Last week I told Matthew, the person who looks after online publicity at Faber, that I wanted to start a blog about this book I have just finished called The Secret Life of France. Having very little experience of the online community I asked for his advice.
This was his answer:
‘Do not, whatever you do, give the impression that this blog is a marketing tool to sell your book. British bloggers are ruthless when it comes to self-promoters.’
And then he went on to tell me about flaming.
Who is he kidding, I ask myself?
Of course the raison d’etre for any blog built around a book you’ve written is going to be about self-promotion. I’m doing this because I want to attract readers. I’m fed up with writing books that no one bloody reads.
So shoot me.
Thank you, cfr, for your encouragement and for sharing your hard-won blogging secrets. I am still so green when it comes to all this stuff that I find myself standing on the edge of this new frontier, without a clue of how to move forward. All this to say that I still haven’t got the hang of hit-whoring, or even posting comments, having just worked out what an RSS feed is, but I’ll get there. With the help of people like yourself. Thanks again and I shall now go and read both Roger Morris and itsacrime.typepad.com.
Lucy, I found this site via an email from Alex at Faber (and I have asked for a copy of your book, even though I normally write about crime fiction). I think your topic will get you lots of hits and I wish you all the best.
The sort of flaming that annoys bloggers – and believe me, this one still holds – is when bloggers leave masses of often irrelevant comments on posts on blogs, just to get their blogs/books identified. This is also known as BSP, blatant self-promotion.
Having a blog to promote a book is no bad thing. Your fellow author at Faber – Roger Morris – made it clear from the start what his purpose was with “Roger’s Plog”, a mix of “plug” and “blog”. As for building hits, here are some of the “funnies” I’ve experienced in surges:
1. Mention David Tennant, especially when a change of Dr Who is announced. (More than doubled my hits for the day it was posted.)
2. At midnight, discover that the most read page for The Times is about sales of luxury sex goods. Post about it. (57 hits within one hour between midnight and 1am on a Sunday morning.)
3. Go see Ken Stott in Miller’s A View from the Bridge. Post about it and mention an young actor you’ve not heard of: Harry Lloyd. Seems he has a big fan base and a number of dedicated forums on line. (Result: a spike in hits for a whole week.)
As I said, I normally write about crime fiction…
Rest assured that flaming is old old hat – it goes back to the days when there were more people online with time on their hands (and mischief in mind) than decent content to react to.
The opposite is true now. The thing to fear is irrelevance – not an issue here I hasten to add. Anyone so honest cannot be that.