Monday, January 19, 2009

Apparently, we arent popular

So let the ranting begin.

Ok so I was talking with another of our amazing writer friends and she told me that an agent said that they check out how popular an author is by the subscriptions to the feeds of the blogs they are on. Well this got me thinking...

See, We don't have many subscriptions on the blogs we are on (Even at the Authors After Dark Blog, which is home to several NYTBS authors!) So by this agent's reasoning, we aren't in any way popular, nor are they. This irks me.

See, the truth is, I dont blog much on here, and I blog on my appointed day at the group blogs. Why dont I blog here? Because I dont have anything interesting to say for one, and for two, I would much rather be writing a new book or story to get out to you, our awesome readers. But apparently, because I dont blog a lot I dont have a lot of readers and that inturn makes me very unpopular. Does that make any sense? I mean I'm not Neil Gaiman for gods sake.

Sorry. Gimme a chance to center my chi.

Ah thats better. See, I dont find the majority of what I have to say on the every day scale interesting, and I dont think you would either. See, I have no life outside of this computer most of the time, and I rarely leave my house in the winter. And to be honest, my personal life isnt sordid or anything either. The Hunny comes over, we eat dinner, he's on his compy I'm on mine, When hes tired, he kisses me good night, and he leaves. No, he doesnt live with me.

I'm not part of any sort of crazy publishing dibacle, nor am going to spew venom about publishers I'm not with nor know nothing about the inner workings of. I do my writing, I love my publishers (mostly) and I hope for a better tomorrow. Could I be blogging about my 100R's for the snake novel? Yes. Would that be wise? No. Me bitching about the closed mindedness of the industry isn not going to do anything for the book or my career aside from getting us blacklisted from several agents and publisher.

Do I want all that? No.

So I blog about the positive, and on occasion, if something really pisses me off, I will blog about it, in a rational and concise manner, as i have done in the past. But the positives are few and far between. We dont have releases every month, and we dont have anything insane happening to make us keep you up to date on the awesomeness that is our books. I blog about events, and I blog about awards we are up for, but again: few and far between.

I dont blog about our books on the whole because a lot of what we are writing isnt in the mainstream, and I'll be honest, WE want to be the one known for trailblazing. So I dont say much about the new characters we have, races we have developed or storylines we are working on because the last thing we need is to be shut out of something we write first because someone with a NY contract or with a publisher more popular then the ones we are with has bitten it off and gotten their book pubbed first. Not that I'm saying anyone would steal an idea, but if I dont put it out there, theres not coincidence. I know people have similar ideas, bu paranoia in this industry runs rampant.

So either I should get a life and quit trying to write and get work out (as they always say, the best promotion is to write another book) or just keep on my merry way and hope for the best. Or, you, our grandiose readers, can just subscribe to the bloggy via Blogger, RSS or feedburner, and let me know that what we do we do not do in vein.

Oh and BTW, getting a life isnt as easy as it sounds when you live here. Will I be blogging about my numerous signings this year? Yes, and the events I'm going to (ComiCon) and the ones I have been invited to attend(NECRWA and CTRWA)? Yes. Will I tell you all about the books we have coming up and offer contests that no one will enter? Yes. So nothing really has changed on this side of the blog... I guess maybe we just need to know we arent alone out there.

So what say you? Just because your not a darling of the blog feed world, do you really have to worry that your not popular and all the other stuff you do to further your career isnt paying off? Do you as a reader always subscribe to blogs? Do you know how? Please comment on anything in this blog... I'm open to a discussion.

49 comments:

Luci.Calanor said...

I can see the agent's point of view, but I see your's too. I read the blogs. I haven't subscribed to them before because honestly, that's one more log in and password and web addy i have to remember. I myself have at least 4 blogs out there, 3 of which I have forgotten about, don't remember the website, can't remember what email address I used...can't get it to give me the password...too much trouble!

But for you, because I love ya'll I will subscribe. Because those agents don't look deep enough and ya'll rock!

MeiLin said...

I'm so "unpopular" I self-publish, but I can guarantee that with 1000 daily readers and 5 figures already from the serial I don't care.

RobinSlick said...

Well, if that thinking is true, then I should have a mega agent because I get thousands and thousands of hits a week on my blog and many subscribers.

