Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Comment: LBC Winner; Big Ad Question

I've just received word that the members of the Litblog Co-Op have spoken, and the Fall Read This! selection has been chosen! But... it's a secret, and I can't tell ya whether

Firmin: Adventures of a Metropolitan Lowlife by Sam Savage from Coffee House Press

Sideshow: Stories by Sidney Thompson from River City Publishing
Manbug by George Ilsley from Arsenal Pulp Press

is the big winner. That announcement will come on October 16, followed by lots of chats with the authors (of the winner and the two runners up) and blog posts by the clever literary folks who read the books and made the call. Pick up one or more of these books if you have a chance in the meantime - these links will send you to the Powell's website, or you can pick them up at your local indie bookstore.

* * *

And now I have a serious question for you, the readership. I've been approached by another blogger about a new service called Brainiads, which will allow bloggers to work with individually chosen partners (such as publishers) to show advertisements on their blog sites that might interest readers. Click on the links to The Millions or Conversational Reading at right to see some examples of what they're doing already.

I've specifically avoided having ads on this site before, primarily because most of the available ad software will leave me with a bunch of Amazon ads -- not exactly what an indie bookstore fanatic like me wants to promote. But I'm considering taking up the Brainiad offer, because 1) it would be nice to make some small change from all this time I'm putting in on The Written Nerd, and more importantly 2) these are ads that might actually offer something valuable to people reading this blog, and 3) from what I understand, these are ads that will uphold, not compromise, my values in terms of supporting independents.

There was some flap in the blog world a while ago (unfortunately I can't track down the posts) when John Freeman of the National Book Critics Circle and its blog boasted that the NBCC would never run ads on its site. Other bloggers reacted with indignation, saying that Freeman's income when he writes a review for the New York Times comes indirectly from that periodical's ads, so why should he begrudge bloggers a few pennies from Amazon clicks? It's a valid point, but I feel it's an issue that's still being played out, as are many other aspects of the nature of the Internet as both a free-for-all where opinions are posted for their own sake, and a way to actually turn a profit.

So I'm posting the question to you, if you care. Would you like to see advertisements on The Written Nerd? Why or why not? Are there some ads that would be more acceptable than others? Speak up if it matters to you, and I'll take your opinions into consideration as I plan for the future of this site.


Anonymous said...

I think you should go for it. I have also been approached, and they are allowing opt-outs on any ad campaigns that folks feel don't fit in with their particular site. The Brainiads for Laird Hunt's "The Exquisite" are part of what drove me to read that book, which I loved; if I can do the same with my site, and direct people to good publishers like Coffee House Press, good deal.

Plus, I kind of feel like your blog and my blog and other literary blogs are providing a good service - a community of book lovers, a way for people of similar mindsets to connect and share ideas and good reads. If a few extra dollars here and there go to support keeping the blogs going, is that a bad thing? I don't think so.

Noelle said...

You're already advertising the books when you talk about them, why not get some money for it? If you can avoid the Amazon trap, do it!

Anonymous said...

Go for it, making a little money is not a crime and this sounds like it's geared specifically to fit your kind of blog.

Anonymous said...

Certainly look into it! Why is it so often looked down upon to make a profit? You provide a valuable service and you should be compensated for it.

Anonymous said...

I, too, think you should do it. I love the blog Conversational Reading, and I like that he provides the option to either (a) buy from an indie (in his case, Powell's), or (b) buy from Amazon. I think your readership already believes in the indie bookstore cause, so I don't think you'd be ushering any of us to spend our $$ on amazon. I would more than likely see your ad, read up on the book, and if I decide to purchase, I would probably go to my local indie website ( to place my order. There's my free bit of advertising.

Anonymous said...

I say go for it, too.

Book Nerd said...

Thanks so much for your thoughts, guys. Who could ask for a clearer "mandate"? =) I've told the Brainiads folks that you have spoken, and I'm in. Look for those ads here sometime in November.