To Blog or Not to Blog? The Making of a Picture Book
I have spotted a brilliant example of a situation where the answer is an unqualified "yes." Superstar mom blogger Rhee Drummond shows us how it's done.
Ms. Drummond posted Twenty Steps to Writing a Children's Book on her ever popular blogsite The Pioneer Woman. Never shy of lengthy photo essays, Drummond shows in intricate detail the creation of her new picture book. Post gives the full blow-by-blow: there are photos of the real dog Charlie who inspired the story, followed by early sketches by the illustrator, and then story boards. It is a beautiful post, and well conceived. After all, Drummond's audience is made up primarily of mothers who read picture books aloud every day. What a joy it is to see the creation process.
And Drummond has hit her mark. When I visited the blog post late in the day of its posting, there were already 436 comments. "My copy is on its way!" some gushed. There is no doubt in my mind that this lovely post will sell several hundred books.
The strategy, however, is probably not replicable by mere mortals. I have no idea how many years / posts / high resolution art photographs Drummond has spent building her blog into the phenomenon that it is today. But it was an enormous effort which is now paying enormous dividends (including a movie deal).
Even the way this post fits into her bigger business picture is special, because by definition the book's material does not repeat the blog's everyday material. (The book is for children, the blog is for adults.)
In short, it was a brilliant use of the publicity platform she'd already built to sell an unrelated work. My hat is off to her.