I have been rethinking everything lately based on a lot of friends with great agents and great NY publishing houses. Know why? Because they aren't selling their books! Between this economy, and their lack of promo knowledge, even the best writers aren't selling as many books as I've sold on my own. And that is what the agents really look at - your sales. So with the fan base you are building and have already built, with the awards you are winning and the books you are selling, it's just a matter of time. I queried so many agents and the first thing they all want to know is how many books I've sold, and trust me, they all belong to a service where they can check. Ha ha - I tried to sign up so I could stalk myself but it costs something ridiculous like $5,000 a year.

Selena Illyria said...

I never knew how to subscribe to blogs until recently. I usually just saved the blog link and went back every so often. I like to hear what an author is up to.

I'll subscribe to your blog. :-)

Moira said...

I see both sides of the story, however, what good is a blog if the author never finishes anything to sell? Sure one could have a lot of readers subscribed to their feed, but there are times when one must make the sacrifice to step away from the blog for the greater good of their career.

Besides, don't they realize how many people will read a blog, visit it frequently, but may not comment or subscribe? Happens all the time and I am as much a guilty party in that arena.

Good Luck!

Stella Price said...

See Robin,

You have a major point there. And I would like to think that because of the lack of promotional efforts NY authors are putting out, that they would be looking towards the ones that ARE doing the leg work and CAN make something work. A lot of sales have to do with the publishers your with and in Small Press, if your not with one of the top 5 (right now we arent) then you have to fight tooth and nail for sales that could possible never come. Its a vicious cycle.

Personally I think Im doing the world a great service not stinking up the blogsphere with "I woke up, had tea, a peice of toast..." i got Twitter for that thank you very much.

Anya Bast said...

It doesn't make sense to me.

I know authors who are VERY popular as bloggers, but their book sales are meh. Then, on the other hand, I know authors who really don't blog much at all (or AT ALL) whose book sales are WOW.

So, I'm not seeing the logic.

The online world is not the End All, Be All where book promotion is concerned. It's still, (as far I can tell from my own obsessive analysis), only a small part of it.

Adra Steia said...

I don't read many blogs nor do I post too often on any of my blogs except my myspace blog. I tried for a while, but...like you said, between writing, art, kids, and life, there's just no time for blogging about stuff that doesn't really matter and that chances are no one will read.

darbyscloset said...

Whoa Stella! Calm yourself down girl! First off if you look at your recents posts you've been posting almost daily, so you are doing that which you say you don't want to do.....you do have stuff to share even thou you never leave your house! ;-*
Another point is that you twitter, let "them" catch up on their techno life and once they find twitter, they will see you all over the place.
I read blogs, I do not do the rss feeds nor do I know how. I will subscribe to your lovely piece of the blogsphere!
Hugs,
Darby
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

Kat Lively / Leigh Ellwood said...

It would surprise me that an agent would look at RSS subscribers before considering taking on a client. Sales, to me, would be a better litmus test.

I think the majority of readers are more interested in reading, and it's possible not many are familiar with RSS capability. Yes, Twitter provides a glimpse into the daily mundane, and I enjoy it for that. If the agent is that interested, perhaps she ought to check an author's Twitter followers?

Stella Price said...

Anya:

See you have a very good point there. In the past i have killed myself to promote online and its gotten me minimal if any results. Yet I send 50 bookmarks out to a store or book club, and I'm getting more interest and sales from doing basically nothing (not completely true, I do design my own stuff)so how can they make the distinction either way?

It boggles the mind. I mean wouldn't an agent want to find an author that's going to work hard for their books by getting out there not sitting on their fanny and blogging 17 times a day? (Again, isn't that what twitter is for?)

Stella Price said...

Kat, Darby and Ash:

All true and smart. its very interesting that Im not alone in the outrage over the absurdity of the claims this agent has stated as fact. Ill be honest, I know how to set up an RSS feed and Feed burner, but I don't have time to actually go and read blogs i would subscribe to. I like my twitter, because at least there I can pick and choose and see who is doing what. Plus, 140 characters is just enough to give updates on my days progress in writing, and isnt that what we are supposed to do as authors? Write?

darbyscloset said...

