Sunday, February 22, 2009

More ammo for the war on success

This blog post from Jennifer Mattern's All Book Marketing about effective blog promotion is very smart, very useful advice.

I've mostly railed about what doesn't work, and what annoys the snot outta me, but this post is about stuff that does work, and that's good advice to heed.


Ann Victor said...

As I'm currently looking for more effective ways of efficiently using my blogging time, this was a useful & timeous post! Thanks.

ryan field said...

Excellent link.

Helen DeWitt said...

Good post - but I think writers need to be careful not to worry too much about effectiveness on their blogs, precisely because there's so much pressure to be effective in other areas of the publishing process. If you have a blog, and there are other blogs you follow obsessively, you can, obviously, link to them - and sometimes something fabulous happens, which is that a blog you like links to you! It's unimaginable, somehow, that Peter Carey or Don DeLillo or Cormac McCarthy would write a review of one of my books, or provide a blurb, but even if they did, things being how they are, I would know this was not the result of an unorchestrated moment of wild excitement, someone or other would have been pulling strings behind the scenes. If you write a post and a blogger you like links to it, though, chances are they just saw and liked the post, and wanted to share it with their readers; it's really not very likely that someone twisted their arm to put up the link.

There's a way people talk, sometimes, about "bad" reviews - what they mean is, they think authors might mind unfavorable reviews. But the people who write reviews are conscripted for all kinds of reasons, there's no reason for them to have rapport with the author - all reviews seem pretty distant. The people who link to one's blog, on the other hand, are often people the NYRB or the New Yorker wouldn't dream of asking for a review - just people the writer happens to think are brilliant. Andrew Gelman probably doesn't mean much to the man in the street, but every time AG links to my blog I'm on Cloud 9. Cosma Shalizi!!!!! [Too easy to go on, but no.]

(Not suggesting this is inconsistent with JM: on the contrary, what JM seems to be saying is that there is no substitute for a blogger who is genuine about his/her interests, and a writer who has paid attention to what the blogger is geniuinely interested in.)