Authors have been told by both bloggers and other authors that writing a book does not automatically mean that people have to read and review the book. We say that a book needs a pleasing cover and a good, well-written story. We say that authors seeking reviews must research and approach bloggers who actually read and review (and accept review requests) the correct genres. We say that writing a book doesn’t mean you’re entitled to have people read your book.
I’m here to apply that same advice to bloggers.
You see, bloggers, in our own way, are also self-publishers. We seek readers and comments. But creating a book blog does not entitle us to having readers. Writing reviews and discussion posts does not entitle us to comments. If we want readers and comments, we must work on our content to make sure that it is appealing to potential readers. We must ensure that our site is easy on the eyes and simple to navigate.
When confronted with a review or discussion post that receives no comments–or few comments–instead of bemoaning the lack of comments, take a step back and consider the possible reasons for this. Is it a book that your readers haven’t read? Is there not enough discussion-provoking content? Is it a slow Internet day? Did the post contain a topic that your readers are not comfortable commenting on?
Here’s what I’ve learned:
- Reviews of books that many of my readers have read always generate more views and comments.
- My comments increase when I’m an active participant on other bloggers’ blogs.
- Some reviews are easier to comment on than others. (I’m still trying to work on a way of explaining this and how you can change it.)
- Slow Internet days exist. It’s best not to take it personally.
- The reading preferences of my readers often determine how many comments I receive on my reviews. When I review a mystery, for example, I receive comments from fewer (and sometimes different) people because most of my readers prefer the paranormal genres.
- Appealing to Twitter for comments and views is tough work and rarely gets me what I want (and makes me feel like a broken record).
- Discussion topics do matter. When I talked about being in denial about being a cover whore, I got TONS of comments (people can relate). When I talked about being in denial about reading free erotica, I definitely got fewer comments (not everyone can relate or feel comfortable admitting the same).
- Thinking critically about why certain posts receive fewer comments than others can help me to improve future posts, or accept the fact I’m not going to get a lot of comments. (I’m not going to stop reading mysteries and reviewing them on the blog. If mysteries aren’t your thing, I don’t expect you to comment on my review.)