Hey Stella,
Maybe you should give your "Become A Follower/Subscriber of this Blog"
a little bit more room. For right now it is just a tiny little link and probably overlooked as an option to viewers unless one was searching for the link...make it easy for them..."KISS.
Hugs Again,
Darby
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

Stella Price said...

Darby:

Working on it, LOL. I hate the damn widgets. But your right recently I have been blogging because I have tried to make it a point to blog daily, though I'm becoming more and more aware I'm a boring sort of person. I do love my twitter though, and I have connected with more people via that then this blog in the past two years. Its really insane,I mean SERIOUSLY.

Diana Castilleja said...

Okay, here's my take on it.

Two sides of the coin. I currently have RSS'd about 60 blogs. Only about a handful (4?) are NOT industry related. I don't read them everyday. I follow topics. I comment when, like you, I have something to say. I post when I have something to say, and that's not always easy.

Who is on my blog as a reader? Beats me, don't worry about it. I have a few that I know are "followers" thanks to the Blogger widget. My whole purpose to my blog is to make a SEO hit. To bring in the spiders. Never thought I'd say that. (I hate spiders.)

My blog is not indicative of anything that has to do with my sales, or my writing. It's a platform. I think the unpopularity generalization is just that. It's just a way to make another division in the sand. The big thing a blog is for, IMO, is branding. Getting out to the SEOs.

I'm very proud of the fact that since 2005, I have owned the first 20 pages of google for my name. When I started, I didn't. I'm not the only DC out there. To me, that is more important than the number of readers a single blog gets.

Don't get me wrong. Readers are important, but focusing on the quantity as a means to determine a writer's worth isn't.

Will Belegon said...

I don't subscribe to blogs. And I only have one subscriber to mine and I'm pretty sure she sleeps with me. *wink*

Any agent who is placing major value on something like this is an agent I don't want... because if they are looking for such shortcuts, I'll be looking for an agent when they fail.

Can it be a tool? Yeah sure, why not? But there are no absolute measures in creative fields and anyway that says there are is trying to sell you their measure.

Teresa D'Amario said...

You know, I don't write much on blogs either. I'm the owner of two main blogs. One for me, the other is the shapeshifter romance blog. It gets alot more visits than mine does, but I planned it out, chose the authors for it carefully, and made it that way. I am surprised when mine gets a hit that isn't spam. Maybe I should just leave all the spam subscribers as subscribers? Yeah, there we go. I mean, I get 5 people a day signing up that way as "subscribers" and I know they are spammers.

Hey, wait, maybe I AM popular
!

Cat_Johnson said...

I don't subscibe or read any of the big blogs, or the small ones for that matter mainy because 1) it takes way too much time away from my writing and promo 2) the blogs and the comments tend to piss me off and that leads to 3) my being unable to get back into my writing afterwards because I am pissed off.

The owner of one of the largest ePublishers told me she doesn't read blogs either. Tell that to that agent!

Author Cat Johnson
www.catjohnson.net

Debby said...

I am subscribed to some blogs but some of them I subscribed to I do so as part of a contest. That will make your blog popular.

Anna said...

That is some messed up thinking. There is alot of fans out there that don't even use any type of feeder. For one reason or another.

I don't use it normally because I use the "follow this blog" option and I have all the blogs I read(including this one) on blog list on my blogger. It updates whenever there is a new blog posted.

I know there is a quite a few authors out there that don't blog, but probably should be. It's a great way to get to promote the books and a way to get in touch with your fans.

I'ts nice hearing about what is coming next or how the book is coming along, contests, excerpts, release dates stuff like that. Personally I don't need to hear their life mintue by mintue. But the amount of blogs you do here I think is great. :)

Stella Price said...

oh thanks Anna!

it goes in fits, I'll grant you, because like i said I don't always have something interesting to say, hell look at 2008... posts are very few and far between. I have been lucky as of this year so far though.

I just think its seriously insane that they would judge an author on feeds and not the promotional efforts outside of blogging. Is it just me, or does that sound lazy on the agents part?

Cassidy McKay said...

I don't subscribe to blogs... the ones that I am consistently interested in, I'll bookmark and revisit often. Or if I see a topic that interests me, I'll visit a blog.

