Here is a wee sample from the days when I hoped establishing an “internet presence” might be helpful…
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Earlier this week I saw my first golden crocuses and dainty snowdrops and ran home to rake up the leaf mulch in an ecstasy of anticipation. Two days later it snowed. Not a dainty, lace-doilies-floating-down-on-a-zephyr kind of snow, but an aspiring blizzard. I replaced the rake with a shovel.
It’s important to have the right tools for the job, whatever the job is. But what kind of a job is a blog, I wonder?
I began writing this back when my first novel was coming out, because I was assured by those in the know that I needed “an Internet presence.” Then I made myself a web-site, for the same reason. Was the blog thereby rendered redundant? Not really, because the website is a kind of central clearing house of SG-related data, whereas the blog purported to be more immediate: a kind of diary of idiosyncratic ramblings intended to create a personal relationship with potential readers so that they would like me and want to (ahem) buy my books. Because let’s be honest, I am a writer.
However, even though maintaining this blog is a kind of writing, it is not the kind I prefer to do, and takes me away from my real work — even if all that real work consists of is wrestling with commas or doing arcane and ultimately irrelevant research. In addition, I like you, whoever you are, but I don’t even know you! And if I don’t have enough time to visit my real friends, why should I spend it flirting with strangers in cyber-space?
Because that is how you cultivate readers, according to My Agent — and everybody else’s. Because if you can’t find SUSAN GLICKMAN in flashing disco lights when you are aimlessly trolling the net to avoid doing your taxes (which you should be doing, right about now, by the way) then you won’t remember my name the next time you have to suggest a book for your book club to read, or buy a present for your mother-in-law’s birthday, or borrow something from the library to read whilst working out at the gym. Or so the thinking goes.
I would really like to know if anybody ever DOES beg borrow or buy a book because they read someone’s blog and thought the font that person chose was dead sexy. Am I wasting my time here? Can I go back to hunting for errant commas? Or should I try to be wittier, smarter, altogether more appealing and hope that I can seduce someone into giving my books a read?