8.05.2005

Blog Blog Blog

Writer's blogs.
Several devoted Snarklings have written to ask if agents, specifically Miss Snark, surf the blogosphere. You bet. In her snark suit. With her snarkboard. Wearing heels. Cowabunga Snarklings.

Hard to tell who people "are" sometimes on a blog.
When you read Beatrice the blog by Ron Hogan are you reading the blog of a book reviewer, writer, reader, or hot shot cigar smoker?

Same for the inestimable Maud who is a writer, reader, reviewer and commentator on the world.

Or Jaimie who is both a writer and a phtographer and all around interesting character.

All sorts of established authors have blogs and I sniff around those periodically.

All sorts of people I don't know have blogs, and I sort of poke around in them.

Do I look for writers by reading their blogs? No
I find writers the old fashioned way: they fall into my mailbox with nice letters.

However, if someone queries me and says "Dearest Miss Snark, I have a blog that gets 1000 unique hits a day" and "my blog is about my writing" of course I'd pay attention.

Miss Snark, for all of her peculiar ways and fondness for gin, knows a marketing bonus when she sees it.

Now, is it a good idea to spend as much time on a blog as it would take to get 1000 unique hits a day?
Probably not. Better to spend it on your actual writing. A good blog with tons of hits won't sell a novel. Good writing will. A good blog might pump up the amount of money you can get for a good novel, but it's not going make a pig surf.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cowabunga? hmmm. maybe Miss Snark is a wee bit older than I thought she was:

from Karl Karbach at Mavens' word of the day:

"Almost any baby boomer will tell you that the first time he or she heard cowabunga (as it is now spelled), it was on the Howdy Doody Show. The program ran from 1947 to 1960; Eddie Kean, the show's main writer until 1954, invented Chief Thunderthud and Princess Summerfall Winterspring as characters. Chief Thunderthud was supposedly the founder of Doodyville, and began sentences with the nonsense syllable kawa. Anything that was good was "kawagoopa"; anything that was bad was "kawabonga." No one really has explained why this word for 'bad' was adopted by surfers in the 1960s (or, for that matter, why the spelling changed). Perhaps they already used the adjective bad to mean 'excellent'--a usage from Black English that became more widespread as jazz became more mainstream. And perhaps, if they wanted to shout something while surfing, "bad" didn't have enough syllables to sound like a really good way to say "killer wave, man."

Can you dig it?

kitty said...

Almost any baby boomer will tell you that the first time he or she heard cowabunga (as it is now spelled), it was on the Howdy Doody Show.

Or any time since! Sorry, anon, but you can't peg a person's age that way.

Miss Snark said...

Two words, Anon: Bart Simpson.

kitty said...

Teenage Mutant Nija Turtles

Anonymous said...

Seriously, dude. You aren't doing yourself any favors trying to suggest Miss Snark is older than you thought originally. Hehe.

Ami said...

Doh!
The fabulous Miss Snark beat me to the punch. I too must chime in with: Bart Simpson.

Now, if she had said "Jinxies"...
then we'd be able to clearly land her somewhere in the Scooby-Doo period. When cartoons were shown on Saturday mornings, (and only Saturday mornings) not 24/7.

By the by...
I included the URL to my blog when I was looking for an agent. Some actually took a peek and had nice things to say. (The agent I eventually signed with was one of them.)

Incidental Pieces

Anonymous said...

well, although i'm sure the Queen Bee Snark is a stunning beauty and an up-and-coming agent with a bright future, I'm not trying to "do myself any favors." It was a joke, not meant seriously. If the Lovely Snarkette was indeed of the generation that actually watched the Original Howdy Doody
(as I did) she'd probably have long given up on those stiletto heels for more sensible shoes and already have made enough dough for that place in the Hamptons.
So, yeah, I get it, she wasn't exactly born in my era--but just remember from whence comes the young Bart Simpson's exclamation.

Jamie said...

I'm constantly using words that are hundreds of years old. In fact, I think I just used a few right now.

Anonymous said...

"As I did."

I was joking, too, hon. Calm down.

Anonymous said...

Hello. Hello. My name is Pinky Lee.

Suzanne said...

Dear Miss Snark,

What do you consider are the elements that make a blog the best promotional tool for a writer in terms of garnering a better single title contract as a result? I attempt to gear my blog toward readers, not writers. I do get a good amount of writer traffic, but I don't often write about writing topics. I write most often about ordinary topics of interest to women my age, moms with children, women juggling all the things going on in their lives, my pets, daily fluff, and I attempt to be entertaining. I avoid "ranty" topics that can turn some people off (and are mostly uninteresting to me anyway as I'm not a political person), and I hold frequent contests and games in the blog. I often feel like a fish swimming upstream in comparison to most writer blogs, but I find generally I'm able to attract readers this way. However, I'm wondering what is the thing that creates this "more money" of which you speak. LOL. Is it Just Traffic, or is it content, and if it's content, what type of content?

And, you know, who are you? Hey, I had to try...... :)

Ron said...

Wait a minute -- who says I can't be all those things, and a dozen others besides? For instance, you left out martini drinker, Scrabble wizard, and bon vivant!

Anonymous said...

Um... 1,000 unique hits is meaningless (hits, visits, unique, page views… oh never mind) just so you know. Maybe you can tell that to the people who are throwing money at the Greek Tragedy lady and that guy with the blog that no one read who wrote something for salon once.

Miss Snark said...

Tell me more about why you say that, if you would please. I'm interested in the reasons. I use this to pitch clients all the time and no one has said this and as you know, it appears to help sell manuscripts.

Tell us more, we're all ears!

Ron said...

1,000 visitors a day is probably useful if you're dealing with a genre writer, with the smaller audience expectations that entails, but I'd be skeptical, too, about whether it's enough in and of itself to sustain a meaningful platform for somebody swimming in more general waters.

The main concern isn't necessarily the size of the blog audience, but the potential conversion rate from blog reader to book buyer--and most guesstimates suggest that it's only in the 1 to 5 percent range.

Miss Snark said...

Wow. 1-5% is the same rate of response to direct mail. I would have a thought a blog would do much better. I know I went to see a movie based solely on the reccomendation of Bookslut, and I read a lot of mysteries that are on Sarah's list.

Maybe I am just ..well..weird.

Rachel said...

YES! Agents surf blogs... even other than those who blog themselves... FYI, fellow snarklings, I received a request for material based on an email I wrote that was posted to a blog! Very interesting...