I don't think judging an author's popularity by blog subscribers is accurate by any means.

Christine London said...

I don't know if having subscribers is any indication of popularity. I find that I get many many more hits than subscribers and about one comment for every hundred hits. I also agree that bloggings main purpose is name recognition and branding. There certainly haven't been many cross overs to buying my books...as least not yet that I know of. But then one never really does know for sure.
I blog because I enjoy it. Only when I have attended an event or have something to say do I blog. That turns out to be about once a week. If you don't enjoy an aspect of promotion, I think you do yourself a disservice to pursue it. As mere mortals we are limited by time and space therefore we should stick to what we can realistically do and do well. If that is not blogging for you...don't do it! Maybe you are one of those folks who has the time and patience to follow the threads of discussion in one or more of the reader loops. God bless you if you do..that is not me.
What is the 'magic' that turns readers to take that final plunge and purchase your work? I'd be a gazillionaire if I knew. My work is as good or better than what I have read from New York pubs as I am sure many many of us can claim. Why do we remain in relative obscurity? It is a question for the ages. But like those who dream of winning the lottery...if you don't paly, you can't win. Tenacity will carry the day. This is a marathon not a sprint. If you aren't doing it for love first you will drive yourself insane.
I am fortunate enough to live in LA and am ballsey enough to go to Hollywood events in disguise so to speak. My blog readers love my "Christine Goes Hollywood" entries. DO they relate to my writing? Only by the barest of threads. But it increases my followers and enables them to get to know the woman sitting at the keyboard. Research travels provide another source of material that my blog readers live thorough vicariously. Take along a digital camera and journal. It is a great record of some of the best times in life. If a blog reader is uplifted/inspired or educated at the same time...cool.
Like Galinda in the Broadway musical sings "popular"...
"Popular!
You're gonna be popular!
I'll teach you the proper ploys
When you talk to boys
Little ways to flirt and flounce
I'll show you what shoes to wear
How to fix your hair
Everything that really counts

To be popular
I'll help you be popular!
You'll hang with the right cohorts
You'll be good at sports
Know the slang you've got to know
So let's start
'Cause you've got an awfully long way to go:

Don't be offended by my frank analysis
Think of it as personality dialysis
Now that I've chosen to be come a pal, a
Sister and adviser
There's nobody wiser
Not when it comes to popular -
I know about popular
And with an assist from me
To be who you'll bee
Instead of dreary who-you-were: are:
There's nothing that can stop you
From becoming popu-
Ler: lar:

La la la la
We're gonna make
You popular

When I see depressing creatures
With unprepossessing features
I remind them on their own behalf
To think of
Celebrated heads of state or
Specially great communicators
Did they have brains or knowledge?
Don't make me laugh!

They were popular! Please -
It's all about popular!
It's not about aptitude
It's the way you're viewed
So it's very shrewd to be
Very very popular
Like me!"

If you have seen the play you know how "deep" Galinda's character is at this point. Her arc has a long way to go. The one who makes the real difference and statement is the unpopular green Elphaba. In the end it is she who 'wins'.

Maybe if we all just relaxed a tad and take this journey one day and step at a time always remaining true to our vision and what we love, others will follow.

Thanks for the great topic!
Cheers,
Christine London
www.christinelondon.com
BLOG: http://www.myspace.com/christine_london

Christine London said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nell Dixon said...

I can see an agent looking for an internet presence because that's marketing but rss subs? really. I visit friends blogs and some like yours if the topic sounds interesting and I've hit my word target for the day. I get a good number of visitors to my blog each day some comment, lots don't but that's cool. My agent and my publisher are happy with my sales.

Estelle Harte said...

I barely find time to write my own stories and read books by authors I love as it is. I don't subscribe to any blogs and can't imagine taking the time to read all the blogs of all the writers I like on a regular basis. That doesn't mean I don't buy those writers' books as soon as they hit the shelves. The average person only has so many hours to spend online...and I already spend too many online without blogs. I'm currently trying to figure out how I'm going to keep up with my own blog posts when I launch my website. Honestly, I wouldn't think that many agents have tons of time to check blog counts and subscribers anyway (I am no expert on this though and may be totally wrong). It might just be time for your friend to move on to the agent on her list and not worry about it.

