On my other site, AuthorCulture, I’ve written a review for Billy Coffey’s book, Snow Day, and we’re holding a drawing for it over there, but here I wanted talk a little about Billy’s website, What I Learned Today, and what other writers can learn from it.
For instance, if you click on his post today (11/10/10), you’ll find a cleverly written piece called “Back in my day . . . .” What’s great about this post–about all of Billy’s posts–is that it illustrates his writing style, from description to dialogue to characterization, and does so without a single “how to” lesson about writing. A reader would enjoy his story and take away from it the lesson he presents. A writer would linger over his turns of phrase, his voice, his style–and enjoy his story and take away from it the lesson he presents.
Through his blog, Billy shows himself to be a terrific writer; he also reaches out to his readers and touches their hearts. His blog illustrates who he is–in other words, it’s a great marketing tool to illustrate his “brand.” If you read his blog, then read his book, you’ll see there’s not much difference. Both present the voice of this country philospher. His blog readers will know what to expect when they buy his books.
Billy is open about himself and his home life in his site, something else that works as a marketing tool. Because he’s so “relate-able,” he attracts readers like children to ice cream. Of course, being active on Twitter helps, but once folks find his site, they usually become dedicated readers. His personable posts are always appealing and thought-provoking. And, as I said, they define who he is.
What I Learned Today is an excellent marketing tool, an entertaining blog, and a wonderful illustrative source of fine writing. Of course, there are terrific writing blogs out there–AuthorCulture being one of them. But if you want to learn through example, check out Billy’s site.
By the way–he’ll have another book out before long, well within a year or so, called Paper Angels. I’m already eager to get my hands on that one. Meanwhile, slip over to AuthorCulture and win a copy of his first one, Snow Day.