Going to the Dogs Again

So, now that I got those annoying automated links (to posts completely unrelated to the subject 😮 ) taken from the comment box, I feel it’s safe to use my dog metaphor again. And yes, I am switching back to the promotion topic. Sorry if it’s unsettling to be jumping from one subject to the other. Honestly, this is not usually the way my mind works. I’m usually the blogger who, for example, perseveres and writes a 35-part discussion on theme. But as it turns out, right now I have nothing new to add to the discussion about disappointment with God and I do have a comment or two to bring up about promotion.

If you recall, I used the barking dogs in my neighborhood as examples for how easy it is to tune out repetitive, albeit it insistent, clamor. Dogs yap, yip, and yammer, and I ignore, ignore, ignore. Until a bunch of them all join in together.

Even a united chorus might not move me to action, however. If I hear the bunch near the backyard all barking their usual refrain and I also hear the cheery voices of the school children calling to one another, I know the dogs are reacting to a routine stimulus. I need not investigate. There is nothing out of place or different or worrisome. If anything, I might get up and shut my window, should the barking go on too long.

But there comes a time … in the middle of the night, for example, or when all else is quiet or when the tone of the dogs is different or when there is no apparent reason, that I pay attention to the group uproar. I might get up and turn on the porch light, look out the window, even venture out with a flashlight (probably not!)

I suspect the analogy is clear. One thing that can separate an author’s voice promoting his book from all the other ads, announcements, notices, commercials, infomercials, promotions, endorsements, blurbs, write-ups, posters, leaflets, pamphlets, flyers, fact sheets, circulars, bulletins, brochures, signs, reviews, blog posts, and press releases readers are bombarded with is a united group speaking out about the book.

But notice, if the reason for their speaking out is predictable—alas, like a blog tour—the stir those many voices cause might still be ignored or even dismissed. The united front must come organically, as a result of a real reason, not a manufactured one.

I don’t know if that’s actually possible apart from some sort of media stir which an author doesn’t control. And of course, no media stir happens without a cause. So what will cause a media stir?

I’ll save that question for another time. Let me close with this. A blog tour that mimics organic discussion will be the most useful. Organic discussion, as I’m using the term, is a blogger writing about a book because that’s the topic he/she wishes to discuss. Bloggers participating in a tour should write about whatever they want to discuss during a tour, in order to mimic that kind of organic discussion.

Agree? Disagree? Other thoughts on creating a united front?

Published in: on April 30, 2008 at 11:46 am  Comments (5)  
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  1. YES! I agree with the organic discussion deal. If we are all writing a book because we’ve interacted with the book and either hated it or loved it or fallen somewhere in between, that will mean more than if we are all posting publicist provided interviews and excerpts about a book we’ve never read.

    I buy books when someone I trust reviews them.

    So a blog tour will get some buzz going and I’ll click over to see what everyone is talking about. If several bloggers in a row tell me in their own words the book was great, I’ll buy the book. If they all say, “I’ve not read this, but I plan to,” it doesn’t do much for me.


  2. I write reviews of books that I think are worth reviewing, contrary to Mark Bertrand’s instruction 😉 , but I think to truly impact those who want a real opinion of a book, you need to feel strongly enough about it to communicate what it was that made you want to write about it.

    I don’t read reviews until after I’ve read a book. That’s because I don’t want TMI. Ruins it for me. But I will read blurbs to establish whether or not the book is going to become a TBR novel.

    So, tell me, ladies and gents, how do you want a book to be promoted by an author?


  3. I pay attention to reviews. However, I may skip any spoilers (what’s a TMI, Nicole?) and merely glance at the summary. If the reviewer is someone I respect, I care most for the bottom-line recommendation. If the reviewer is someone I don’t know (well) or disagree with often, then I give a closer read to the “why I opinionate the way I do” part of the review. 😉

    The more I think about this topic, the more I realize that true buzz depends on community, community, community.

    More on this in another post, perhaps.



  4. Too Much Information. 🙂


  5. […] this little trot down Memory Trail? I mentioned in my last promotion post, Going to the Dogs Again, that an author’s best bet in promoting through online sources is through “organic […]


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