Stella Price said...

Nell:

Thanks for stopping by when you do, and I think you have it right, they should look for an online presence, but really blogging isn't any more important then a website, and so few authors actually have webbys that are presentable. It boggles the mind!

Bernadette Gardner and Jennifer Colgan said...

I don’t even subscribe to the blogs of my favorite authors because I don’t have time to read them. I basically drop by a few Diva blogs every day to see what’s going on and many of the blogs I like to read are by people who are not yet published or who write in genres I don’t often read.

I’m shocked that an agent would make a claim that blogging makes even the slightest bit of difference. It also surprises me that agents who are supposed to be inundated with submissions in addition to hoofing it for their clients would have time to read a multitude of blogs and make a decision about who to represent based on how many subscribers someone has. I’m sure JK Rowling did not have a blog when her first Harry Potter book was contracted [does she even have one now? I suppose she doesn’t need one, does she?]– so a decent agent would certainly not place importance on such an arbitrary factor. Sales, I can understand, but even so – someone published with small press may not have phenomenal sales but may still write phenomenal books. Isn’t it ‘supposed’ to be all about the writing anyway?

I’d rather sign with an agent who’s impressed by good writing, not by how many blog subscribers I have.

Jude Mason said...

Stella, I'm so sorry, we could be sisters. Okay, mom would be spinning now, but I so identify with what you said. I'm older than you and been married for... uh, probably longer than you've been around, but my life is so dull watching grass grow would be an exciting change.

My kids are grown and gone, I see my grandchildren about three times a year, and wimp about that constantly, but I don't put it on my blog. Why would I? I've had publishing issues over the years, editors who make me crazy, others I adore...but will a reader really care? Not likely. I love my husband, have for yonks, but our lives aren't exciting. He's a computer nut too, and he's often out taking pictures, cause he's a photo nerd too. We see each other, we talk, we do couple things...you know, paint walls, wash the car, weed the garden... okay I do the weeding, but you get the drift. It's just dull stuff that everyone does.

Oh, and conventions, there's no way I can go to them. I'm not in the US, so the little I make writing just wouldn't cover it. Stick a $500-$1000 plane ticket onto the rest of what a convention costs and you get that picture. It's just not in the cards for me.

I'm unpopular... sigh. Don't blog enough. Don't get out at all. Crap, I may as well hang up my comp.

Okay, that's not going to happen either.

Hugs
Jude

Susan Hanniford Crowley said...

Love your blog. I think the subscriptions will come in time.

Karen said...

What a great topic, Stella.
I have to say, I don't blog on a regular basis. I'm not going to babble for the sake of filling up a page--boring! As for subscribing to blogs: I usually don't. Too much trouble to remember log-in names and passwords. If I'm interested, I'll bookmark the page to look at it again.

Take Care,

Karen

Michelle said...

The agent's viewpoint is skewed. I read a lot of authors, but don't often visit their sites. There are too many! Likewise, the sites that I DO visit often, I'm not subscribed to. Only recently did I subscribe to 2 blogs; but I visit more, and purchase books for more.

That is very strange advice from an agent. An author's readership isn't judged ONLY by the size of their blog subscribers; it's a good indication of the size of their readership, but it tells nothing about the percentage of people who don't go online or who don't subscribe.

On the flip side: there are some agents who don't blog. At all. Now does that mean they have no clients? Obviously not. Some agents with extensive client lists don't bother blogging online; it's a personal choice and has no reflection on their talent or success in that field.

I'm curious though: did your friend query this agent and receive this "advice" as a result? Or did this assertion come out of the blue?

Michelle Lauren | View my American Title Entry "HOW TO TAME A HARPY"

Stella Price said...

Michelle:

It was at her annual RWA chapter meeting. this Agent threw everyone into chaos because they said that it was a deciding factor, and my friend was one of three people in a chapter of about 20 that DID in fact blog. the rest are techno-illiterate...

So its insane that she would even suggest it....

lainey bancroft said...

I'd sooner invest my time writing than blogging and hunting down blog subscibers.

