I was a little sheepish about mentioning to anyone at my press that I have a blog. I was afraid the reaction might be like that of my 16-year-old daughter, who, upon hearing that I like to blog first thing in the morning, said: “Well, you could be writing your book!”
But apparently blogs are recommended. Or at least recommended when the book is written. The Penguin Blog offered some advice recently. And they break it down to four basic guidelines. (Hat tip to OUP Blog.)
1) It should be personal – but not mundane.
2) The author should write about their work as well as their interests.
3) They should be entertaining company.
4) Posts should be regular and frequent.
Well, the Legal History Blog fails on at least one criteria: it is not “personal.” I don’t want it to be “personal.” And frankly, not all readers want it to be “personal.” Hopefully there can be a corner, even in the blogosphere, for a refuge from the cult of personality. So my advice to academic author bloggers: unless that sort of blogging appeals to you, I think (hope) you can engage a readership without needing to abandon your privacy.
Some FLP personal details: I have been suffering from a bad head cold, and yesterday I ran out of tissues, but I was too sick to go shopping, so I spent yesterday night wondering why I haven’t been buying softer toilet paper. Did that information improve your blog reading experience? Nope, didn’t think that it would.