Over the years, I’ve heard some writers say that they feel pressured by agents or publishers to have an online presence. They need to use Twitter, have a Facebook account, blog. I agree that an author should have some place online where readers can go to find out about signings or their next book, but if an author is begrudgingly writing posts about a great cup of coffee or shoe shopping, she shouldn’t do it. They are writers not car salespeople. They shouldn’t feel they need to ABS (Always Be Selling). Unfortunately, that pressure has been spilling over into blogging, with the exception that this isn’t our livelihood.
I was stalking the Book Blogger Convention on Twitter on Monday when Booksmugglers tweeted this quote from the panel on Publishing and Blogger Relationships. (Edit: Ana gives some more insight on this and other panels in a write up).
|Booksmugglers live tweeting of BEA Panel on Publisher/Blogger Relationships|
Soooo….that got a lot of people talking, including myself and Andi. We had quite a conversation about it. I’m going to play the devil’s advocate for a moment and assume that the speaker meant that quote differently. Perhaps s/he meant that a blogger that’s been around for awhile has more contacts and thus can ask for interviews and Q&As, etc without getting shot down. I don’t know I wasn’t there to hear it.
If the speaker believes that “mature” bloggers do all that, s/he doesn’t know me. I’ve been doing this for 5 years, that’s pretty mature, and you’ll rarely see those things here. Here’s the thing: there is no one size fits all blogger. We all have our own tastes and value some things more than others. Every blog should not look the same. We need variety. Some people do all that stuff and are great at it and love it, but it’s not for me. It’s not for everyone! You have to do your own thing or you’ll burn out. Like most bloggers, I do this for me and for the hell of it. If I felt I had to do things a certain way, I would go bonkers.
I’m always surprised by newer bloggers who say, “You can review older books?” And I say, sure, why not? It’s your blog. You can post gifs of dancing cats if you want. Knock yourself out. Do whatever you want! Go! Do! That’s my advice. And if you love to do cover reveals and Q&As do that too.
To that speaker: you don’t need all that to promote your book. Just get the right book to the right blogger and that blogger won’t stop talking about it. We don’t see it as “promoting” as much as “loving.” You can’t shut us up once we get started! I’m still talking about books I read 6 months ago.
Since we’re talking about the future of blogging today, I can (and have) seen a lot of book bloggers saying no to that kind of publisher/blogger relationship to cultivate the smaller “you’re not just a billboard” ones or refuse review copies altogether.
Anyway, that’s how I feel. Whew! It might not be fair to write a post on 140 character tweet about an event I wasn’t attending, but there you go.
Go! Read! Blog!