Rays of light at the Solstice
Well, one never knows what will strike the imagination and passions of readers. Iâ€™d like to thank you all for playing, and with such exquisite politeness. Miss Manners would definitely approve.
In fact, while Iâ€™m about it, Iâ€™d like to say a general thanks to all of you who read this blog, for keeping it interesting for me and for being such good sports in putting up with my many and varied topics of muttering, some of which Iâ€™m sure bore you to tears. As a community, you guys strike me as remarkably generous and thoughtfulâ€”and as I said, polite: Iâ€™ve only had to delete a very few comments, and those early on.
The topic of Why Blog? often comes up at writerâ€™s gatherings, mostly with the underlying question of its value as a marketing tool, ie, Does a blog sell books? Personally I doubt it doesâ€”certainly, the blogs I read regularly donâ€™t feed into my reading habits a whole lot, except when a reviewer I trust recommends a title. So why would I expect those of you who read this blog to be any different?
I suppose if I were aggressive about using this space as a tool, I might find it bringing in a lot of new faces, some of whom might go so far as to splurge on a paperback, but you may have noticed that Iâ€™m not much of one for aggressive authorial marketing, to the extent that I donâ€™t even have a counter on this site. I have no idea if its audience is the same five dozen people (every one of whom posted a comment on the last entry) or if there are thousands of you reading these words, with hundreds more flocking in each day.
Now, considering the number of blogs out there, Iâ€™d be utterly astonished to find that â€œMutteringsâ€ is developing into a whirlpool of Internet activity, sucking in anyone floating free on the web. I donâ€™t methodically trade links (only in part because I canâ€™t figure out how to post a list on the side here), which is the main way to build readership, and I donâ€™t go out of my way to push myself in peopleâ€™s faces. Many of the mystery blogs this week have posted thanks to Crimespot, a digest of blogs for people to link to, but while I agree is a very nice site, I was not asked, and indeed, donâ€™t know that theyâ€™ve ever made reference to my blog.
Does it bother me, that â€œMutteringsâ€ hasnâ€™t become a sister to â€œConfessions of an Idiosyncratic Mindâ€ or one of the other major sites? Clearly it doesnâ€™t, or Iâ€™d have put into play all the means of Building Numbers, beginning with a site counter to tell me just what those numbers are.
Truth to tell, I rather like not knowing. Then again, I was one of those women who, when pregnant, didnâ€™t want to be told the sex of the child. I enjoy meeting the occasional reader of this blog at BoucherCon or at signings, because itâ€™s unexpected. I enjoy the (completely spurious, I know) anonymity of casting remarks into the ether, when sales considerations and editorial reactions have nothing whatsoever to do with the words I set down. I appreciate the freedom to blather on about what I want to at that moment, since in general, I write under contract and my writing freedoms are closely circumscribed.
No, Iâ€™d very much doubt if this blog is any more effective a sales technique than posting the occasional snippet of work on the web site, which might take me half an hour a year. Rather, I write this blog because it lets me think aloud, and get feedback from what I have found to be a group of intelligent and friendly individuals who happen to already like my books. The pressure is off, and although I would not wish to offend a reader, any more than I would want to offend a person at the supermarket checkout stand, I am not all that worried about convincing them to buy a book.
So thank you for joining me in my interior monologue, and for contributing comments. I hope you continue to listen to me muttering away during 2007.
The best of Solstice holidays to you all.