…In a Mornay sauce with a fried egg on top and spam. Every morning I sort through the previous day’s comments for the site, and notice that the Spam comments are getting sneakier. Luckily, most give the game away by posting; ‘Love the article! Have you tried ordering larger dress sizes online?’ Some arrive in broken English from our Russian comrades, pointing readers to body-building supplements or suspicious-sounding investment opportunities in the Ukraine. Some are so bloody cheeky I don’t mind running them.
But I think from today we’ll only go for the ones that have a vague connection with lit-rat-cher, shall we? Books are in a dire state and need all the help they can get. I’m amazed to discover that a great many writers don’t have websites and don’t do social networking – nothing wrong with that, of course, but it’s creating a gap between those who do and those who don’t. In the US, online book clubs help readers and publishers alike. Here, I recently did a panel about teen fiction and was shocked when one of the other authors actually started slagging off the internet to a room full of students. Bit of an own goal there, I felt.
Love it or hate it, it’s here to stay and has become an essential requirement for authors. Or you could leave it to the (not very successful) publisher I recently met who said; ‘We don’t have an online presence yet, but,’ – here he sighed wearily – ‘I suppose we should think about it.’