They always say there are two subjects never to broach - religion and politics.
Now for an author whose book is about politics, especially if it is non-fiction, blogging about the topic is a given. Regardless of the slant, he or she will want to attract the target audience for that book. Using the right key words and the right content will bring potential readers. (And potential non-readers, sometimes in droves.)
Lately though I’ve seen a lot of author blogs going off on political rants, even though their books have nothing to do with politics. Even worse, I’ve seen a lot of political slamming comments left on other blogs. Many of these have had nothing to do with the content of the post - the commenting author just felt a need to say something politically negative.
As an author though, it all comes back to one thing - being marketable. And we aren’t selling our books, we are selling ourselves. Yes, our blogs are our own, but once we step into the limelight as an author, we need to be more careful what we say. We can be adult and tactful while still sticking to our beliefs and values.
Going on a politic tirade on one’s blog is guaranteed to do one thing - it will alienate half of your potential audience. No matter which angle you take, left or right, you are going to anger the other half. And what happens when you do that? You potentially eliminate half of your reading audience. HALF.
This isn’t limited to politics, either. It can include any controversial topic.
Authors work so hard to build up an image online. We want to appeal to as many readers as possible without compromising who we are as a person. We need to carefully consider everything we say, whether it be a blog post, comment, or Tweet. We need to avoid shooting ourselves in the foot.
As a reader, there are authors whose books I will never purchase. All it took was one rant, one negative comment, one bitter post, for me to reach that decision. And I’m sure I’m not alone.
How carefully do you consider what you say online? How many authors have turned you off?