Sunday, October 3, 2010

To Blog or Not to Blog. That is the Question...

SF and I have been discussing a hiatus lately. We have loved every minute of our two years writing this blog, but, more and more, we feel pressured to promote ourselves and not only does this feel artificially cocky sometimes, but we aren't sold on how effective blogging is for our intended audiences. There have been many posts about this lately, including this one by the Shrinking Violets, all of which have caused us to want to re-think our positioning.

And let me say that there is a difference between what I would call destination blogs (like Nathan Bransford's where we found this link), and ours. Nathan's is a go-to source for all things writerly. He is "an authority" on the industry, and he spends a lot of time developing his blog for this purpose. By design, we haven't chosen to have a blog with a purpose--we're just trying to have a little fun out there. Yes, we are both writers, and yes, we like to write ABOUT writing, but we know that our blog is no different in content from hundreds, if not thousands, of others. And we don't want it to fall into the same category as hundreds of blogs that exist soley to promote the writers who own them.

Another issue we are having is that we are building two separate careers, targeting two very different audiences. SF is growing her picture book and MG career, while I am focusing on expanding my YA books, as well as adult non-fiction. Therefore, we have totally different marketing tracks. This is really fun when we chat on the phone and hang out, but when it comes time to blog, leaves us stumped as to how to reach both markets effectively.

We also are working on some marketing and publicity ideas that are much larger and more interesting than what we are currently doing, and would like to continue to find new avenues to reach our target market - avenues that are more personal and creative. (*I'd like to insert that IF I sell my book, and IF SF's idea for marketing it works, I will just explode with joy. She has come up with an incredibly innovative and different idea for launching my book and I am about to bust to do it.)

As for now, we have decided to go on a blogging vacation until 2011. We will still be around reading and commenting on all our bestie's blogs, but our main focus is going to be writing and coming up with creative alternatives to reach our readers. We will see you in 2011 with new websites and good news!


Katie and SF


storyqueen said...

I am sad.

I really understand where you are coming from, though.

I struggle with the idea of why to blog.... A LOT. I mean, I write picturebooks. My target audience is never going to read my blog.

However, blogging has given me the opportunity to virtually meet other writers, and that has really kept me going in the dark days of revision (and other not-so-fun stuff).

And, though I don't use my blog as the Shelley-Store, the blog has been a way for folks to find me on-line and also connected me with organizations that want me to appear as the Story Queen at their events. (Which, in a roundabout way, connects me to kids, who ARE my readers.)


I learned so much from reading Plot This. You two girls made a difference in the life of THIS writer....because really, we are all fighting the same battle...the battle to stay true to our ideas AND manage to get them down on paper.

Can't wait to see what you come up with in 2011.

Look for my e-mails!!


Katie said...

Aw thanks, Shelley! And no worries. We're not going anywhere - just regrouping :)

Of course we'll still email!


Corey Schwartz said...

Oh, dying of curiosity now!

I totally understand your decision (I have cut back on blogging significantly in the past six months) but I will miss your posts!!!

Caroline Starr Rose said...

All the best, ladies! That SV post was loaded with food for thought.

Stephanie Perkins said...

I will miss seeing you ladies in my blog feed, but I understand your decision. Good luck with EVERYTHING. See you around! :)

Lola Sharp said...

*pouts* I'm sad.

I love this blog.

But, I look forward to your Big Idea!

Enjoy your hiatus.

Anonymous said...

I'm fairly new to your blog, but I've enjoyed reading it. I wish you both the best with your writing and look forward to seeing what direction(s) you take after your hiatus.

Solvang Sherrie said...


I'll miss you guys, but I totally get it. I mean, I don't even have an agent yet, let alone a book to promote so I sometimes wonder why I'm here. But I have learned so much from blogging and met so many incredible people through blogging -- like you guys!! I'm not on Facebook anymore so we'll have to keep up with email :)

Little Ms J said...

I'm sad, but I completely understand. I feel like we just went through high school together and now you're going away to college!

Lots of love and big fluffy creative vibes heading your way, dolls!

Oh... and I still want to come to Southern Belle Boot Camp. Don't forget.


