Thursday, March 31, 2005

Everyone's blogging, but is anyone reading?

That's partially the question I pose in a Quill & Quire feature in the April issue (just out on newsstands or by subscription, but ironically not available online) in Better Marketing Through Blogs.

Specifically, I talked to a number of Canadian publishers to find out whether they're trying to place reviews and promote their books through blogs. The answer was, not really, not yet.

A handful of small press publishers are interested in the medium, but the larger houses have yet to pick up on the potential. That may change: as I point out, in the United States several bloggers - Maud Newton (http://maudnewton.com/blog/), Moby Lives (http://www.mobylives.com/) and The Elegant Variation (http://marksarvas.blogs.com/elegvar/) - routinely receive review copies.

As well, a number of US bloggers have signed book contracts, including foodie Clotilde Dusoulier for her blog, Chocolate & Zucchini (http://chocolateandzucchini.com/).

The two most prominent Canadian blogs, at least in terms of literature, appear to be Bookninja (http://www.bookninja.com/) and Scribbling Woman (http://www.unbsj.ca/arts/english/jones/mt/), the latter recently named as a top-10 blog by The Guardian of London.

One blog with a ton o' potential, if all goes according to plan (dependent upon the receipt of funding) is a new litblog British Columbia-based online magazine The Tyee (http://www.thetyee.ca/) hopes to launch in April.

Not everyone believes the future of blogging is bright. Rolf Maurer, the publisher of Vancouver's New Star Books, told me, "Salon is always going to be a hundred times more important than even the most influential blog in the world."

32 Comments:

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I expect that not only are people reading, but the right people are reading, and it's shameless self promotion, except that no self promotion is shameless unless you pay a million dollars to do it -- which, by the way, happens all the time.

I met and corresponded with and sent a book to a book review editor who would probably never even thought of reading my book because of his blog. All I had to do was respond intelligently, etc., and there he was.

So, now I can do this again. I'll just find out which national published review editors have blogs and approach them in the same way, but cogent comments. Then, I reel them in. Dig. It's the same old routine.

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