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June 07, 2006

Comments

Naomi

Yes, I've noticed this phenomenon as well. And are most of them thrillers vs. mysteries? I'm not familiar with all you have mentioned, but my general impression is that they are youngish, at least under 40. I'm wondering if being of a generation that is more computer literate helps in launching blogs and other Internet promotional activity. I must say that it's nice to witness this mass excitement. Mystery conventions can surely use the injection of some young, fresh faces. There's a lot of camaraderie among the Class of 2007, and it's certainly won me over. I'd definitely be picking up a lot of their books, especially if they are being published in paperback.

Brett Battles

First, thanks for the mention, Sarah. It's great having a group of us coming out in the same year. We share information, and learn from each other. In many ways it feels like we are doing this as a team effort. That, in itself, is cool. But what's even better is that I'm excited to read everyone's books - JT's, Rob's, Jason's, among others. It's going to be a great year!

Naomi, my novel is an international spy thriller. Due out in the Spring.

Jason

I concur with Brett's sentiment, so many books I'm excited to crack open.

I posted about this today, but I'm going to start compiling a database of authors with debut mysteries/thrillers coming out in 2007. I want to make the "Class of 2007" semi-official, and give all the authors/classmates the opportunity to spread the word and keep in touch.

Barry Eisler

Sounds to me like the class of '07 has a terrific opportunity here for joint appearances and branding...

Got get 'em!

Ingrid (I.J.Parker)

I am completely mystified. How do you create excitement months before your book hits the stores? This is all done by announcements on blogs? Since many, many authors have blogs these days, it is impossible to read them all. Plus how does a fan know about an unpublished author's blog? And why would one want to believe a blog rather than, say, a review in PW or a major newspaper? I'm just not convinced that author blogs have such advertising impact but would love to learn more.

Jason

Look at Glenn Greenwald. Look at Maddox. Both of these books became bestsellers solely because of blog support.

Obviously not every book will get that kind of boost, but there's no downside at all. It can only help. With 172,000 books published a year, an author should use any and all opportunities and venues possible to get the word out.

JT Ellison

I'm thrilled to be a part of the Class of 2007, and big thanks to you, Sarah, for the debut!
Author blogs, websites, reviews, book tours, webthreads, author branding, name ID -- being an author is a lot of work. Viral marketing is just one tool, but an effective one if used properly.

Naomi

It's all about viral marketing, Ingrid. It's especially effective among those in their twenties and thirties. It's not only a matter of creating a blog or writing an Internet announcement, but also tapping into online communities. I helped plan a writers' event recently and we only had two to three weeks of outreach, so we depended a lot on listservs, discussion boards, internet groups, and blogs. More than a hundred people showed up. Not bad.

David J. Montgomery

I tend to agree with Ingrid, in that I think the ability of a blog, for example, to promote or sell books is rather limited.

Still, it's free, can be done from home, and is relatively easy to do. Is it worth the time invested? Possibly for some authors, probably not for others.

But it's doing something, which is better than doing nothing. Authors are so desperate these days for ways to set themselves apart from the pack, and at least this is one possible tool.

David J. Montgomery

p.s. Add to that roster of 2007 debuts Philip Hawley, who has a terrific thriller coming early in the year from William Morrow. I read it in manuscript last year and it's wonderful.

Lana Lang

The other nice thing about blogging as a marketing tool is that it focuses on the writer's key strength -- writing. For example, I'm reading Joseph Finder's travel blog and I'm enjoying it immensely, because his writing style is so entertaining.

tom o'callaghan

I agree with Naomi. It is important for a new writer to tap into online communities. Although, I'm from the Class of 2006 with the debut of a thriller, BONE THIEF in January, I found targeting the online reader's clubs and other such communities was key in getting the word out in a short amount of time. Of course, the use of a web publicist is not without its drawbacks. Unlike blogging from home, there is an investment of money required. But I believe it was money well spent. Looking forward to seeing some of you at ThrillerFest!

David J. Montgomery

"For example, I'm reading Joseph Finder's travel blog and I'm enjoying it immensely, because his writing style is so entertaining."

Did you buy the book yet?

Ingrid (I.J.Parker)

Ah, I stand corrected -- to some extent. Note that you will have to have a lively blog plus a blog- following of like-minded folks. I've see a lot of dull, navel-gazing blogs by authors. I doubt that's the way to go.
Maybe it's also not a bad idea to visit some of the better blogs (this one being the best) with a comment now and then. I enjoy doing that, even it is a bit like the cuckoo laying his eggs in other birds' nests. :)

Lana Lang

I probably will buy Finder's book, because I really enjoyed COMPANY MAN last year. His blog reminded me that he has a new book out.

I would never had known that Finder even had a blog if it wasn't for that Montgomery guy tipping me off on his own blog.

Finder finally cracked the NYT top 15 recently, so he must be doing something right. Must be all those Plasma TVs he's giving away.

Marcus Sakey

Personally, I'd be delighted to buy the rest of the class of 2007 a drink at ThrillerFest or Bouchercon. I'm flattered to be part of it.

And Barry has a point about joint marketing...

Rob Gregory Browne

First, thanks for the mention. I'm just as surprised as you are that my name is even circulating out there.

Regarding blogs, I can only say that mine started out with ONE reader -- me -- and now gets between five and seven hundred readers every day. And I can't for the life of me tell you why. But I think that blogs DO help.

Oh, and Marcus, I'll take you up on that drink and happily buy you one as well. But if we all start buying drinks, we'll be too smashed (or hungover) to do our panel...

Sean Chercover

I really don't know quite what to make of all this, but I'm very happy to be here. And I can't wait to meet my 'classmates' at B'con. In the bar, I'm sure.

Elaine Flinn

Barry's idea of joint appearances for the 2007 group is a terrific idea! The promo possibilities are endless! My very best wishes to all of you - and am looking forward to meeting you at TFest - I'll be the old bag in the bar.

Debi Alper

When I got my original deal in 2002, I naively thought that actually WRITING the books was all I needed to do. I had no idea how much work I was going to need to put into publicising them.
Alas - I missed the boat at that point and wonder now if things might have been very different if I'd had my website and blog going at the time. But since I was juggling 2 jobs and parenting 2 young sons at the time, while writing in the evenings, where was I supposed to get the extra time/energy from to set up all the other stuff? Talk about Catch 22 ...
Also, I felt my publishers were quite possessive and didn't want me to interfere in that side of things.
Ah well, hindsight is ... well, hindsight.

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