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Author Blog: A Great Example From Paulo Coelho

    Categories: Marketing and Promotion

OLD POST ALERT! This is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date. Please click on Start Here on the menu bar above to find links to my most useful articles, videos and podcast. Thanks and happy writing! – Joanna Penn

Are you convinced that you need to have an author blog yet?

A few weeks ago, Simon & Schuster urged us all to blog and social network, but there is also evidence from the world's top authors themselves that blogging is important. Some of the biggest names in the author stellarsphere blog regularly so we can take some tips from them.

I am a huge fan of Paulo Coelho, having particularly enjoyed “Like the Flowing River” and his travels on the Camino de Santiago. Since the global success of ‘The Alchemist', he has sold over 100 million copies of his books, and been published in 67 languages. He is certainly a successful author by anyone's standards. So what can we learn from Paulo's blog?

  • He blogs himself and regularly. Paulo writes a combination of short posts, excerpts from his books, articles from other media on him and his books. He also writes in English and Portuguese and sometimes exclusively in one or the other language. It is great to see such a huge name putting himself out there so regularly and without censor. He seems to blog every 2-3 days but sometimes more regularly and started in 2006, before it really became mainstream.
  • Links to his books, iphone app and main website from the blog. Blogs are not just for entertaining people and connecting. They are also to drive book sales. Paulo has links to his books at the Amazon site (through the Kindle picture) and also a text link. There are more links from his main page also linked at the top. Remember that blogging gets Google traffic and also gives your subscribers more information. When you have people's attention, they come to your site and from there may jump to buy your books.
  • Social networking links for sharing and connecting. At the bottom of the page and in the sidebar, there are links to various social networks including twitter and his Facebook fan page. All these are ways people can stay connected to what he is doing.
  • Quotes and ecards. These are viral tools and are very suitable for his audience who like wisdom and beauty. If people embed the pictures or quotes, people can be directed back to his website. Great idea! Also the iPhone app is mainly for marketing – if you are interested in doing an iPhone app, check out this podcast on how to do just that.
  • Involving fans. The featured post is about his twitter followers and indeed he is a great tweeter. Check out his page which has pictures of fans holding his books. Brilliant! He often has a lot of comments on his posts and seems to engage fans when he can, doing competitions and tweeting with people.

What other author blogs do you like? What can you implement today from these lessons?

Joanna Penn:

View Comments

  • Social media and blogs are definitely necessary to make it in the publishing industry today. Thanks for the post. It's good to see how famous authors are using the mediums to get their work out there.

  • Thanks for this, I've been blogging for a few months now but it's been a bit of a voyage of discovery about what to blog. At first I thought it would only be about my progress towards getting published but then I relaised that would be a bit thin on its own. As I've gone on I've realised that I can also include the things that are important to me as they say something about me and thus what readers will find in my books.

    I've also found that sometimes I write material suitable for a blog without even realising it. For instance I found myself replying to a thread on Facebook about the repair to an ancient set of stepping stones across a river in the Peak District where I camp a couple of times a year. I ended up writing an extensive response which, with a small amount of editing to give it some context, became a blog entry. Other times it's just been random personal thoughts or observations on life. That's the sort of thing I write about anyway, although I tend not to be too serious when I'm writing fiction.

    What I hadn't considered was posting extracts for my books. I sort of thought that would be giving too much away. However, I do have a few pieces that I've read at readings so I suppose I could post those.

    Thanks for the thoughts, this has been a really useful post.

  • It's even better/easier for well-known authors to blog. Fans have a tendency to look up their favourite people and when they find a blog, an article, an interview, a website, they'll be delighted and follow. I'm doing basically the same, just the lack of media and massive fanbase are missing, plus I don't only blog about writing, but about a variey of topics.

    I've also created a facebook page just for the writing. And because I'm a good girl, I have the link to it on my blog, too :-) See, I'm doing all the right things, where are my fans now? :-)