Interviews are easy, blogging is hard. Interview questions are posed by someone who has read your book thoughtfully and then fashioned a specific line of inquiry. The purpose of a smart interview is to illuminate aspects of your book that readers may want to pay special attention to and to prompt writers to reflect on authorial strategies regarding his or her book that previously had been uninvestigated. But when you blog, you're alone.
Having blogged for Powell's for a week, I have no idea why anyone who isn't paid to do so would want to maintain a blog. If you don't hope to shape a brief essay from which a reader can take away an idea that prior to reading an essay hadn't been in his or her mind, why do it? Pure narcissism? To sate a desperate need to be paid attention to by virtually no one? A blogger imagines a vast audience awaiting his or her next missive the way a modestly reviewed author checks Amazon hoping to find his or her ranking near the top of the list. Blogging offers bloggers false hope; at a bookstore, reading to an audience of 50 empty chairs crushes an author's hope unmistakably and immediately. Like blogging, the author is alone, only this time he or she has to face it.
Now, I don't mean to end my pleasurable, if strenuous, week of blogging with a stern sermon. I simply want to offer, as a sign of respect to Powell's and to you, my few faithful readers, a contemplative blog. I want to conclude our experience intellectually rather than commercially. So, please, do not buy my book. Do not read it. Do not tell others about it. Let them find out on their own that it will be on sale at the Wordstock Festival, Saturday, October 9th, in Portland, Oregon, where as a reader I will entertain, and as a panelist enlighten, and hope to find more than 50 empty chairs as my audience.