Thursday, August 4, 2005

Various link sluttage

Charlene has a brilliant post over at RTB on rewriting to give your work more ooomph.

And an earlier post dealt with the subject of effective blogs. One thing that was mentioned negatively was blogs that do too much promo ("heavy book pimping"). I really don't like the blog groups that have popped up lately, where you hit three or four blogs, all with the same prepackaged information about a book. (I think they're particularly ineffective when an author has a blog solely for this purpose and rarely does her own posts.) It's one thing if an author I like reads a book and spontaneously says, "Hey, this is a great book!", and it's another thing if she simply posts the cover and a blurb at the same time several other blogs do. I find the latter ineffective at best and downright annoying at worst.

What do you think? Has seeing the same information posted on several sites ever influenced your decision to buy a book?

Also interesting... Cynthia Harrison writes about a presentation at RWA, "Kate Duffy was pretty funny. Blunt and honest. I like that in an editor. The question was: Should I get an agent or a publisher first? Duffy alone said that without a publisher you won't get a good agent. Period."

Ow. A grim thought. But then on PBW's blog Miriam Kriss counters, "I sold someone out of the slush pile last week to a major publisher and I'd like to think I'm more than decent. Any agent will take you on when there's money on the table, but only an agent who will really fight for you will take you on out of the slush."

And I know of some authors who've gotten a very good agent first, so it does happen. But not, I fear, as often as it used to...


  1. Yeah, the promo things bug me when I see the exact same thing on everybody's blogs. I don't mind promo if you've READ the book, but otherwise, I don't really want to hear it. It is more interesting when different interview questions are used on different blogs--but the promo definitely carries more impact for me if I know you've read the book and can truly recommend it.

  2. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way about the blog promo groups. Like you, I find it especially irritating when the blogger posts very little else besides the promo.

    I've gotten to the point where I just skim over these posts. I never know whether the blogger has actually read the book or not. If so, they would get so much more mileage by doing a review rather than by posting something that is obviously a standard post.


  3. as far as plugging books i think it's entirely appropriate for an author to plug his or her own on his or her own blog (within reason of course but still hey it's their blog), but what i as a reader HATE is when authors so obviously plug all their friends' books. i've already dropped 2 authors off my shopping list because whenever they were blogging they were hard-selling their friend's latest release and they didn't even try to hide the fact that they're friends and socialize with this people. come on it's so fake and i just think it totally disrespects the reader. i like to sing but hypothetically if i had a record deal that doesn't mean i'd try to get my fans to buy all my friends' cd's promising them that they're all "soo fresh and fun!" or "smart and sassy!" or whatever other tripe pops up constantly. jmho it's no offense to you of course because you don't do this and in fact your blog is very frank and a breath of fresh air, i'll tell you.

  4. Hey, thanks for calling my article brilliant!

    I don't like the canned promos, either. I like to hear somebody's genuine opinion, not a copy and paste.


  5. Well, Anon, I've been known to post about books by authors I know, but only if I read and liked the books. But I've also posted about books by people I don't know at all. Like Charlene, it's the "canned promos" I don't like, especially when the blogger doesn't do much else with her blog.

  6. I totally agre with you, Ellen. A few months back, promised an author I'd let her "guest blog" the week her book came out, but when the time came, she merely emailed me her blog and asked me to post it. Imagine my dismay when I found out that she'd written the EXACT SAME POST for about ten other blogs. I thought at least if she was doing a virtual "blog tour" she'd be talking about slightly different things on each blog. After all, do actors say the same thing on Oprah that they do for Leno?

    That was it for me. No more blog tours unless the person involved wants to do sosmething really specific and special for my blog. I skipped over all those other posts, and now skim blog tours to see if there's anyhting "new."

    On the other hand, I don't mind stumping for an author friend if I do like their book. When I review, I always indicate whether or not I'm familiar with the author.

    Finally, on the subject of agents, I think Kate Duffy is 100% wrong about that. I had several offers from top agencies before I sold my book and I know several other authors that she edits that are the same way.

    In addition, I have a sneaking suspicion that Miriam Kriss has a different definition of "slush pile" than the rest of the world. I heard her refer to a well-known published author of novellas who ran a popular industry website as a "slush submission" last year.

  7. If you mean Jesse Petersen, yeah, I did consider her a slush pile submission because she hadn't been previously published by a mainstream press (though I love her small press stuff) and her submission was unsoliciated. It raises an interesting question though: "What is slush?" However, the author I was talking about on PBW's blog would be slush under any definition because she hadn't been published before and her submission was unsolicated. I'm very pleased that after many years of submitting and trying she'll have a book out next year.