While working on an assignment for my Book Marketing and Sales class, I came across a pretty interesting and engaging use of blogging in the book publishing world. Jennifer Cowan, author of the young adult novel Earthgirl, has created a blog with posts in the voice of the main character of Earthgirl, Sabine “Bean” Solomon.
I think this is a fantastic idea, for several reasons. How often have you finished a book and thought, “I don’t want this story to end yet. I want to stay with this character for a little while longer!”? As an avid reader, I would love the opportunity to read additional content about, and especially from, a character that I enjoyed getting to know.
Earthgirl’s blog is a particularly good idea given the target audience for the book. Teenagers spend so much time online that online content seems to me like a great way to keep them invested and engaged in a book. The content of the blog is also pretty great: it continues to educate youth about the environment and the world around them, while staying true to the character’s voice. The blog format allows the content to stay timely in a way that a sequel wouldn’t, allowing the character to react to events as they are occurring. Through Sabine’s voice, Cowan is able to garner attention for her book and her character while raising awareness about important events and issues such as world water day and earth hour.
The sidebar of the blog contains some of my favourite features. It includes the links you would expect on this sort of blog, such as links to the publisher’s website, several websites where readers can purchase the book, and a positive review of the book by the Quill and Quire, but it also includes links to musicians to “feed your soul,” and links to eco-related websites to “free your mind”, such as a personal favourite of mine, the story of stuff. Lastly, it includes a list of Sabine’s mantras, such as “the more you know the less you need” and “I will be the change I wish to see in the world.”
Do you know of any other blogs that are written in the voice of a fictional character? So far I haven’t found any others, but I did find a Twitter account written by a fake Laura Ingalls Wilder, HalfPintIngalls, which seems to me like a wonderful way to relive a favourite story from my childhood.