Saturday, December 8, 2007

Links and Blog Posts

The Rejecter has this to say:

Writers who plug your blog: Don't do it. First of all, I know you're doing it so that I (or other industry people who read this blog) might wander their, discover your genius, and email you with a 5-figure offer based on the novel excerpt you have up. Or worse, you're plugging your self-published book that needs sales beyond your friends and family. Well, we all know what you're doing, so stop it. Second, it looks really tacky. (

Who is the Rejecter? She claims to be an Assistant Literary Agent. I have no way to either confirm or deny her claim, but that doesn't matter. She does have a blog and so she does have an opinion about the posts that people make to blogs and she does bring up an interesting subject.

For my part, I never post links to other people's blogs in hopes that someone will notice my work and offer me a five-figure offer. If I am going to have an unrealistic dream, I might as well make it six or seven figures. She goes on to say that she is talking about people who sign their posts with a link. Now making statements like "see my new book by visiting this link" can be irritating, but I think that the Rejector is wrong to assume that everyone who tags their blog comments with a link is doing so for the sole purpose of getting noticed by someone like her.

There are people who participate in blogs just for the social interaction, but let's ignore those and consider people who are doing so to sell books. The chances of an industry professional paying attention because of a link are about like those of winning the lottery, so it is unlikely that people are pinning their hopes on that. The chances of a person buying a book after the author posts a comment that says, “read my book” are greater, but links from blogs serve another purpose. Posting comments with links is a way of building a name. We don’t really know people on the web. For example, I don’t know who the Rejector is. She knows more about me than I know about her. But if I began to see comments that tied back to her blog then I could form an opinion based on those comments. Some people begin to develop a friendship through interaction on blogs. The links help to identify who these people are. When friendships develop, even if these friends do not buy a book, or make an offer on a manuscript, they may be more willing to help in a way that is mutually beneficial to both.