What Not to Blog

kt literary did the world of authors a great big favor by asking editors what they’re looking for in an author site/author blog. If you’ve been racking your brains trying to figure this out, you should definitely check it out. While I enjoyed finding out this information very much, I was stunned to hear that it seems as though a serious-ish blog might be preferred by some editor types. As I know editors work v. v. hard and are experts in their field and those editors I know I like very much, I feel I must comply.

Some things that will have to go:



Personal blatherings about trees and my great love for them

I will miss them.

A word that came up in the blog post was “professional” which got me thinking. Professional can mean a number of things one of which is that you are paid for your work and another refers to being sort of uptight like how I dress “professionally” for an interview by hiding all signs of cleavage both of the toe and upper regions. Leaning towards the getting paid for what you do angle, I decided to do some research.

What a random sampling of professional (meaning they get paid, not that they are hiding their cleavage) authors have posted recently on their blogs:

Meg CabotOutliers, Britney Spears, and her planned slumber parties at the White House.

Justine Larbalestier — following the news is more interesting than writing

Holly Black — birthday cat, zombies vs. unicorns

John Green — driving around the country in a mini van

Neil Gaiman — being sick, tea for two

Sarah Dessen — cold playgrounds and diaper changing

Maureen Johnson — why unicorns are bull&$#%

I must say I like this form of professionalism. Not as binding as the covered up shoe/shirt type. I am especially fond of the pics of Holly Black’s demon cat. Still, that seems to be breaking some of the other rules. I’m not sure what to make of this.

But wait, there is a loophole! Some editors allow for “quirky funny writers” to have “quirky funny blogs” — how does one qualify for “quirky funny”???? Maybe more cats and more pajamas! I think both cats and pajamas and maybe even cats in pajamas are both funny and quirky.

Expect some interesting posts in the near future.

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  1. Those editors want to ruin all our fun! I’m sure the photo of my cat on my blog is going to keep me from ever selling a book. I can just see kids going into Powell’s and saying, “Nope, can’t buy her stuff, she has CATS on her website.”

  2. I think people go to a writer’s blog to read more of the writing they like, so if an author reins themselves in too much, the reader will be bored and no one will visit. For instance, I read Meg Cabot’s blog quite devotedly because her style comes through in her blog posts the same way it comes through in her books. I can’t imagine I’d enjoy her blog if it was “professional” in the “uptight” sense.

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