Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Author Success Story: Initiating Online Conversations

Stephen Gallup, author of What About the Boy?, describes his initial foray into building an online presence:

I am attempting to initiate online conversations on topics related to my memoir, What About the Boy? A Father’s Pledge to His Disabled Son. To do this, I have begun writing short blog entries and posting them to my website, www.fatherspledge.com. Upon posting them, I then announce their existence on my Facebook page and on Twitter.

My book tells the story of how my family responded when our baby failed to achieve any of the usual developmental milestones and, even worse, was clearly in great distress—and when doctors had no recommendations other than psychological counseling for his mother and me. We argued that he was the one in need of help, and we took responsibility for continuing the search until we knew what to do.

My first serious blog entry concerned the rationale for trying to change a child. There are some who debate this issue, saying that “neurological diversity” is a good thing and that it does violence to a child to alter his natural state. Although I disagree, it may be possible for the two sides in this issue to find common ground. I welcomed feedback from all quarters.

The next week, I wrote about gatekeepers, who I describe as being individuals in a position to control our access to what we need. My family found gatekeepers to be an impediment and a worthless part of the equation. We got around them. My blog entry observes that, in the years since our son was little, the role of gatekeepers in many areas of life has become ever more tenuous.

My book is still in production. More specifically, the designer is making final tweaks to the interior layout, after which it will be going to print. Since it is not yet on the market, I cannot claim that this blogging has resulted in sales. However, the objective is to create buzz and present the title to the reading public, in hopes that they will look for it later. Email and Facebook responses are encouraging.

- Stephen Gallup, author of What About the Boy? A Father’s Pledge to His Disabled Son - http://www.fatherspledge.com
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