Sunday, January 02, 2005

On Blogging

Hi Guys!

Bloggers are Newsweek's People of the Year. Which leads to a discussion of what exactly makes a good "blog?" Are they merely computer journals for people with no sense of privacy, a medium for transmitting information, a creative outlet, or some combination of all of the above. In another site my co-author discussed blogs as a marketing tool, emphasizing how they need to be polished and well-written, etc. That's not (obviously) how I look at them. My take is more of a "getting to know you" with the folks who are here because they (hopefully) liked the book(s) enough to want to go a little deeper and maybe see how the process works for Cathy and I. Reading it (once you wade through the personal stuff) is also a good way to get a glimpse of where we hope to go with the books, etc.

My goals for this blog is to be honest, not too boring, and get to know potential fans. I'm particularly interested in getting a chance to "converse" with folks from all over the world that I wouldn't probably get to otherwise. So far, it seems to be working. (Well, at least the honest and getting to know you parts. The boring is up for debate :) )

So, I will continue to blog as I have been. Folks will stop by (or not), comment (or not), and if it works as a marketing tool -- cool. If not, c'est la vie. Because, while I want to sell books (lots and lots and LOTS of books ;) ) I also want the chance to get to know our readers and see what kinds of comments they make about what they like and dislike about the books.

Now, do I think the fans have the right to direct where the books go? Not really. But if you intend to sell books you need to keep an eye on the direction you're going. If you're just writing for art's sake, then don't. (But don't complain about the books not selling either). In my (not so humble) opinion authors need this weird combination of people around them. (1) Cheerleaders who will be back there going "Go Cie Go! Write Cie Write! Win Cie Win!" with pom poms waving; and (2) Honest critics who will stand up to you and go: "ANNH (buzzer noise). Nope. Doesn't work because...." (completely out of character, or whatever). Because if all you have is cheerleaders, nobody is telling you when there's a problem. But if all you hear is what the problems are, you get discouraged.

One of my favorite authors had really seriously kick ass books for a long time. The last few, not so much. Problem is he/she's gotten hugely popular. So now nobody is standing up and going: "Excuse me, you've made your hero(heroine) too powerful and Godlike. He/she is practically invincible. That just about eliminates any and all tension because there's no possibility that he/she is going to lose or that anybody he/she cares about is going to get much more than a scratch let alone die." No risk/No tension. No tension = weak plot. Weak plot = unhappy readers.

Now nobody wants to HEAR you say that kind of thing. But as a writer, you need to.

Which is why I'm so lucky to have a really critical co-author. And why I'm a really critical pain in the butt of a co-author. Sometimes it causes... shall we say... VIGOROUS discussions. But the writing is better for it. So, while she probably won't read this rambling excuse of a blog (that really doesn't much serve any marketing purpose), I am taking this opportunity to say:




Anonymous said...

Ah, but you're *wrong*, o critical co-author! (Thanks, by the way!)

I DO read blogs. But you have to understand that while this blog contains (mostly) your "getting to know you" comments, it's also technically proficient, so that readers enjoy the read. Compare that to:

"so i decided was going to the store cause i got a gift card for xmas, but i didn't know what i wanted to by, so me and tammy just looked arond for a wile and then left."

THIS is what I mean about the marketing aspect. What would an editor or agent think if they saw THAT post? Would it sell your next book? :D


Yolanda Sfetsos said...

Hey Cie!

Sorry I didn't get a chance to respond yesterday. I didn't check the internet out... I enjoyed your 'blogging' post.

It's true that a blog can serve many different purposes, and I believe that it brings the reader closer to the writer and vice versa. Personally, I love to hear about the behind-the-scenes stuff. The process that a writer goes through to write the first draft of a book etc. But I also enjoy being able to post replies and give feedback about books.

So, Cie, keep on blogging. I love to read it every day!

C. T. Adams said...

Hi Annette! I'm so glad you've popped by. I hope you really enjoy our book. I'm a big LKH fan myself. In fact, she gave us major help in getting started. I hope you'll come by regularly so that I can keep in touch with you the way I do Yolanda and Jim!