Thursday, August 10, 2006

blogging and booking

My friend Mark at About.Com broke news Sunday about a new blog venture Holtsbrinck Publishers will launch this fall, but M.J. Rose is getting credit for the scoop after posting a skeptical piece about it this morning.

I think Rose raises some good points. But I don't agree that writers shouldn't blog. I've found it to be real helpful to fend off block. I've also come to believe it can be a good addition to an all around marketing strategy, though I don't think that should ever be the goal of a blog.

I learned that the hard way, I guess.

For a while last year -- right around this time of year, in fact -- I was working the whole blog thing full steam. I was trying to do real reporting. I had a couple of stories I was following and I'd succeeded in boosting my hit count. But I got sick of it real fast, and went back to blogging about whatever the hell I wanted to. Much happier with it now.

I haven't thought or cared about hit counts for the better part of a year.

So then along comes this Holtzbrinck thing, and I've been invited to be one of the venture's beta testers (Holtzbrinck owns FSG). The official launch will be October 1 -- three days before my book's release.

Good timing. I keep lucking out with stuff like this. I've also been asked to participate in a new Author Channel at Bebo.Com that'll also launch on October 1. I'd never heard of Bebo.Com. But this Author Page is going to have ads, so they'll be driving folks to my page, which is apparently some kind of My Space thing. Not sure how many Bebo subscribers buy hardback books. But it can't hurt.

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