8.27.2006

Authors + blogs=???

So A few weeks ago M.J. Rose posted and commented about Holtzbrinck's blog initative. And of course I read it on teleread. (Don't forget to read Grumpy Old Bookman's reaction.)

Now as someone who also works in the publishing industry. I just want to say-

Wha? Publishers are only now making a concerted, official effort to get author's writing? Every author worth their mettle should not only have a blog, but a webpage, a Myspace page and maybe even involvement in some of Amazon's efforts if they can get it.

This is marketing and publicity for you and your book. It's not enough to just write these days. There are thousands of people being cranked out of MFA programs every year. There are also several hundred thousand books published every year. Writing books is no longer enough. Hell, blogs aren't even enough. Blogs were good for author's 5 years ago. These days you need, well, M.J. Rose has a good list- "We tour, we blog, we have myspace pages, we have Amazon plogs, we have websites . . . and somewhere in there we're supposed to also crank out great writing." And that's the bare minimum for any author who really wants to get noticed. There's also Second Life, podcasts, other people's blogs, and group sites that should be explored.

Do a search for Cory Doctorow or Larry Lessig, or Chris Anderson, or Neil Gaiman or Seth Godin or Julian Dibbell* and look at what they are doing online as part of the writing life. It isn't enough to move online, you need to embrace and understand the online world. Your audience is here. Your contemporaries are here. Your competition is here. Bookstores are not level playing fields and newspapers and magazines are losing readers by the hundreds.

*I'm not linking because this list needs hundreds of other authors who "make it happen" online before I would even feel comfortable sending you off to an author's website. You need to do this search yourself.