Kimberley Griffiths Little said...

Wow. Man. I've actually been thinking this very thing for months, and with my book launch and Armageddon Book Deadline of 6 weeks, I've been lucky to post once or twice a week.

The best part of blogging has been making such great writer friends here. I don't think my blog has created an audience for my work though, I'm too shy and even though I read hundreds of blogs all those hundreds of people don't read mine. So I'm pretty incognito, if ya know what I mean.

Thank goodness for email! (And I was SO looking forward, SF, to hearing what your daughters thought of my book!)

The Shrinking Violets post was so good, eh? You gotta read this one, too.

THIS article is the one that really got me thinking about the value, promotion-wise, of blogging. This chicka does NOTHING online and she's writing her derriere off. In a matter of just a few years, she's got 8 books under contract and is of the opinion that the best thing she can do for her career is to write the best darn book she can.

But I feel so very blessed to have met such great writers here on the internet - like YOU two, Katie and SF!!! Looking forward to 2011!!! *smooch*

Irene Latham said...

Love you ladies! Looking forward to your regrouping and all the good things 2011 has in store.... xxoo

lotusgirl said...

I can totally understand. I've gone through this thought process some myself. It was nice getting to know you, and we'll be looking for your new bogs, etc., in Jan.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Will definitely miss you guys!!!! But I totally understand. I have a similar blog post drafted. It's hard to keep up. I can't imagine how hard it must be doing a blog together when you write different genres, but I have to say you guys have done a spectacular job. You have a blog worth coming back to over and over. I look forward to seeing what you have cooked up for 2011.

Stephanie Blake said...

I've been thinking about doing this as well. You are doing the right thing.

I'll miss your fun posts!

Christine Fonseca said...

I totally get where you guys are coming from! HUGS and have a great rest of the year.

Lisa and Laura said...

Noooooo...but we totally understand. We love blogging, but I think the hardest part is finding the time. I am constantly feeling guilty that I can't get around to all the blogs I want to get around to! But like you said, it's hard to find the time to WRITE and that's what brought us all together in the first place! Have a wonderful break and we can't wait to hear all of your fabulous plans in 2011. We love you girls!

Stephanie Faris said...

Sorry you had to do that. I think the primary reason to blog is a desire to write and interact with others. As a promotion tool...well, I don't know. I write children's books so obviously once I'm published, my blog will either have to change drastically to appeal to them or I'll have to turn it into a writerly blog where I use it to interact with other authors. I can go either way. But I love Meg Cabot's blog...she uses it more as a way of showing snippets of her life to her fans. If it becomes all about booksignings and self-promotion, you lose people. It needs to be a way for your fans to get to know YOU. I personally think that's where a lot of authors mess up.

Katie said...

That's fascinating Stephanie and I think I agree. At least this has been a fun way to hear what people think.

Thanks for the comments y'all!

Gail said...

Boo Hoo :-( Love reading you two, but I so understand. I'm not one of the besties blogs (yet) but I do hope you'll continue to stop by my blog sometimes. Oh and Katie, remember, I still want to meet up with you for coffee or other beverage at SpringMingle!
All the best ladies!

Mohamed Mughal said...

Your post has some extremely thoughtful points for all writers who maintain blogs.

I'll miss you guys but I'm glad you're freeing up your time for more focused writing!

Anne Spollen said...

I don't know any writers who actually live around here, so I like blogging to interact with other writers.

But yes, time is short for all of us. And blogs are not effective promo tools, at least not for writers with a younger audience.

My readers are busy on Facebook, and would tell me "blogs are for old people."

But I will never forget the guinea pig poop removal tale -- so I'll be looking for your big 2011 idea. Good luck!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Can't wait for good news...Have a good break!

Anonymous said...

I came over from Matthew Rush's blog link. You are two interesting people I'd like to follow. I'll look forward to your new websites and getting to know you better.
Ann Best, Long Journey Home

Jennie Englund said...

Happy holidays and a restful break to you two!

Your repositioning is understandable. This whole blogging thing is new and crazy, and I'll be the first one jumping up and down when you get it all figured out!

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