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Everybody’s Got An Agenda: Self-Promotion and the Blogosphere

April 13, 2010

Because I’ve been gone or will be gone every weekend in April, I’ve been falling behind on my posts+tweets, which means I’ve been falling behind on self-promotion and any chance I have to become a successful author.

Right?

Sure, I love blogging and reading fellow bloggers, but sometimes I feel the blogosphere is starting to get a little too calculated, and a little less personal. We feel guilty when we disconnect from the internet not because we’re missing out on what our bookish friends are doing, but because we’re missing out on promotion, potential readers, i.e., potential sales for potential books. Michelle Zink said this best:

“So what’s changed? Well, it’s all changed. What was once subtle promotion mixed in with meaningful interaction is now 24/7 promotion. What were once authentic friendships based on a shared love of great books is now often a professional leg-up disguised as “real” friendship. What was once a generous, caring community of book lovers can now seem more like a high school cafeteria, and for realz, you guys, I didn’t like high school all that much the first time around. I’d just as soon pass on reliving it.”

I’m starting to doubt whether anything I do is authentic anymore. Whether the superficial (are they superficial?) ties I’ve made and everyone makes actually mean anything. Which isn’t to say that all bloggers are conniving twerps out to steal your money, or that any sane person could spend 2hours blogging tweeting facebooking and commenting (read that someone spends this much time in a post today) and not actively enjoy it, but sometimes I think we’re all too invested in the business of writing, too focused on getting page hits, book sales, that we’re beginning to become the statistics we covet.

What do you think? Are we succumbing to the corporate monster? Are our lives consumed by self-promotion and so there’s no way out, or is there a justification? Does 1am in the morning on a school night just lead to these sorts of crazy notions, or are we simply more honest with no sleep and post-Twitter adrenaline? You tell me.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. michellezinkbooks permalink
    April 13, 2010 7:47 am

    Hi, Susana! I find the ongoing discussion about the blogosphere fascinating. It’s not that I think the blogosphere is all bad. It’s more that I feel like it might be time for a “gut check”. Time to re-evaluate what we hope to gain from our interaction there, what it’s fair to expect, and if pretending to be “friends” with someone online in the hopes that they can do something for you and/or your work is any different from what we call it in real life – using people.

    My comments on this subject always have to come with the caveat that I truly value the interaction I have with readers and other writers online. I just think that at some point – as a good friend of mine once said – it has to be about the writing. Yes?

    MZ

    • April 13, 2010 9:33 am

      absolutely is has to be about the writing! There will always be people out there who want to pretend to care about you or be friends with you in order to get something, so this shouldn’t be a surprise, but yeah, I think a “gut check” is in order.

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