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Why don't you email JMM and see if he'll give you a week? He doesn't seem booked up all the time, and I'm sure it'd be a good way to sell some books and get some good discussion gone. Starting a new blog like this from scratch is tough going, I think.

the aardvark

A new blog is impossible, I think.. I'm thinking about this as a companion to AA (with all the serious post linked over there) to keep AA from getting cluttered up with the book stuff. If it turns out nobody follows the links over here, then you're right, I'll probably have to move the content back over to AA for anyone to see it. Bu


It seems that devoting a whole blog to just one book might be way too narrow a focus to build up a large audience. Publishers themselves might have better success creating larger blogs devoted to certain genres or themes on which many similar books can be showcased and discussed in one place, sort of like a Slashdot or History News Network for new books. For instance, Yale University Press could create a blog for all of their history or Mideast or whatever publications.

A blog like this could even bring attention to older books as well as brand new ones. For example, say you wrote a book about civil strife in Jordan 5 years ago but now all of the sudden there are huge riots and the king is forced to flee the country. This is big news and people are going to want to know the context behind what is going on. That's the perfect time for a publisher to put your book on their blog so that it can get all the attention from the blog's regular visitors as well as from all the many many other blogs that will trackback to it and even the big metafilter sites such as Plastic, Arts & Letters Daily, and others. That's thousands of people(at the very least!) becoming interested in your 5 year old book who never would have known it existed had it not been for the publisher blog getting the ball rolling.


Also, I think it would be great to see Abu Aardvark on BookTV over on CSPAN2. It seems to me that you and your book would be a perfect fit and it would get you some exposure in yet another medium! You'd reach a large audience that includes people like my mother: people who are very much interested in books and ideas but who don't have much to do with either the internet or political science journals.

I also know from personal experience that BookTV is an excellent source of stocking stuffer ideas.

the aardvark

Yohan, you're right - and that's an interesting idea, by the way. Really, I think of this Voices blog more as "page 2" of Abu Aardvark, which AA readers who don't want to read aobut Voices can skip. It isn't really meant to have an independent identity - its value will hopefully come later, when the book starts getting reviewed. We'll see.


You could also try to score a booking with Chris Lydon, who is a very skilled interviewer with an interest in the Middle East, the media, and blogs!

His site is:

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Praise for Voices of the New Arab Public

  • Choice
    "Outstanding Academic Title" 2006.
  • Perspectives on Politics
    "a significant contribution to the emerging field of the media and politics and the budding literature on the new electronic media and Arab politics. It is a highly scholarly study, extensively researched, well documented, and lucidly written, combining a wealth of data and keen analysis, which offer an excellent understanding of the nature, evolution, and impact of the Arab media and the rising Arab public sphere." -Mahmud Faksh
  • Middle East Journal
    "Here, the study of Arab public opinion has matured to the standards of American political science.... Lynch has not only described voices of the new Arab public; he has provided the point of departure for all serious analysis of it in the future." - Jon Anderson
  • Choice
    "This study is lucidly written, and an excellent discussion of the true nature of the Arab media and opinion... Highly recommended."
  • TBS Journal
    " a scholarly book that reads in parts like a thriller.... must-read work for anyone interested in political communication, civil society, democratization or transformation processes in Arab societies."
  • New Statesman (UK)
    "...an exhilarating story of the emergence of an Arab public voice, frustrated by the oppressive incompetence of most of its rulers and hungry for better government. But it is also a cautionary tale of a huge energy that we have hardly begun to appreciate... Lynch's authoritative and exciting book, rooted in local knowledge, urgently demands that we engage with this modern Arab world..... We have everything to learn from listening to it, much to gain from a conversation with it, and have already disastrously lost much by ignoring it."
  • Philip Sieb
    "an excellent job of appraising the impact of this change... a fascinating look at media-driven political discourse." - Milwaukee Journal, February 2006
  • William Rugh
    "a unique and valuable contribution to understanding issues vital to Americans. Its wealth of detail on what Arabs discuss among themselves will help Westerners understand the true nature of Arab media and opinion. Marc Lynch lets us listen to ongoing Arab discussions Westerners rarely hear." - Ambassador William Rugh
  • John Bradley
    "this subtly subversive book will quickly become the focus of what is too often a shrill debate over the role of the Arab media." - Newsweek International, February 20, 2006


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