I know my website takes enough hits that it suprised the hell out of the web dude, and I have had several people email me because I'm not on any of the standard blog servers and apparently it is difficult to subscribe to me. (guess I'm SOL with whoever this agent is)

Much as I want an agent, I wouldn't want one who 'accepted me' based on my merit as a blogger. As mentioned first, if I devoted that much energy to blogging, where would my writing time go?

orelukjp0 said...

Hi Stella,

Once again, you are letting your agent and publisher sell you short. You don't have to be popular. You just have to be good.

I don't subscribe to RSS feeds. I only look at Blogs when I get an email from an author or yahoo group that has a blurb about a blog subject that I would like to read about or comment on. I get around 60 emails a day from authors or group digests. As you know, I talk to whomever I like and don't just talk to "popular people" (although I have found authors to be the nicest people there are).

It might help with popularity to have a group or use your blog and toss out a small comment every one or two weeks but it's more important to work on your stories and write well than chat about nothing everyday.

You have a good following, other authors like you and your works. Don't let your agent get you down. If you want a following, send out a mass email to all your subscribers and we can forward it to others. If all your agent wants is sheer numbers, it can be done but it really means nothing. You are a very good author and should not let them get to you.

Suzette said...

As I reader I just save the blogs I like on my faves and check in to see if anything new is written. I dont always comment and I dont always go for the contest because unfortunately for some, you have to buy the book to know the answer(to something in the book) and I am in a financial crunch like everyone else. Meaning, I dont always buy books. You do a great job in contest and I feel kinda bad that you dont get as many responses as you would like.
I personally think its unfair, this popularity thing. I love your work and if you were blogging everywhere I would wonder when the hell you have time to actually write a book. Plus, Ive met you and know you are always doing promos and doing your best to get your work out there.

If it helps any I will subscribe to your blog because I actually am a fan of your work and I would like to say I did a littel to help the Price Sisters get their name out there.

You ladies just keep writing!

Sarah Kades said...

I'm trying to blog, but I'm still figuring out how to juggle writing w/ the rest of life (kid, hubby, puppy, etc.).
I say good luck! Oh yes, and I need to take the time and figure out all the nifty tools and gadgets of this whole blog thing- like subscribing!

Susan Hanniford Crowley said...

About Blogging:

I was at a sf/f con this weekend, and a small press publisher said that she looks to see that the author has a web presence. This was on a panel about publicizing your book. It was also suggested by another panelist to post the same comments or article to your blog, Facebook, and Live Journal, because not everyone goes to all your web places. The point being is the the author goes into the publishing world as a professional that is web literate.

Stella Price said...

orelukjp0 and Suzette:

thanks so much. its not my agent, hell we are still looking for one, but if this is the kinda craziness we are going to encounter out there.. Im seriously lacking.

Isabelle Santiago said...

Stella, I feel a lot like you do. If I blogged my everyday happenings, I'd bore people to tears. I blog when I have great news, I blog when I have something funny/amusing to share, I blog when I have publishing news or when I read something publishing related somewhere else that I feel is of note. I figure, if you're going to bother stopping by my blog, I may as well have something more useful to say than "I woke up this morning and put on red socks. The floor was cold."

Some people really have a way with their blogs and are so personable it's like talking to them on the phone. I tend to be much more focused on my 'fictional' writing- hence I don't focus too much 'blog voice'. Maybe that's my mistake. But honestly, I love the few people who DO visit my blog and I find that usually, if I get a new person, I'll check them out and return the favor. It's how I learn of new authors and how I network. I save the blogs on my Google Reader but I tend to lurk unless I have something important or useful to say.

I don't think that should determine whether or not I'm eligible for landing an agent. I think the book writing should speak louder than ANY blog. But then again, the industry is changing so who knows?

Great topic.

R.J. said...

Blow off this agent. If what he said was true, then where was my book deal when three years ago I had a political blog that averaged just under 1k hits daily?

Keep doing what you're doing.

Cassandra said...

I don't even know how to feed a blog or subscribe. Hell, I barely know how to use wordpress! lol.

I still am learning as I go, and it's a process.

I don't blog for my readers so much as I blog for myself and my friends who like to keep in touch and catch up on what latest bit of naughty fun I'm doing. Or not doing as the case may be. ::wah:: :P

I would hope an agent would look at more than a blogs popularity when making a business decision, though.

