Thursday, February 12, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Author Blogs

From today's Booking Through Thursday:

Do you read any author’s blogs? If so, are you looking for information on their next project? On the author personally? Something else?

I do read author blogs, many of which are listed in the sidebar.

My posts on this blog are reflective of what I enjoy seeing on other authors' blogs. Since I mostly read historical fiction, I like reading history-related posts, particularly about people and events with which I'm not familiar. I also like reading book reviews, author interviews, excerpts, humorous pieces, rants, and thoughts about the publishing industry. Some well-traveled authors post photographs, which are always a pleasure to see.

I'm not keen on blogs where authors post mostly about their writing-related accomplishments--favorable reviews, awards won, new contracts, etc. It's the type of information that is fine on a website, but on a blog, it's frankly a little boring, at least when it's the blog's main content. An occasional announcement or an update, such as when a book's due to be released, is a different matter, of course.

Blogs focusing primarily on the creative process don't have much appeal to me either. If I didn't write myself, I might find them of more interest, but most of the time, it occurs to me that the author's time might have been better spent writing instead of writing about writing. But I know these are of great interest to some--they just don't pique mine.

Finally, some authors post mainly about their personal lives. Probably because I'm of a rather reticent nature myself, I find this off-putting and somewhat narcissistic. (It also strikes me as unwise--is it all that safe to let complete strangers know that you're going into the hospital, and why, or that you're quarreling with your lover, or that you're experiencing financial difficulties?) But these diary-like blogs must have some appeal--no doubt some readers like the idea of being privy to the sorts of things that many people would share only with those closest to them. For me, though, it's just Too Much Information.

7 comments:

Bluestocking said...

LOL!! I think authors have to have balance in their blogging.

Authors Talking

Joseph said...

Susan, I find it interesting that you don't like author blogs that discuss their writing process. As an aspiring writer, like everybody else, I am always curious about an author's process, famous or not. Perhaps this comes from my actual profession as a computer programmer where the process of writing code actually gets almost as much attention as the code itself. But, I do agree with you about author blogs that just seem be mostly a marketing tool for selling books instead of providing valuable content to me as the reader.

Susan Higginbotham said...

Bluestocking, agreed!

Joseph, maybe because I read so many writing magazines when I was younger, I just don't have much interest in hearing about the writing process now--but I understand that it's fascinating to many. I do find occasional posts in that vein interesting--just not a steady diet of it.

Meghan said...

I'm not usually too interested in hearing about the writing process either. After I realized that I couldn't write fiction and stopped wanting to be an author, I lost interest. I usually enjoy thoughtful, clever posts of the type you describe. I don't mind hearing a little about their personal life too, but most of the authors on my list blog about what is happening in the writing/publishing world, ideas they have, and random stuff more than intimate details of their lives.

Su_H said...

Yes, Susan there can certainly be too much information out there - I don't want to know what they had for tea lol. And I too like a writing/history mix. :-)

Lynn Irwin Stewart said...

I think balance is definitely the key -- all of those things are interesting to a certain degree but too much of anything is usually not good -- and not only on author's blogs but blogs in general. I enjoy reading about an author's writing process -- I'm not published but I write and it's interesting to see how other writers go about it; personal anecdotes (but not too personal) are fun, too -- they sometimes give an insight into what makes a writer tick.

Brian said...

Writing process? What writing process? Do you mean we're supposed to have one of those? Why was I not told?

Seriously, I agree with Lynn, it's all about balance. And people ought to be concerned about security matters - sadly, it shouldn't be necessary, but in this world it is.