Thursday, January 10, 2008

Paperback Blogger Writer

Okay, I gotta say this because it's been bugging me for over a year now.

I really hate it when I find a blog I really like and it turns out that, from the beginning, it was all a set up for the book the blogger had coming out. I continually get duped by it, which makes me even angrier. You'd think I'd know the signs by now: The first "Aw Shucks" entry followed by slick prose; the carefully chosen links in the sidebar (usually high-traffic blogs of a similar nature or other bloggers with books to ply); the photography that starts out deliberately amateurish, but improves rapidly via more expensive equipment; and -- the dead giveaway -- the book comes out at the exact time from the beginning of the blog as it would take to write, edit, shoot, print and begin distribution.

Goodness knows I wouldn't turn down a book offer myself and I understand that a writer can't announce a book deal until the publisher approves. It's when the blog is set up specifically with the idea that the book is coming out that strikes me as disingenuous. Because part of the charm of blogs is that you are reading about and communicating with people just like yourself. When those people receive book offers, I'm more than happy to celebrate with them.

But when I've been duped into reading what is, basically, an advertisement for over a year, I feel used. I feel like this person has been pretending all this time to be "just like me (i.e., a blogger)" when actually he or she wouldn't lower themselves to write a blog were it not a condition of their publishing contract. And then, once the book is published, the blog "sabbaticals" begin (the beginning of the end), followed a few months later by "I love you all and it's been fun, but now I'm a professional and don't have time for this loser hobby I don't have time to deliver to you the quality blog you deserve."

Do I want something done about this? No. Like all the downsides to freedom of speech, I guess this is a necessary evil we have to put up with. Since I'm obviously no good at spotting this sort of thing, the most I can do is refuse to buy their book or link to their site. And I know it doesn't make a difference to a lot of people. But I can't help feeling like a chump -- because the I think publishers actually think that no one has caught on to this because it keeps working.

K. I'm done. Carry on.


Meg said...

Wow, I've not yet run across any blogs like that. I've run across one which right from the get go said he was writing a book (No Impact Man) and, while I'll admit that kinda turned me off enough to not link to him and not really read regularly (I check back about twice a month), I *do* think he at least went the right path with saying up front "I am writing a book about my adventures this year, in the meantime I am blogging, too, so here ya go". That sucks.

In response to your comment on my know, I sometimes wonder what it'd be like to have a non-rescue, non-issues dog. I can't imagine having a dog and having it be so *easy* at the same time. In my mind the two seem to automatically go hand-in-hand. It must be nice and relaxing.

In some ways, it must be so strange with the Aussies given your rescue dog owning background. And, yes, you *are* the only person I have ever heard say that training Aussies is easy!!

My stepgrandmother (age 88 or 89) has a rescued Blue Heeler/Aussie mix, by the way. Talk about a crazy guy! She used to also have a 90 pound deaf pit bull/bullmastiff mix rescue dog. My mom and stepdad took her in, though, as they decided such a big, crazy dog needs to live with people who are *not* frail little octagenarians. Yes, we are all crazy rescue dog people in my family!

tracy said...

Gosh, I've been in the blogging world for such a short time that I didn't realize people are doing such things. I can see how it would be upsetting to find out such a thing though; especially if you'd been reading a blog you really enjoyed. That sucks, really. I hope I don't deal with that...I would likely not be so kind about it, and probably tell the person more of what I think than I should about their sneaky appeal.