Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Be Prepared

So says the Boy Scout motto (note, I was one once).

The other day (like Monday), a drive-by reader who must've found my blog either through the "next blog" button or from a comment that I'd made on YA oriented blog, made a rather lengthy comment before leaving.

Among the thing that she'd mentioned was that I'd won a book award and that she also wanted to do an interview.

Naturally curious, I clicked on her profile and found a link to her very popular (about 750 followers) blog. After briefly perusing the front page (this person was a writer of MG Fantasy and an illustrator), I decided to take her up on her offer.

So I sent her an e-mail and a few hours later, I had gotten a response. I scanned the questions and I was about to print them out for future use, when one particular question caught my eye, which in turn caused me to reconsider and turn down her offer.

The question said: "When did you come up for the idea of your book Cedar's Mountain?"

My friends, no matter what you do for a primary job that pays the bills, puts food on the table and clothes on your back, or what you do for a worthwhile secondary pursuit, you will agree with me that you should always be prepared to answer any question or swerve that you may come across.

You always want to make sure that you go into a given situation at the top of your game.

Clearly, this person did not have her "A" game, because if she was on her "A" game, she would've realized thirty seconds after either reading the front page or the about page, that Cedar's Mountain was a blog.

Not a book.

Now I totally understand the concept of networking and driving traffic to one's blog. But if you're gonna network and link up to other blogs, make damn sure that all of your info is spot on.

In my particular case, calling my blog a book is the fastest way of me completely ignoring your blog and writing a post that is critical of your research abilities. I would also like to point out that you should make sure that the blog you want to link up with is appropriate for your readership.

In other words, if you write MG or YA stuff, chances are that hooking up with a blog that is maintained by a writer who writes adult oriented fiction with leanings towards semi to completely graphic sexual situations would be in anyone's best interests.

Anyways, I'm hoping that this person responds to my last e-mail. Why? Because in her response to my turning down her offer, she said that this was the information that she'd gleaned from googling my name.

Why she would be googling my name in the first place is something that is somewhat troubling to me, since my full name isn't exactly well known in the blogging or writing community. About the only place that you'll find my full name is in two e-zines and my book blog.

Perhaps I just answered my own question with that last sentence.

In any event, the moral of this post is that no matter what you do in life for work or pleasure, make sure you don't come off looking like this.


  1. I've had those power bloggers come by my blog and leave comments, never to return. They are trying to drive traffic to their blogs. I usually have a look, but don't go back. Good instincts, G.

  2. Yea, sounds like she didn't do her research thoroughly. Oh well, her loss, I guess.

  3. Research, research, research. It's so important, especially when we're putting material out there on the internet for the world to see. But as an aside, have you ever thought about penning Cedar's Mountain, a compilation of small town essays maybe, bringing the town and mountain into the story as home to the characters?

  4. Guess you could always write a book called "Cedar's Mountain" and then do the interview! Definitely kind of weird, though.

  5. Ha, ha, ha G - I laughed out loud at your "link"! Brillant:))

  6. Yes that would have pissed me off too. :D Some people will do ANYTHING to get more traffic to their blogs.

    I know my English isn't great but isn't this incorrect too?

    "When did you come up for the idea of your book Cedar's Mountain?"

  7. Lynn: I very rarely pay attention to those type of comments/bloggers, but this one really piqued my curiousity. And there are very few blogs that I'm willing to read that have a following that numbers in the high three digit/low four digit range.

    Extra O: Definitely her loss. I mean, how can you be a published writer and not do your research?

    Joanne: I research like a fiend when I'm writing my stories. Even though they're fiction, it pays off in the long run to be accurate.

    Never really given it a lot of thought, but the idea of writing a book on small town life does sound intriguing.

    Charles: You're the second person to suggest that. If I get a third, I may give it some very serious thought. And yes, definitely weird.

    Jane: Thankee. I didn't think I couldn't find a good "jackass", but that one was definitely a goody.

    Joe: You are indeed correct.

    As a matter of fact, the actual question was this: "Can you tell us a little bit about your book Cedar's Mountain?"

    So it definitely was a faux pas on my part.

    Driving traffic to my blog, while a good cause, should be done in the spirit of writing good stuff that people appreciate.

    Not trying to get thousands of followers.

  8. This reminds me of a nonprofit colleague who replies to my e-mails asking questions that were answered in the first e-mail.

  9. R: I have staff members like that who always ask me the same question over and over again because it doesn't register in their tiny little head.

  10. Yeah, that would be irritating. How can people not understand that playing popularity as a numbers game is meaningless? If I had 1,000 subscribers to my blog who never bothered to actually read it carefully, what good would that do any of us?

  11. S.R.: Exactly.

    I appreciate the fact that the majority of my followers actually read my blog in a given week. Same goes for my subscribers.

    While its good to be popular, its better for people to actually read your blog instead of simply linking up to it in the vain hope that you'll reciprocate.


Go on, give me your best shot. I can take it. If I couldn't, I wouldn't have created this wonderful little blog that you decided to grace with your presence today.

About that comment moderation thingy: While yes, it does say up above I can take it, I only use it to prevent the occasional miscreant from leaving thoughtless and/or clueless comments.

So remember, all of your comments are greatly appreciated and all answers will be given that personal touch that you come to expect and enjoy.

G. B. Miller

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