Thursday, March 5, 2009

TMI (or To Blog or not to Blog)

Tip of the Day: Check out this cute book-- TMI by Sara Quigley.

1) A reviewer compares your book to the algae in a dirty fish tank. You
a) Comment on their blog that they wouldn't know a good book if it bit them in the butt.
b) Write it up on your blog linking back to said reviewers blog and start a pity party.
c) E-mail/call close friends or family and complain about the reviewer but do nothing publicly.

So, what's your answer? Me? I think I'm going with C. My first reaction would be to freak out and comment like a crazy person. I'd obviously have to turn off the laptop and walk away. My reaction after I calmed down would be to blog about it and complain. But again, NOT a good move. So, I'd be leaving that laptop off a bit longer while I started calling people for comfort.

I find that I'm constantly questioning myself these days when I blog. Should I say that? Maybe I should but I should lock it? Does this sound obnoxious? Am I giving too many details? Will I get in trouble if I post that? What's TMI when you're a writer? I'm seriously trying to figure this out so jump in with your thoughts any time!

There are some things I've seen online that I've thought-- whoa, TMI. Like,

1) Putting what you were paid for your book out there. Whether you were paid a few thousand or a few million you probably shouldn't put that kind of info out in the world. You most likely wouldn't go up to someone in an office and say hey, guess what my salary is. Right? So don't do it online either.

2) In fact, maybe a writer's blog should be treated a bit like a dinner party and not only should we not talk about money, we shouldn't talk about religion or politics either. I know, you're thinking but this is my personal blog! But I'm thinking yeah, but your readers, teachers, librarians, editors, agents, reviewers and more might be reading your blog. If you are very passionate on one issue and they are very passionate about the opposite do you completely turn them off to your blog? I don't know. I guess this one can be debated. I did see a lot of writers posting policitcal blogs throughout the past election season and nobody seemed to get hurt.

3) When people talk badly about others. Really! I've seen people talk poorly about other authors, agents, editors etc. on their blogs and I'm always surprised. It makes me think, am I the only one with Google Alerts?

4) Or when someone posts that 54 agents have rejected my book now. On one hand, I love to see the process a writer goes through. And if the end of the story is success then GREAT! But on the other hand, if you're still looking for representation is agent #55 going to google you and see his place in line and be turned off? Hmm. Feel free to debate this one.

5) And finally, braggy brag bragerson posts. You know the ones. The kinds where your eyes are rolling so hard as you read you think you're going to pull something. On one hand, the kid lit community is SO supportive and everyone likes to cheer for each other. Good news is welcomed with open arms. But there is a line somewhere. Like, I dunno, maybe the fifth time you go over your SUPER COOL whatever it is, you might start losing people.

Ok, I know there are more things to be aware of. What do you all think about the ones I've listed? What do you consider TMI on writer's blogs?

Kristina, Miss Delighted to Debut

off to ponder whether I should post this or not... :-)


DeenaML said...

LOL! "braggy brag bragerson." Yes, there is a line between that and just posting your good news.

Are you gonna post your cover on our sidebar? :)

Adele said...

I love following publishers efforts to hit the shelves, but yes I fully agree, posting every single rejection smacks of bitter and it is possible to post too much about how great you are. Although I completely understand and support the desire to share excitement and good news.

Kate Fall said...

I never read political posts. If a writer is posting about a political issue, I skip right over it. Politics can so easily trigger righteous anger, defensiveness, generalizations, or smugness, and sometimes I think in our lives online, we run the risk of isolating ourselves into groups of people who think the same. A blog is an open forum, but it's not a great place for dispassionate debate. Let's say someone leaves a comment to blog post disagreeing with its politics. Many times, I see other commenters chime in with "well, if you don't agree with the blog owner, don't comment here." And I don't get that. When I post something publicly, I'm kind of asking people to agree or disagree with me. If I would be personally offended if someone openly disagreed with me, I wouldn't post it on a blog.

Hmmm, maybe I need a blog post where I try to get people to disagree with me. Coming soon: Why you should submit your manuscripts on purple paper!

Lisa Schroeder said...

hahaha - this post made me smile. I will admit I occasionally got caught up in posting a political thing now and then, but I REALLY tried not to go there. As for money and braggy stuff and all the other things you mentioned, I agree. if I post something in the vein of good news, I try not to post anything like that again for awhile. Too much of braggy brag stuff does get old.

I think my friend Lindsey said it best. Blogs are fun to read when they are sort of like essays. You walk away with something - either you learned something, you related to something, you laughed about something, etc. It's hard to do that ALL the time with blog posts, but I think 50% is a good percentage to shoot for.

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