I love to blog, but I’m struggling with my blog identity here. Soon, my company is starting a blog that we hope will be really great and interactive and community-driven, and I will be writing about industry stuff there again (a bunch of posts already in the works), along with my team of colleagues. I’m really excited about it, because I’ve missed blogging about publishing–and this time it will be under someone else’s auspices, so I won’t necessarily have to get lost in the time-consuming curatorial aspects of blogging (comment moderation, daily posting, responding to emails, etc). But that blogging will be careful, thoughtful, public-face me, I’m guessing. Which means I have to figure out what this blog here is for.

I’m really interested in who is reading this blog (I know you’re there, often quiet and invisible, because my stat counter gives you away!) and what you come back for. Personal life details? Just friendly checking in? Something else?

Also, please tell me–I’ve shied away from promotional content about books I’ve edited. Although I’m dying to talk about them, I do get a little shy about what my authors will think if they start to read about me writing about them. But are you interested in books I worked on?

(Duh, how will you all possibly answer this? “No, we’re not interested”? You’re all too polite. It’s a mean loaded question to ask.)

I guess what I’m trying to say here is, I am not here on THIS blog to sell anyone anything. But book publications are the big moments in my life. I often want to share about them. What would be interesting to you to read about re: a book’s publication? Would you just be interested in knowing the title/author and I’ll leave the rest up to you to ignore or read more about? Or would something else specific be of interest to you?

If you followed me here from a previous blog–is there anything specific that you miss? E.g. ridiculous moments with my mother? (Those continue, btw. I just wasn’t sure they fit the mood over here.)

The best way to crowd-source is to ask very specific, easy-to-answer-and-elaborate-on questions. I have failed to do that here. However, your opinions are very welcome.


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24 Responses to crowdsourcing

  1. So many questions…I’m interested in all of it. Of course I LOVE ridiculous mother moments, and I personally have no problem with reading about your publishing moments because I trust that you’ll be talking about that as a way to share your experience/ talk about publishing not to sell books. If you happen to inspire some of us to buy one of your books, there’s nothing wrong with that. I used to review strollers on a blog with the express purpose of selling them but I still felt like I was being genuine and not just pushing strollers (HA) to make a buck.

    I don’t know, I just think it’s all in how and why you do it. And, if I can speak for your other readers, we trust you!

  2. JES says:

    It probably won’t come as a surprise to learn that many people LOVED your previous bloggish self. You do know that, right?

    So you moved in here, and I got a sense right away that you craved anonymity. You had it there, and managed it well. But you didn’t publicize this new place much, just quietly offered it it as an on-request oh-by-the-way incidental feature. I suspect many of your readers here followed you from there, and among the ones who didn’t are probably a bunch of people who were too shy to ask — especially once their Google searches on your erstwhile nickname stopped returning anything new. I can almost hear them thinking: She vants to be alone.

    Presumably at the new company blog, you’ll have a public and non-anonymous face. Which will be really cool on one level (you’ve been a light hidden under a bushel basket for way too long, at least to publishing outsiders). But it will also (maybe?) constrain you, like: I can’t say that here, can I? This one, kept in your back pocket, could come to feel more like a safe haven for you, for rants and personal stuff and such.

    I wish you felt more free to share details of your work, but don’t care whether you get to do that there or here.

    P.S. Oh, and just last week I was wondering about your mom (et al.). Also about your, um, laundry-day musical listening.

  3. cindy says:

    i love whatever you are willing to share. but definitely
    love your pov on being an editor and the process from
    that end. i always admired how enthusiastic you are
    with your authors and the books you edit. of course i’d
    love to hear about that. and family and mom stories. and
    randomness–whatever you’ve got, i want! i’m greedy. haha

  4. jen_alluisi says:

    Followed you from moonrat. I started reading there because I moonlight as a freelance copyeditor, and I was looking for blogs with insight into the publishing business (so, yes, I am interested in hearing those aspects of your life if you feel like you can share them). But while reading, I found I just liked you – as a person. I liked reading about whatever weird thing your family did or the wacky moment you had at dinner. So when you announced you were packing up the moonrat site and moving over here, I followed. We don’t know each other at all, and will probably never meet, but I like having blog friends in addition to my real-life friends!

