Many webloggers have noted the value of blogging in support of a book (or a writing career in general). Ben Kerschberg, whose Piercing the Veil is a memoir of his experience with attempted suicide, mental illness, and hospitalization, is one such writer. As he puts it when describing his book:
Ben Kerschberg knew at age seven that he would one day attempt suicide. … It was not a whim or fleeting fancy. It was not an idea he toyed with. He just knew. And he was right.
Ben decided to include a weblog on his site to continue discussing the issues raised by his memoir and to add information he learns and feedback he receives in the wake of his book’s release. He also has plans of writing another nonfiction book, this one about stigmatization of the mentally ill. Inevitably, his work on this blog will inform his next writing project.
In my literary agent role, I’ve been preaching to writers for several years now that they can create a virtuous cycle between their books and a website or series of websites that help build their readers into a community that will collaborate with them on future projects. Weblogs seem like the best vehicle for expressing this potential I’ve seen so far, and Kerschberg’s site is a good example of how to do it.
UPDATE: I also meant to mention that Kerschberg has pledged 100% of his royalties to charity (the hospital to which he was admitted after his failed suicide attempt). “[I]t’s a cause that affects millions,” he says. “I’ve already seen this book save a life. ”
For this reason, I’m also offering the option of a $5 charitable donation in exchange for a PDF of the manuscript. I know this can be disseminated beyond my control, but I don’t really care, and I still trust people.