HomeReviewsInterviewsStoreABlogsOn Writing

Will The Viral Blogging Experiment Work?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

You know, I’m not usually one for participating in promo’s and competitions etc, cuz usually I can’t be arsed, but Dear Author’s viral blogging experiment seemed like a good idea. Diana Peterfreund however, isn’t so sure.

She writes:

Now, I understand what she’s saying, but the main difference for me is that the Dear Author girls aren’t authors, they are mere readers conducting an experiment. They have nothing to gain by it, but Nalini Singh’s name will at least become better known. Will the experiment land her on any of the best seller lists? I have my doubts, but at least now, more people will know who she is, and if they come across her books in the future, then it stands to reason that they will probably take a second look.

Today was a perfect example actually. I wasn’t familiar with author, Sabrina Jeffries, until I saw her name mentioned on Sybil’s blog a couple of million times, but whilst I was in Borders this evening, I came across some of her books, and because she is now a familiar name to me, I picked up A Dangerous Love, After The Abduction, The Forbidden Lord, and In The Prince’s Bed. Sybil, if these suck GBHDB, I’ll come looking for you.

As a reader, I hate hype, can’t stand it in fact, but because this seems slightly more scientific, I’m more than willing to participate. Another big plus for me personally, is that the hype isn’t author driven.


  • Marg
    August 23
    9:22 pm

    This is only the second time I had seen something like this, however I have seen another author try to do it in the last couple of days.

    Whilst I don’t mind it occasionally, I do agree that it will get old very quickly if this kind of thing becomes common place. I agree that this feels slightly different seeing as it isn’t the author/publisher who is pushing this…although the end result is the same…a push for sales


  • Jaye
    August 24
    12:08 am

    Like you, I agree with a lot of the points Diane makes, but there’s just a really ‘good’ vibe to the Dear Author experiment, I wanted to join in. To be honest, I don’t think I’ll be buying/reading StT. The story sounds great, but the author’s voice doesn’t *click* with me. Nothing to do with talent, writing skill, but I know from bitter experience that when an author’s voice doesn’t work for me, I never finish the book. I lose interest, put it down and maybe skim to the end at some point.


  • Jane
    August 24
    1:00 am

    I’ll talk more about this when the experiment ends, but I agree that Peterfreund makes valid points as do many of the commenters. I.e, Angie W asks how can we measure affect. I think that its great that there are dissenting opinions. Isn’t that what makes the blogosphere wonderful? Challenging, heated but ultimately civil debate? I knew going in that posting this would make some people uncomfortable which is why we added the line We understand if bloggers don’t want to participate, but we hope they will.

    It’s hard to run a real scientific experiment when you have so many uncontrolled variables. However, it didn’t make much sense to me to just NOT perform the experiment. I was more of the opinion of why not see what can be done rather than just deciding that blogging has no effect. I mean, the worst thing that could happen is that people began totally disgusted with DearAuthor and never came back. And I could live with that consequence. The best thing that could happen was twofold: a) reading bloggers really have influence and maybe we could use that at a later date to effectuate some positive change in the romance industry (i.e., historicals set outside the regency period) and b) Singh’s book would be popular. The last one feeds my own selfish desire to see more of her books in the marketplace.


  • sybil
    August 24
    3:10 am

    My work here is done :).

    Really my guest author days have a simple aim, to amuse me. And hopefully amuse others.

    I figure if one person finds an author they have never heard of, read or were thinking about reading – that is swell.

    Or better yet if it gives an author (I lurve) a place to talk to readers (like jo goodman and sabrina jeffries are both bloggless) that is fun.

    If you like it or hate it, you talking about it will then spread it to more people.

    I am not out to save the romance genre or sell books. I just want to have fun.

    I always liked your author interviews. So many interviews just say the same thing over and over again. I don’t see how authors don’t learn to hate them. Yours are fun.

    I so shouldn’t post anywhere after taking an ambien. Good Night.


  • Jaye
    August 24
    3:19 am

    It’s a great experiment, Jane. At the very least it’s great to see peeps pulling together like this, when the past year has been marked by disputes of varying sorts. 😉

    I think it will be effective simple by getting Nalini’s name/book out there to more people who may not have heard of her.

    But, I do agree with Diane that it would *probably* more effective if peeps were actually posting reviews. I ignore the cyber book tours. Can’t remember one that I read beyond the point where it was clear the post was a “ad”.

    Sybil-type posts *gg*, with cover image and blurb are more enticing, to be honest, but mainly because I assume she’s posting something that is of interest to her, even if she hasn’t read it (yet).

    Hahahaha! My word verfication–itsbl ::snort::


  • Jane
    August 24
    3:27 am

    But, I do agree with Diane that it would *probably* more effective if peeps were actually posting reviews.

    No question that would be more effective but what is the possibility of gettin 100+ more bloggers to read the same book and then review it? It seemed like an overwhelming thing to ask. I think basically most people are lazy . I know I am and thus I had to make the contest as easy as possible. Okay, if I keep commenting i won’t have anything to say in September.


  • Kristie (J)
    August 24
    12:38 pm

    I’m with you Karen. I’d read Rosario’s review on this one and decided then to add it my TBB pile. So when Dear Author decided to choose this one for their experiment I was in. And this is the first time I’ve seen something like this. I read very few author blogs so if they blog about free books, I’m not going to notice, but what I like about this idea is since the two Ja(y)nes are readers with nothing to gain. And like Jane said, it would be great to see if readers blogs have any influence. It seems like readers who want something different really don’t have much of a say. It would be great to see if we do have some clout


  • Lori
    August 25
    5:09 am

    My only offering here is… how is it that she never heard of Sabrina Jeffries?


  • Diana Peterfreund
    September 1
    5:25 am

    Maybe I just happen to read a LOT of blogs with this kind of content? To me, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a reader blog or an author blog — it’s still about original content. I was fascinated that in the discussion that followed the post, there were many people who, like me, skip canned stuff. And there were also many who said all they wanted was a head’s up, and they could care less whether or not the blogger cared. THAT was enlightening.

    But still (and I know Karen will respect this) I view my blog as my space to talk about whatever I’m interested in. So that’s what I’ll be blogging about.

    For instance, I tend to use the blog tours as a way to discuss industry trends or issues as viewed through the lens of whatever book I’m touring. For instance, I talked about ONCE UPON STILETTOS and the challenges of writing series characters, or THE BITCH POSSE and the debate about “anti-chick lit.”

    After that post, I got a lot of new visitors to my blog (Like Jane) who mistook the way I treat those blog posts, and viewed them as being reviews of the books in question, which I actually kjnow very little about.

    I don’t think I’ll be participating in the blog tours after my “tour of duty” ends. It’s just not what I like to do on my blog. When I talk about books, I want it to be NOT on assignment.


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment