Thursday, February 16, 2006

A Confederacy of Pundits

I discussed in my previous post the hurdles facing anyone trying to break into the A-list of bloggers who dominate their particular segment of the blogosphere.

In my case I wanted to build up readership of the Pundy House as a kind of shop window for my novel A Half Life of One. Although the big blogs readerships reside in the fields of sex, computer geekery, politics and humour these were of limited interest to me. I've already admitted that being a happily married man of long standing I know next to nothing about sex. Computers for me are simply a means to an end (writing, in case you're making the wrong connection here). Politics depresses me too much to want to write about it. In other words, the typical geeky, sex-mad young politico who patronised these wildly-popular blogs was unlikely to be interested in a serious, downbeat novel with a loser for a hero.

If I wanted to attract potential readers I needed to attack the literary blogosphere.

I drew up my own hit list of A-listers who might just possibly give my book a mention if I packaged the proposition with enough humour to tickle their interest.

The list included Maud Newton, Blog of a Bookslut, Miss Snark, Agent 007 and The Grumpy Old Bookman. I started out by sending them jokey e-mails announcing the birth of my literary sensation. Most people saw the joke (although be warned - don't try such a technique on Robot Wisdom) and responded with sceptical good humour to what was, after all, pretty much a spam campaign. Only one, however, mentioned me in their blog and that was the GOB, in whose debt I shall ever remain. As a result of his good-humoured indulgence I received my first small tidal wave of visitors.

Someone dropping in from his blog even read A Half Life of One. A result!

Sadly, to date, the big prize eludes me. None of these A-listers has yet put me on their Link List. But why should they? I'm new to the scene (started in October), unproven, worryingly lightweight and jokey. The truth is, I've yet to earn my bones.

All in all though I remain optimistic. Visitor numbers are slowly rising. People are reading A Half Life of One. And I'm making new friends. It could be a lot worse, couldn't it?


  1. I hear you! I'm new to the book-blogging scene as well, very new, and I'm slowly trying tp make contact with the "A-listers" as you so appropriately dubbed them. I'm so bad at this though, and I don't think anyone other than my friends and family read my blog. But it's good to know there are others out there in similar situations!

  2. Don't worry lex, we're all in the same boat.

    Be persistent, keep the faith, stay cheerful.

    It'll take longer than you expected but you'll get there in the end if you want it badly enough.

  3. Just taken a quick look at your nascent blog, Lex. It's a good one - full of sincerity. You don't need to worry.

  4. There's power in numbers in Blogging. Boing Boing has mulitple authors, not sure how it got that way. Actually, I find it 'Boring Boring' but what do I know.

    The business world has a model that authors could emulate called a metablog:

    Notice all the blogs of relatively unkown z-list business bloggers. But together they make at least a B-list. Surely there must be a place where authors could form a collective borg-like metablog such as that? A metablook?

  5. I think you're really on to something here, Story Blook. The way the math works if only a few of us literary Z-listers link together and we each bring a few new readers to the party the numbers pretty soon swell exponentially. It's a virtuous circle sort of thing, isn't it. Or a revolt against the literary establishment, maybe. And all writers should be revolting. I know I am.

    The thing is though, we have to be - and remain -unselfish and open amongst ourselves and not metamorphose into another self-perpetuating clique.

  6. I'm interested in anything to do with the Civil War and with Cassville, Georgia. Your blog is interesting.


    A Cassville Heritage Association member, Cassville, Georgia

  7. Interesting blog. Keep up the good work.


    Johnny Reb

  8. A good read. I'm looking for info on the civil war and anything related to it.


    SCV member
    Bartow County