If you watched the coverage of London Fashion Week yesterday on SKY News, you will have witnessed the tipping point for that industry as an editor from a leading blog was a lead live interview in the studio. The day before we found that reactions to book press releases from bloggers are lightning fast, and can be aggressive too.
The editor from The Catwalk Queen commented that the main fashion brands and event organisers have really embraced the key blog platforms this year as their reach has become wider than many press channels - their suite of blogs for example has a staggering 1.3m unique female visitors per month. Gemma explained that at the Burberry show they streamed video live straight into the blog supported by a live Twitter feed and photo streams – instant coverage. Fascinating, and great for the brands. So what's happening in books and ebooks?
Well, we sent out a press release on Tuesday on ‘The Great Sherlock Holmes Debate’ which is a fun, yet serious, pitting of the BBC’s Sherlock against the Guy Ritchie movies in a live worldwide debate on November 10th inspired by a ‘blogathon’ by one of our new authors. Charlotte Walters (Barefoot on Baker Street) is writing 56 blog articles, one a day on each of the Holmes stories until 11th November.
Within minutes the first blog articles appeared, with the ‘anti-debate’ angry bloggers reacting first. Liberal use of f*** and various other choice words led to their articles being re-blogged and tumbled throughout the day. Reactionary blog activity is one thing, but it is important to know that long term relationships with specialist blogs can be very productive - exactly what the main fashion brands have learnt.
We’ve known for some time the importance of key blogs to our Holmes genre. Specialist blogs are wonderful to supply review copies to and real quality ones are well worth hunting down. For example, Always 1895 is a great example of a well followed, passionate and articulate blog - and we make sure they are first in line for review copies.
Blogs are also vital in growing international sales. Most of the blogs we send copies to are based in the USA and a great way to reach fans over there. Compared to advertising in specialist publications (we’ve tried most of them) the ROI on blogs is significantly better – for the cost of sending them review copies you get regular coverage uninfluenced by advertising versus editorial dliemmas. Many of the blogs plan interviews with us and the participants of the debate once the initial euphoria has calmed down a bit.
So I encourage the independents out there to develop good relationships with your key blogs and ignore/enjoy the noise from the angry blogging contingent.
P.S. I do recognise the irony in writing about the importance of blogs, on a blog.