just by the readers online. We online readers may not be able to get you on the bestseller list the first time out of the gates (sorry Ms. Singh), but overtime a devoted online base can do wonders for your career (Lora Leigh’s debut mass market, Megan’s Mark, was a USA Today Bestseller).
I would love to see more reader blogs. There seem to be a dearth of reader, just reader blogs. I am more interested in what readers have to say about books than I do from authors. Because many times, I question the blogger bias. On the cover of Hot Dish, there are cover quotes from almost every Squawker: Christina Dodd, Theresa Medieros, and Elizabeth Bevarly. I think that if Connie Brockway wrote carnival patter that the Squawkers would still say that it smelled like a rose. When they feature someone at their blog and rave about how great that author is, I just can’t trust them. Are they really going to say something suck great big hairy donkey balls? Nope.
That’s where readers come in. I do trust readers. I may not always agree with readers, but I tend to believe that readers have no bias, no hidden agenda. Readers just want to talk about the books they loved and the books that they hated. The meh books are so meh that they don’t warrant many blog posts.
While its nice to have authors and I get a huge thrill when I see Nora Roberts post because she’s well, you know, but I enjoy the comments of readers the best. Bev BB is opening up a new blog. It’s for readers about blogging and books and everything. I hope that if there is any reader out there who wants to start a blog, that she or he will come over and feel free to ask questions. The more readers that blog, the better for the romance industry because it will show how diverse the romance readership is and how important variety is for the genre to stay healthy. If you are a reader and you have a blog, drop a comment. I want to add you to the blogroll and read your blog.
Next week: Part One of a two part series on What NY Publishers Are Doing Right and What They Are Doing Wrong with Ebooks.