It was a meeting with one of the editors that prodded me to write a piece on the subject. After the conversation I am skeptical to call it a blog but it indeed is quite perplexing that in today’s world while we are swarmed with a minimum of 60000 words in a book, our practice of communicating with each other is going down to 140 characters in twitter. Not that I am against the technological advancement or unaware of the nuances attached to it but something that gave freedom to express being declared passé is equivalent to saying that books are going to be extinct (to the horror of a book lover like me)
While book space continues to shrink in print, it wasn’t very long ago that my team and I were trying to find ways to reduce our dependence on the book pages that media provided and explore an option that had a wider reach. Something that had significant space to communicate what the book is about beyond ‘I like it and you must read it’ but also if possible, give an extract in addition to the opinion. This is when we started putting together a list of blogs that covered books and related subjects. Then what suddenly put a blog’s identity in question is something I would attribute to fads and impatience to jump to conclusions.
Publishers, haven’t still been able to exploit and explore this space due to lack of resources to help them do so. The cliche that change is permanent is true as much of a blog as of anything else. What started as a tool to express oneself developed into a fad and craze and then into a profession and as in case of any new option needed to evolve? It is this evolution that is misunderstood by most people, engrossed in the 140 characters, that blogs are going out of fashion.
Blogging has evolved and moved from being just a tool of self-expression to a tool that provides information, knowledge and expertise. Blogging, taking a more professional turn has resulted in the weak ones dying their natural deaths and the ones that have stood the test of time becoming stronger. Blogs are evolving into a one-stop shop for expert advice on a certain subject. With most of the print media shutting down and going out of business, transition to online medium is leading even media houses to hire blogging experts. What you have written in thousands cannot be summarized in 140 is what makes me suggest it is in fact becoming growingly important to identify and build a list of people who write on books and subjects related to it. It is their advice that would have a viral effect and create a buzz for your book.
For publishers as they themselves undergo a transition from books to eBooks this is one area to tap into and start developing along with other social media platforms in order to spread wider, penetrate deeper and be taken seriously online. This forms an important part of what is called your online image so while Twitter and Facebook are platforms resulting in instant gratification and are tools to announce and titillate, they cannot be an alternate to a blog.
If we believe that the written word will always be there in whatever format so will the need to seek advice and information in whatever way it is presented. I say this out of the personal experience since I started this blog at a time when blogs are going out of fashion. While my Google analytics are enough to suggest otherwise, I still would like to hear your feedback on whether blogs are passé, to evolve and change.
Until the next MarketMyBook update….