If I can figure out how to do those feed thingies, I'd be honored to subscribe to your blog, sugar.

Hmm, I know there has gotta be a button I am supposed to push.

::oops:: That was apparently not it. drats.

C.C.
::technically-challenged since 1980::

TeresaNoelleRoberts said...

I don't read most of my favorite authors' blogs. I read their books. I read authors' blogs because they're people I know and want to keep up with *waves to fellow Phaze authors, for example* or because the blog itself is a hoot, whether or not the author's writing a genre I'm all that fond of.

So what does that prove? That feeds don't prove all that much!

Gail said...

Wow Stella are you saying I now have to read authors blogs so they can be popular geeze? I honestly don't read blogs much nor do I subscribe or post to them unless it's work related. Why ? Honestly I don't have the time to follow them on a daily basis. I'm an in house editor and there is no way I'd look up an authors blog to see how many hits they had before accepting a manuscript that to me is laughable. Authors should be writing great stories for their readers not worrying about how popular their blog is. Keep doing what your doing your awesome!!!

deb said...

I love the few times you do blog and sometimes I have to just delete the group letters I get because I get so many I can't read them all. Yours is a great change of pace.

Chaeya said...

This irks me really. It sounds like when I go to get gigs at a club and the club owner asks me how many people I can bring. Honestly, if an agent wanted to know if I was already popular I would be turned off because I would feel they were either a primadonna or they were lazy looking to do the least amount of work possible. I like to think an agent likes my stories and is willing to go to bat for me to get me not only published, but to get me known. If they asked me this, I think I would withdraw my request.

I also hear far more people telling me they have more success on their own than with an agent. The world of self-publishing is beginning to look better and better and since I am an independent musical artist as well, I think I could do all right on my own with my book.

Lynn Reynolds said...

Stella, I can soooooo relate to your POV. Every editor, publisher, or marketing genius lately is telling writers they must blog! Good for building a reader fan base, good for selling books, etc. I have a background in PR and haven't seen a single study that really proves any of that is true. But nonetheless, I succumbed and set up a blog a couple of months ago. And already, I feel like it is getting in the way of my "real" writing - books and newspaper and magazine articles.

I think blogs and social networking sites can all be great fun, but as sales tools, I think they have really questionable value when you consider the effort it takes to do a good blog and how much time it takes away from a writer's creative projects. I'm hoping in a few years, agent, editors and other publishing professionals will figure that out.

Maybe we should just post our books chapter by chapter on our blogs! I read a regency romance that someone wrote that way - every couple of weeks she posted the next chapter as her new blog entry. It was kind of a neat idea, and goes back to the days of Charles Dickens, when each chapter of one of his books was published weekly in the newspaper. Of course, he got paid for those chapters - I haven't found a way to get paid for blogging yet!

Susan Hanniford Crowley said...

A publisher I spoke with said that while they don't mind reading samples of people's work, they would not publish anything that's already been published on a blog. They considered it already published.

Scifibookcat said...

Let me share from the perspective of an avid reader (20+ books/week) and bookseller. I think authors are being pushed into spending so much time with blogs, social networks, Yahoo groups and other online time sinks that it's a wonder they have any time to write and that their readers have any time to actually read their books.

I used to read more but since I discovered MySpace and then the Yahoo Groups I don't have as much time to read. Since I'd rather read an author's fiction than their nonfiction, I'd rather see my favorites write one short weekly or monthly blog or newsletter and post the same one to all the different sites than waste time trying to come up with original material for each site.

Don't get me wrong, it's fun to communicate with authors on MySpace or Yahoo Groups and it builds a sense of connection with them, but if I had to choose between frequent contact with them and an extra published book, I'd take the book and that makes more money for them. Quality promotion is smart and should win over quantity for the sake of quantity. Worker smarter, not harder.

Yahoo groups are great and I've discovered many new authors though them. In fact I've purchased about 600 ebooks since I discovered them 18 months ago, from at least 200 new authors (Stella among them), directly as a result of the groups. But I’ve had to put some limits on how much time I devote to them and I think authors should too. I’d rather be reading.