It’s not surprising. My business is online. The various author websites I maintain are online. I write for a major sci-fi/fantasy blog. I might as well be plugged in 24/7. And that’s been since 1996. That’s a long time to be doing something that you don’t love, right?
I saw the marketing potential for the internet 15 years ago, at a time when most people in publishing were unwilling to take a chance. I was okay with that. It allowed me to carve out a niche, a niche that—as I said earlier—I love doing. Now that power has come full circle: individuals like myself helped the marketing, then publishers took it over for a while, and now with bottom lines shrinking writers are having to take most of the reins once more to help drive their own interests.
Thankfully the technology is available. Being in this business for 15 years, I’ve seen such an accelerated growth of powerful applications, blogging software, and social media that an individual can embrace it if they wish.
Some have. Some fight it.
Not surprising, really.
Online author presences have good and bad associated with them too. Guy Gavriel Kay makes some interesting points in his 2009 article. In the piece, Kay points out that many of the angry people that worry over lateness of books are driven by author online updates that have nothing to do with the late book. Makes sense I suppose.
Then you got the flip side. Those writers who have strong online presences and yet turn their books in on time seem to benefit the most, the online marketing driving sales.
Now it comes to Terry Brooks.
Terry came early to the web thanks to my efforts but late to actual blogging. Late to actual blogging—as in today. That’s right, today he sent me his first blog, which I’ve posted below. Next week when I visit his Oregon coast home I’ll teach him how to use WordPress. Should be fun. But he understands the power of blogging and maintaining a direct online presence and he’s jumped onboard fully.
Why now? The funny thing is it has nothing to do with me. He plans on publishing several extremely special projects to him in the next few years and he really wants them to get maximum exposure. He also thinks it is time to give the fans more than the Ask Terry they’ve been getting for 11 years. I agree with him. What better way than to have the author directing some of his energy toward his fans, who exponentially direct that energy right back.
Here is the first blog:
The Reluctant Blogger
Really, that’s exactly what I am. I don’t like blogs. I don’t read other people’s blogs. Mostly, I don’t even want to know what other people are thinking because it just embarrasses me. But my publisher and my faithful web druid Shawn both say I should do a blog. Readers like them, they insist. Even my kids say I should blog, mostly because they do. What they don’t get is that I have spent sixty odd years of my life learning not to do many of the things they think I should do.
My publisher, on the other hand, pays the bills. Shawn probably has ulterior motives he is not revealing, but mostly his advice is good. So, here I am, blogging. Not every day, mind you – just when I feel like it. Those of you lusting for regular, meaningful content in your lives will have to find it elsewhere. But frequently I will log in with something mundane, boring and ultimately of no practical use in your lives.
Except, just because I am the way I am, every now and then I will throw in something revealing about my books – maybe even give something away just to see if you are paying attention.
Just often enough to keep you checking in. Now that you know my blogging plans, feel free to ignore me.
So there you have it. An author who has been writing for 45 years and publishing for 35 taking a technological step to be closer to his fans. I think the snark is great and Terry will be a wonderful addition to the blogosphere.
Can’t wait for more!