Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Unexpected Treasure - Influenced by Others

Some of you may have heard of Dan Holloway, blogger, writer (Songs from the Other Side of the Wall), indie publisher and general all-round polymath (although I prefer polylit - a much more book friendly expression).  Well, earlier this year I noticed he was following a blog which was about to start publishing a novel on a daily basis - which was actually a fairly apt medium as the book was written in the form of a diary...  The book is Thaw by English writer Fiona Robyn and is the tale of a thirty-something woman coming up to her birthday and wondering whether she can carry on with her life.

I won't go into the plot now (you can read my review here if you'd like); I'd rather concentrate on the format instead as it's something I find fascinating.  While the traditional form of publishing is far from dead, the explosion of new forms of media and technology means that people have many more opportunities to get their work out there.  Using a blog to expose a book (particularly one so suited to serialisation as this one) to the unsuspecting world is a wonderful idea, and one that many people, I'm sure, will be quick to follow.

But what are the advantages of this type of marketing?  Doesn't it just mean at the end of the day that you are giving away your work for free?  I'm sure the above-mentioned Mr. Holloway could come up with a million good reasons why this is not the case, but I'll just say that book exposure by blog is a great way for non-superstar writers to make a wider audience aware of their work and, perhaps, to gain more free publicity from people like... well. me!  While I may not have bought this or any other of Fiona's books (I enjoyed Thaw, but it's not my usual kind of book), this is the second or third time that I have mentioned it in the course of my blogging, and if even only a few people do this, then the number of people exposed to the book will gradually mount up.

So, once again, thanks to Dan for the tip, Fiona for the book, and the blogosphere for making the whole thing a friendly community experience; hopefully many more aspiring authors will give blog serialisation a go.  You never know - I may even try it myself one day :)