Blast from the Past for Writers: Myths About Blogging and Freeity

The Cart Before the Horse

Or, why I’m writing this:

Yes, it’s a bit of a stew.

One of the topics touched upon by van Gelder and Scalzi involve what it takes to make providing free online fiction work, and how marketing at various publishing houses have been a bit clueless about it with respect to new authors, in that they think this will garner instant accolades and eyes.

The problem is that this doesn’t work when said author has no audience. Even before Agent to the Stars and Old Man’s War were put online for free, Scalzi was already building up an audience of readers—and a large body of non-fiction work as well. I’d say the same for Stross and very much for Doctorow. But conversely, that’s when it does work.

Something I Don’t Talk About Anymore

Dirty secret time.

I used to study blogging. Not so much about the art of blogging, but the art of blogging that sells; in other words, online marketing and brand-building. This used to get me some serious amount of hits, a lot of Stumbles, and so on. (Moving to SF/F really tanked that, which should tell you something depressing.)

But this is not something I want to talk about in writer circles ever again, because people suddenly get these weird ideas about online marketing.

Rather than bore you with a summary of some of the discussions I’ve had about this, here are some posts I’ve written in the past, that may be of interest to you, dear writer who wishes to speed your fame through teh Intertubes.

Back to the Past

In Four Little Words

Build an audience first.