  5. Wendy says:

    Blog about whatever you like, my dear. Blogs with variety are fun.

  6. drwasy says:

    What JES says, of course. Most def yes what you are pubbing/editing because food and reading and writing are important and interesting, and aren’t you just a teeny, weeny bit excited about your work?

    Well I am ;^)

    I think you can balance this place (and the new work blog) with you mom and family and foodie and reading and all the fun cool stuff you do. I will read whatever you write, but a huge yes on what you are considering.


  7. Alexis says:

    Be yourself. Share what is important to you! I read your blog bc I want to know what YOU think is important. So yes books. Yes mother. Please!

  8. Froog says:

    Yes, we’re happy to hear whatever you want to write about – because we like you, and we like the way you write.

    Definitely more of mom and dad. And The Aunda. And I, for one, am curious to know how you’re getting on with your air-conditioner.

    I share JES’s concern about how far you can comfortably mix this with straight-up blogging about your working life, though. Both here and at the former place, you strove to preserve your anonymity because a lot of what you wrote was cathartic (not liking this book so much, behind schedule with work tasks, having difficult relations with an author or a colleague), or boldly opinionated (this is what’s wrong with the publishing industry, dammit!), or… well, the kind of stuff that you might just possibly not want being recognised and identified with you by some of the people in your industry. You’ve sort of blown your cover on here at least once, but I figure that will soon be forgotten. Back at the other place, it took me a fair bit of digging to discover who you were working for, even after you’d told me your real name; so, the odd “identifiable” reference on an otherwise anonymous and relatively obscure blog shouldn’t cause you any problems.

    However, it seems like the new company blog might be a welcome solution to this bind. You can let US go over there to find out all about your latest books, without giving away the location of this ‘secret diary’ to the general readers there.

    Whatever you decide will work out, I’m sure. Now, about that air-conditioner?

    • Ok, these are really good points. That’s my action step. When the company blog is up and running, I’ll let you guys all know where it is. I’ll let stuff bleed over here from time to time, if I’m comfortable about it, but for the most part will just keep this for stuff I want to write about and am not shy about.

      Awesome. Thanks for the feedback.

      • Froog says:

        You’re welcome, my dear.

        The air-conditioner, of course, now threatens to become a running joke.

        Did I ever tell you about my favourite-ever surreal cartoon? From Punch, I believe, though I’m not sure what era; not contemporary to the event, I’m sure!

        April 1912: A long line of people is queueing outside an enquiries window at the front of a building bearing the name of the White Star Shipping Line. A man with a pet polar bear on a leash [I told you it was surreal] has just got to the head of the line and is asking, “Yes, yes, but is there any news of the iceberg?”

        This is at least 30 years old (that’s when I first happened upon it; but it was ‘old archive’ already), possibly 80 or more; but it acquires added resonance from the global warming crisis now.

  9. Briony says:

    I started with your alter-ego, but I’m still lurking around because I feel we have a similar sense of hunour, and a similar view of food (i.e, where the dumplings at?)

    So whatever you post I’m happy to read!

  10. I just simply like you. Which means I’m interested hearing about whatever interests you. Ah, remember our Middlemarch reading group?

    • YES. it was AWESOME. Ah, the good old days! We were formidable.
      I haven’t done anything like that in a while. I miss it. Actually, on my new company blog, I’ll be doing a monthly classic crime fiction read-along (I’m mostly a mystery/thriller editor these days). So maybe that will scratch that itch.

  11. Zoe says:

    In general, I followed you here from there because you’ve made me laugh (with the MomRat and tales of olive-eating in public, among other things). And I’ve continued to check in here with you because I relate. And a lot of what you’ve done here has touched me. I’m joining this conversation late because I check in a few times a month, and having just read your post about traveling to the ALA convention, I’m moved by the art of it. I’m excited to see where your life leads you. As another commenter said, we’ll probably never meet, we don’t know each other offline, but I feel a kinship with some of what you’ve done and enjoy checking in with you, now and again.

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