Publishers Weekly has reported on a novel (sorry!) way to use blogging for book promotion purposes:
Hachette is taking interactivity to the next level by bringing favorite fictional characters right to readers’ Web browsers. Beginning on April 1, Hachette’s FaithWords division will have the five main characters in its new All About Us YA series begin blogging.
The blog site, www.allaboutusbooks.net, went live on Monday with a chatty post from “Lissa,” a fictional teen whose exploits at an elite boarding school will be featured in the first novel of the series, It’s All About Us by Shelley Adina, which will hit stores in May with a 65,000 copy first print run. Lissa’s troubles with boys, fashionistas, and fitting in with the trust-fund set may sound like Gossip Girls, and indeed it is—with a Christian twist, since the books deal with questions of faith. Lissa and her “besties” (that’s “best friends” in MySpace-speak) will take turns starring in the books—with The Fruit of My Lipstick and Be Strong and Curvaceous scheduled to release in August and January, respectively—but the characters will all have a presence simultaneously on the blog.
You can read the full article here.
A few thoughts:
1) I went to the site, but it seems that you have to register to access the chatty post referenced, and I wasn't up for that.
2) We all know authors who use blogs to promote their work, but do you know of authors who are blogging as their characters to do the same? How new an idea is this? Some months back I did notice "Margene's blog" on the Big Love section of the HBO Web site, so the idea of fictional blogs and bloggers evidently has some precedent. I'm just curious about other--and book-based--examples.
3) Am I crazy for trying to see some higher purpose here? Might keeping a (private) blog as a character rather than as oneself help with that always challenging task of character development? Have we perhaps discovered a new, if ongoing, fiction exercise?
What do you think?