9.03.2005

When to mention you're a blogger


Something I've been wondering about -- and I don't think you've addressed before -- is at what point a weblog should be mentioned in a query letter to agents. A few weeks ago, you suggested that it would require a pretty large regular audience to impact the money offered to
an author, but might a more moderate audience still help sell the book? For instance, 1000 or so visitors a day instead of 30,000. Is that something you would care about as an agent, or would it just sound desperate in a query?



Wild ass claims make you sound desperate, not the fact that you blog. ("My blog has 1000 eager readers all waiting with bated breath for my fabu novel").

You might want to make sure your blog isn't just majorly sucky before you start directing agents to it as well.

I read Sarah Weinman's blog religiously. One of the things I notice is that published writers I know are reading it and commenting on it too.

I read Maud Newton religiously. One of the things I notice is that her blog isn't just about her..she's a fully developed, and interesting person.

I read Rake's Progress religiously. He's as funny as they come. Victor Gischler is too (get the link from Sarah's blogroll, you have to earn this one).

If you're going to use your blog as part of your presentation portfolio, it's going to have to be more than just ranting about your bellybutton lint problems (which is not directed at this snarkling personally since it's an anon question with no attached blog so quit gasping and reaching for your poison pen to write snarkly comments).

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I like Jennifer Weiner's blog. :)

--john-- said...

3 must read blogs: Miss Snark. But we already know that. Which puts us miles ahead of those who don't.

Sarah Weinman, Confessions Of An Idiosyncratic Mind--It has almost become the DAILY VARIETY for those who are interested in the reading/writing/publishing biz.

Lee Goldberg, A Writers Life.--Lee is a screenwriter and an author. He's highly opinionated, has zero tolerance for people from the flat-earth-society and offers priceless insights on all facets of writing/entertainment. He also has a blog roll that provides links to some of the most popular and talented M/T authors in the country.

Hope I ain't overstepping by tossing all this in, but in case I am; "Would you like Tanqueray with that stuffed parrot?"
--john--

Frankie said...

1,000 a day? Oh, come on. If you're getting this kind of blog traffic, I wanna buy your secrets.

MS, I've been wondering about this topic. Do agents frown on excerpts of as-yet-unpubbed work on blogs? If the goal is to build an audience, occasional excerpts seem like a good idea. Yes? No?

Maybe your next critique round could be blogs -- what might help build audience vs. what is just plain dumb marketing. You could start with mine. Labrats R Us and all.

Actually, I'd just really like to know if I'm on the right track.

Miss Snark said...

This blog is running 1100 hits a day right now. And I'm small potatoes compared to Sarah, Ron Hogan over at Beatrice and the big guns at Art Journal, and Media Bistro.

I don't think there IS a secret. Maybe commenters will tell us why they are here, and from that we'll extrapolate. Why are you here?

Anonymous said...

My favorite stops: Miss Snark's (but of course!), Agent Obscura, Cynthia Lord, and Jo Knowles (LJ).

I wouldn't want anyone to look at my blog, it's mostly a belly lint rant, though my lint is a fully loomed miniature, analogously-colored sweater. Winter's coming.

Bernita said...

Why?
Very simple.
Honest answers.
The patient answers to questions we wonder about but don't know how and where to ask.The critiques are a big draw as a sub-text to this, of course.Even the comments themselves sometimes have useful information and amplification.

Second, the sheer fun of gin pails, George,stiletto heels, etc.

Anonymous said...

I'm here because your blog is witty and informative. And you talk about George Clooney a lot. *sigh*

kitty said...

"If you build it they will come" may work in baseball but not blogs. Blogs must offer what the readers want. What Miss Snark has going for her is
1) she's a literary agent
2) she pulls no punches with her advice
3) she responds fairly quickly
4) she's funny and considerate
5) and she's given us several opportunities for feedback on our writing.

In other words, Miss Snark is filling a need with her services. It appears as though she's gotten in on the ground floor, too.

There are lots of how-to blogging pieces on generating hits. My one suggestion (for what it's worth): Express your opinions succinctly; don't bore readers with a lot of blather. Just like a Hallmark card, there's nothing worse than a lot of words to read.

Anonymous said...

Tinglealley.com
shaken&stirred
justinelarbalestier
scalzi.com/whatever

Bill Peschel said...

Kitty's answer is mine as well. The only regret is that I'll only submit my work to the pseudoanynmous Snark purely by chance. Of course, she may not share that regret.

What I find interesting is how few truly interesting blogs there are out there. I used to troll regularly through Salon's blog and Weblogs for interesting essays, and there were long stretches of dullness before coming upon Real Life Preacher, Stephen Den Beste, Agent 007 or a Scalzi.

kevin said...

Yeah, I would have to agree with kitty and say that the reason people visit blogs is the reason people read anything. I read this site because I am interested in the topic and I enjoy Miss Snark's voice.

And I don't think 1000 hits a day is that many, honestly. My blog has been doing a bit more than that for about two years now, with significant increases at predictable moments (I write for a primarily political blog, so elections, court fights, etc attend to attract traffic). In fact, since I don't write non-fiction political tomes, I doubt that I would mention the blog in a query letter.

The only other thing that I have noticed that tends to get blogs read is regular posting. If you can write consistently interesting things about a topic people are interested in and do so on a regular schedule, then I think you have a good start on building an audience.

Jimmy said...

Look, this is all well and good, but I've got some serious lint.