In Which Booksquare Is Interviewed

August 22nd, 2006 · No Comments
by Booksquare

So it’s like the slowest week in the history of the world — and we can’t find a thing to inspire us. Thus, we turn, well, to us. Yeah, well, you try to find inspiration on a Tuesday morning in August. Not so easy, is it?

We’re heading up to Yosemite for the annual Yosemite Writer’s Conference this coming weekend. We’ll be speaking on various aspects of blogging and online promotion. As we mentally prepared to Talk To People, we got to thinking about character blogs — you know them, and either love or loathe them. We were thinking so hard on the topic, we anticipated answering a question that has not been asked (of us). So here goes:

BS: How do I feel about character blogs? Mixed, very mixed. Let me start by saying that they are, in theory, clever ideas. As we all know, ideas really show their strength in the execution. And that’s why most character blogs turn me off — they end up being about the writer trying to show off. This is often quite a bit lamer than it needs to be.

The first question you need to ask yourself is “would this character blog?” If your answer is in the affirmative, then ask yourself “how?”

How is a key question — and completely speaks to character. Look at the blogging world. Some people (many people!) proudly name their blogs after themselves. Others hide behind clever titles and secret identities*. Some discuss the gory details of their personal lives; others talk about more lofty ideals.

You get the picture — it’s not just that your character might have a blog, it’s how your character blogs.

Now, in my opinion (and I am always right), the worst thing that can happen to a character blog is author intrusion. I know, I know, you’re trying to promote yourself via your character. Stop it! This is not about you, this is about your character. If you do a good job in creating an online identity for your character, fame and riches will follow. Probably because you’ve won the lottery, but that’s another issue. Don’t undermine your carefully constructed alternative reality to introduce the book’s author into the mix. Would you inject yourself into your story?

Fine, okay, sometimes that happens very effectively. But not often enough to break the rule on a blog.

There is a lot of noise out there on the Internet, and your goal is to break through and reach potential readers. In some cases, a character blog might do the the trick (also, posing naked in front of the Washington Monument, but that might backfire on you). In other cases, you might be doing more harm than you realize because you settled on a clever idea without carefully considering the execution. Do not be the kind of person I make fun of!

* – For those who thought “Miss” was her real first name, sorry.

That’s us. Why answer a question in two words when you can go on for paragraphs with footnotes?

[tags]writing, publishing, blogs, marketing, promotion[/tags]

File Under: Marketing For Introverts