A recent Publishers Weekly article surveyed authors to see how they felt about the idea of blogging and thereby interacting with their fans. The results were mixed.
Some authors find them to be invaluable, while others, particularly fiction writers, are afraid that too much interaction will induce them to give away story ideas. But as a marketing tool, they are hard to beat.
Melanie Lynne Hauser, author of Super Mom Saves the World, has practically created a fan base with her blog. She shares with readers her personal and professional life, including book signings and other appearances. Here's what she had to say when she visited New Albany last year:
Last night I got back home from my Super Mom Road Trip 2006 — over 1100 miles driven since Tuesday (to Grand Rapids, MI, Ft. Wayne, IN — where Monica, the manager of Mitchell Books, took me out for a nice dinner — and New Albany, IN, where I had a very nice signing at Destinations Booksellers, sold a lot of books, and challenged the most unusual 6-year-old boy in a game of John Wayne trivia. That kid has seen as many John Wayne movies as I have, and knew an insane amount of movie trivia, and I found myself driven to topping him because I OWN movie trivia, especially where John Wayne is concerned, until at one point I had to tell myself that he was a CHILD, and to back off. I can get a little competitive, to tell the truth. But I stopped short of making him cry.) I also managed to spend a day with the Super Parents & visit with the Super Brother in Indianapolis, between signings.
That's a visit Ian M. will never forget, and it certainly helps bond Melanie to her fans. If you'd like to sample her Web site, go to www.melanielynnehauser.com and to see her blog, click the link there or add "/wordpress" to the above URL.
One of our earliest postings on NA Books Daily was about The Small-Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses Are Beating the Global Competion. Michael Shuman, an attorney and economist, is Vice President for Enterprise Development for the Training & Development Corporation, based in Bucksport, Maine.
Somehow, Mike discovered our post and wrote to thank us for the kind words. In addition, he provided us new information about his activities, including a partnership with UK to develop a workbook for The Small-Mart revolution. His Web site is a quick read, and includes a link to a fascinating article he wrote in defense of the "buy local first" choice and how it is not a feel-good proposition, but a matter of rational thought. The site is www.smallmart.org.
Authors with local connections offer Web sites or blogs you may find useful.
Chuck Lewis and Susan Wilhite, whose It Comes in the Night is starting to catch fire with middle-schoolers around the area, have launched a blog to keep fans up to date on their events. I expect it will be an exciting time for them as the book grows in popularity. Check them out at
Local success story Kimberly Logan maintains a Web site that can keep you in touch with her and her thriving career. Logan has published three novels with Avon in the past three years, each more successful than the last. Visit http://www.kimberlylogan.net/ for more, including previews of her latest book, her events schedule, and Kimberly's Korner, her version of a blog. Kim will be visiting the store on April 28 at 4 p.m., by the way, with her new book, The Devil's Temptation. I'd appreciate it if you didn't click on the link to amazon.com!
Heather M. Cannon maintains an entire universe online for her Crimson World series. Book one is Crimson Born, a modern-day tale of vampires and romance. You can read more about Heather and the series at www.thecrimsonworld.net.
And finally, former New Albanian Josh Johnson has a beautiful site at http://www.spindletons.com/, where you can find not only his books, but original artwork for sale.
I encourage you to visit these sites. And thanks to all the authors who link back to us, reminding readers to value your local independent bookseller.