That is the question, isn’t it? Every author asks themselves what to put in the query letter. One of the biggest questions seems to be around the blog. Do you mention it? Do you use it as a reason an agent should see you as marketable? Do you ignore it and see if an agent Googles you? This is my personal thoughts on including Amanda’s Blog in my query letters. (Just an analytical look at the blog and numbers, not a pity party.)
I love the people who follow my blog. Seriously, they are the best readers in the world. The only minor problem is how small my following is at the moment. I’ve got 25 people who have signed up for email updates. (Did I mention I love my readers?) That’s not a pity party, just information that is needed for the rest of this post. I’ve got 25 subscribers. Remember that is a tiny number.
It seems every author has a blog. It’s part of the new social media marketing schemes. Every single agent interview I read says the same thing: If your blog is about your life, kids, and everything else (plus a little writing), don’t tell me about it. The blog isn’t a platform to gain fans for your work. It’s about you and everything else about you. (It makes sense if you blog is all over the place people visit for the parts they like, but they probably aren’t interested in your novel.)
If your blog is about writing or what you write about (ie, about the law and you write legal thrillers), tell me about it only if you have a decent following already. The more followers the better! Less work for the marketing guys and gals over at the publishing house. People who follow your blog about writing or what you write about are already fans of yours. They don’t have to be convinced to go buy your debut novel. And, they are more likely to Facebook & tweet about your novel without any prodding. A niche blog is great for marketing.
Agents want your blog to say “I’ve got a platform! I’ve got people who like my writing style! I’ve got everything to prove I have the tools to market myself and become the next NY Times Best-Selling Author!” They want proof that people you already know will rush out and buy the books. Twenty-five people won’t do that.
But, the fact I usually get a comment (or two or three), does favor me ever so slightly. Comments show my readers (y’all) actually enjoy interaction. Yay! One thing in my favor is that y’all aren’t just reading the posts, but showing up over here to talk about the posts.
So, what’s my magic number of subscribers before I’d include the blog in my query letter? Oh, let’s say 200. Why 200? Because it’s a gigantic increase that won’t happen in 30 days. The reality is that the blog won’t be big enough to include in the query letter before they go out. But, I’m okay with that. I like the blog as it is at the moment. I wouldn’t change the blog just to get an agent interested in me.
Just wait until the post next week about my brand new Author Page on Facebook and what it means for authors & query letters.