Blogging for Readers

Recently a discussion on Crimespace sparked a lot of attention. The question was Are All Readers Writers? The talk ranged from the idea that no one but us writers read to the economy and its effect on sales to how to make the jump from mid-list to bestseller or even from selling tiny amounts to mid-list. I, of course, had to jump in the middle to offer my two-cents.

But the discussion was extremely thought provoking in another sense. Because really this bunch of mystery writers were figuratively scratching their heads about promo. It seemed to them, literally, that the only people they sold books to were writers.

Maybe that's because that is the only people we're marketing to--at least on line. Think about it. Many of us blog but the subject of our blogs is generally--writing. And who reads that??? Writers. Many of us tweet on twitter--about our blogs naturally. And (having already established that the blog's subject is writing,) so we tend to find groups of other writers on Twitter to tweet to. And on-line, we hang out at places like Crimespace and Dorothy L where we tend to find...other writers.

It is all really understandable too. If you want to find a topic to write about, day after day, week after week, you want it to be something you know something about, right? So of course, many of us blog on the various aspects of writing. Occasionally someone will venture out of their comfort zone a bit and do interviews of other writers, because readers should be interested in that, right?

I'm thinking if we want to attract more readers, we have to direct our work at them. I don't have all the answers, but maybe we need to talk about what we're reading and spark a book club like discussion. And maybe we need to keep our incessant promo down--so that every other post is not another plug for our books. We need to participate. What do you think?

Christine Duncan

Safe Beginnings, A fire, a murder, a battered woman's nightmare
Safe House, Life--and death--in a battered women's shelter. In print soon from


Linda Suzane said…
I agree with you. The problem is finding where the ordinary readers hang out. I think focusing on places like Goodreads and shelfaire may help. But perhaps it isn't as bad as we think being involved with groups like crimespace, which is open not only to authors but readers as well. But definitely broadening your blog topic to readers, not just writers.
I agree that we writers need to interact more with our readers. That's one reason I'm doing the "Mystery Matters" internet radio show--yes, I want to talk with other mystery writers, but I'm doing it in a format where thousands of readers listen in. And I'll be interviewing Christine Duncan on June 19th, so I was happy to see her comments here. The interview will be archived for 24/7 listening, in case you're interested.
Susan Breen said…
I'm afraid I'm yet another writer responding to your post. But I think it's encouraging that so many writers are reading. If we don't support each other, who will?
Morgan Mandel said…
I agree it's not only good promo, but more fun to vary your blog with other topics besides writing. Also, it doesn't hurt to hang out at places that are not only about writing tips.

Morgan Mandel

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