There appears to be no empirical evidence attesting to the efficiency of marketing techniques, at least as far as books are concerned. National tours are expensive and becoming passé for all but the heavyweights. Book trailers seem to be losing steam. Facebook? Twitter? Maybe. Blogs? Definitely sometimes. I've discovered a lot of new authors from reading trusted blogs, and from the Crimespace community, as I've come to trust the tastes of certain individuals much more than I do reviewers'.
What about your own blog? Can it create new readers? Granted, I'm an anecdote, not a data sample, but I'd say yes, and I can prove it.
I met Dan O'Shea at Bouchercon last fall. He was in a small group I was invited to tag along with for some munchies at an off-site location. Never met him before. To be honest, I'd never heard of him before. Seemed like a nice guy, and entertaining as hell. When someone else's blog referred to an interview he'd posted on his blog, I signed up for the feed. I've dropped a few comments, he's replied, and I've participated in one of his flash fiction challenges. I enjoy reading his blog, and the shorts of his I've read are fun.
As fate would have it, Dan has also been tagged for the "Outrageous Liar" meme. Here's the title of his post: A Complete Waste of Time You Can Blame on that Bastard Keith Rawson. That's got my attention right away. He begins the post with, "Fucking bastard, that Rawson. I mean if you get one of these things on your Facebook page, some "Which Prehistoric Farmville Mobwars Unicorn are YOU Most Like in Bed" quiz, you can just ignore that." I'm now chemically forced to read the rest, which has more laugh out loud lines like that, none of which will be quoted here. Go over and read his blog yourself. Check out some old posts. This is an entertaining man.
Having read his blog for a few months, and now seen this classic, will I look for his books? Damn right.