Favorite Thing Ever

Here’s a good idea. Matt Youngmark, author of Zombocalypse Now (and interviewed here), has started up a new group blog called Favorite Thing Ever. The description:

You have a limited amount of time, so why spend it reading about things that suck or are only kind of okay? Favorite thing EVER is not a review site. We’re unrepentant fans, and this is the stuff we love. Hope you like gushing, because we’re about to embarrass ourselves.

Why is this a good idea? Because group blogging may make a lot more sense than a solitary blog. I mean, you can also do that, and you should, but there’s strength in numbers – to really raise the traffic you need to post as much as possible, which obviously can be done by ten writers better than it can be done with one.

But what separates Favorite Thing Ever from other writers sites is that its focus is not entirely on process and so it may be better primed to reach the people you want to be reaching: readers. Writers are readers too, but there are a lot more readers than there are writers. When it comes down to it, what does a reader care about Amazon percentages or the best method to go print on demand? Believe me, I’m guilty of this as well.

If you have a book about vampire lesbians from the 24th century (Do you???) then the best way to reach that niche market might not be to post a bunch of stuff about putting out a book, but write posts that are about vampires or lesbians or both. Reviewing books in this genre makes a lot of sense too because writers will be grateful, it will create a community, and it’s a way to talk about a subject without talking about yourself.  If people like your writing, they’ll hopefully be more likely to take a look at your book. Another way of saying that – the posts should be closer to the fiction you’re trying to sell. It’s harder to express the writing style of your fiction when you’re writing about process.

The band OK Go may be the best evidence of this sort of approach.  Most people with an internet connection has seen one of their videos – but what attracts people to their videos is not  – “Hey, listen to this song,” but, “Hey, watch this.”  Point is to be entertaining, and “Please buy my book” isn’t all that entertaining.

So that’s the premise of Favorite Thing Ever – to review things that interest them, not so much about the sausage-making of the writing and publishing process. I’m perhaps stating the obvious because, again, I’ve been guilty of this. I started a collective called Backword Books, which has mainly been a site by writers for writers.  That’s good for networking too, don’t get me wrong, but it can be limiting.  If you’re a writer, you’ve probably got a lot to say, so it makes sense to have both a personal site and to be part of a collective.

So this points out that collectives are going to be an important part of the future of publishing – especially as everything migrates to the web. Why do people like hanging out on Facebook?  It’s because you get a timeline of a bunch of different people at once, a bunch of different perspectives. Plainly, it’s just easier to do this than hopping from one solitary blog to another. So if you are a futuristic vampire lesbian fiction writer, find the others in that niche and band together. You’ll be able to blanket Google search results more effectively and it gives the enterprise the feeling of a “scene” rather than one sole person screaming on a streetcorner.

I say this as the owner of a solitary blog that continually screams on a streetcorner, and this site, which is primarily focused on helping writers through the logistics of self-publishing, not necessarily on putting readers in front of books. So take a look at Favorite Thing Ever and see how a writer’s blog does not necessarily have to be a “writing blog” and might lead to more readers checking out your books.

  • Thanks for the shout out, Henry! Really, FTE probably falls under the category of “something else I’m doing that feeds into my book promotion efforts.” Some of the bloggers there are authors hoping to raise their profiles, and others are just blogging for the joy of it. Still, I maintain that I’m more likely to attract a new reader by writing about how much I love some board game than I am by writing “please buy my book” over and over.

    Not that I haven’t been doing that as well. 🙂