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Monday, November 15, 2010

Publishing Industry Blogs Waning?

I admit it. I'm a publishing industry blog junkie. I check several, written both by authors and editors. There is much great information to be gleaned from them. An aspiring writer can learn a wealth of info, just by tapping into these blogs.

But I've noticed in the last 3-4 months that these blogs seem to be waning.

1. You can sense the blog authors are burning out and pushing to find suitable material
2. You often (but not always) get a repeat of the same old info
3. Some have quit blogging altogether or blog so infrequenty that you cease to check their site any more.
4. Some rely too heavily on author interviews. While reading about authors is fine, most people go to blogs to gain value for themselves, so reading about another person's book, unless you know them and have been on that journey with them, rooting for them, isn't going to pack much punch.

So the question I ask myself is: Why? Why do blogs seem to be floundering?

1. The overall negative state of the economy no doubt takes a bit of the excitement out of the business.
2. Some bloggers force themselves to post too much new content each week. I understand this from a "Google juice" perspective, the more often you update your blog, the higher up in search results. But no one can successfully churn out that much new and interesting material, several blogs posting new content 5 days a week if not more.
3. Everyone's heads are spinning by the technological changes affecting the publishing industry. Whether we all admit to it or not, there is much angst associated with those changes,

And finally, I think I simply am changing in tastes and preferences. While I probably lag behind many in web-savviness, I am being crunched for time like everyone else, and I find myself less willing to put up with the boring content of blogs, particularly when they are author interviews. As I said, unless you have rooted for that author during their journey, there's no personal tie in, and authors are out there by the millions.

I'm also a little disheartened by the publishing industry. All the technological changes certainly have me bamboozled and in all honesty, I have to decide if I "want to play" in these conditions.

But for those like myself still interested in publishing industry blogs, do not lose heart. There is still great content out there. It's just that nowadays, these blogs are laced more often with forgettable material while people struggle to keep pace with the massive information dump age that we live in.

The two blogs that deliver the most consistent quality for me are The Kill Zone blog and Rachelle Gardner's. So if you are looking for industry blogs, those are the places to start. I think I favor The Kill Zone (a blog coauthored by various thriller writers) because along with every day discussions of all things writing and publishing, it is also relaxed and filled with humor. Not a week goes by without them producing a smile in me. Rachelle Gardner's CBA ramblings often have useful, practical advice, such as the recent blog post describing what's in a publishing contract.

So if you haven't visited them, be sure and take a look.


Kathleen L. Maher said...

Brenda, you are so right about the wane of great blogs. I almost keeled over when Chip MacGregor announced that he was closing his blog down. Now Barbara Scott has decided to leave the publishing industry. Nathan Bransford left agenting last week. Is this an epidemic? A wholesale stampede? Or should be look at it as opportunities for newbs?

B.K. Jackson said...

Oh my! I knew Barbara Scott was departing but had no idea about the others. Times really are changing. Don't know what to make of it, however. It's mind-boggling.