The Writer Blog

Ever since I self-published my first novel (click on book cover links to the right for further instructions), I have been encouraged by well-meaning writerly friends of mine to both write and read a writer blog.

Connect up with other writers, they said. Join the community. Get with the program.

So I did that, and here's what I found: writers write about themselves and, mostly, about their books. Writers want you to read their books. Here's a sample of the content on one other writer's site:

  • Where to read about the book
  • Where to buy the paperback
  • Where to read an extract
  • Where to read the e-book
  • Information for bookstores and libraries on how to get the book
  • Trailer for the book
  • Reviews of the book
  • Book bait
  • Audio book preview

Writers' sites are full of advice on how to write.
Writers' sites are all about the writer.
Writers' sites want to sell their book/s.

Now, there is nothing at all wrong with any of the above. I'm a writer too, and I want to sell my books.

But I'm damned if I know how reading their blogs is going to help me sell my book. I'm not certain their blogs help to sell their own. Because, aside from buying and reading the book they are promoting, I rarely see any chance of reading actual writing. Most of the prose on too many writers' sites sounds like those awful Christmas letters sent by some friends and relatives every year, where they inundate you with every single happy little victory they have recently achieved. Victories which you can only counter with having managed to get out of bed most mornings.

But they say advertising sells. So I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to find that they are all outselling me by the tens - perhaps the hundreds. Ok. Probably the thousands.

I believe in The Year of the Crow. For a first novel, it is exactly what I wanted it to be. Could it be better? Probably. But my readers, for the most part, seem quite happy with it. Some are more than happy. Some actually love it. I devote one day a week to reminding people here and there that if they have not yet read it, it might be time to give it a try.

But, if you notice, there is only one tab on this site that references The Year of the Crow. I'm interested in all sorts of stuff, and those other tabs? Those are about other stuff. If I did nothing but promote Crow every day, I'd be bored stiff. And so would any visitors to my site.

My idea of selling a novel is selling potential readers on my writing. So what I have to offer here is actual writing. About stuff that interests me. Ideas that I've had floating around in my head for years. Sometimes I write about writing, like now. Sometimes I tell stories about myself - but for the most part, they wouldn't go over in a Christmas letter. Sometimes I recommend other people's books. Once a week I try to sell my own.

There are some writer blogs I like. Blogs where the writer actually writes. And based on what I read there, I would buy their books. Here are a few I really enjoy:

The Bloggess
Culture, Adventure, Stillness
Frank Delaney
The Rejectionist
and of course
Stephen Fry