Friday, February 15, 2013


Thousands of people blog daily. Most of us are less dedicated, but we still hope others find our blogs useful or interesting. Some of us even envision our blog as publicity for our other creative activities. In my case my medical mystery suspense novels: Coming Flu and Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight (due out in March 2013).

Is the publicity generated by a blog a form of advertising?
I’m obviously no marketing expert so I’ll quote two.

Advertising is something you get by paying for it. Publicity however, is something you hope you'll get. (Benchmark Communications at

Advertising and publicity are two very different communication tools, even though both employ the mass media as a vehicle for reaching large audiences… Advertising buys its way into the media… Publicity is presented by the media because it's "newsworthy." (Michael Turney in Online Readings in Public Relations at

I guess the answer is:  No, blogs should not be considered a form of advertising.

How do advertising and publicity influence our behavior?
Although publicity and advertising are different, I thought if I understood the psychology of advertising, I might do a better job at publicizing my novels. I’m guessing (if you’re still reading), you might think so, too.

Dempsey and Mitchell (Journal of Consumer Research [Dec 4, 2010] Vol. 37) found advertising sold products not by providing factual information but by surrounding the product with other things shoppers liked, thus creating positive attitudes about the product. At least that was true 70-80% of the time. I wondered if this ‘attitude adjustment” worked for more abstract products than toothpaste and cereal.

Could I sell more of my novels if I associated them with something pleasant in potential readers’ minds?
That’s hard to do when you write realistic thrillers. Somehow I don’t think posting a picture of a decorator box of tissues when I write about my novel Coming Flu will help sales.

Maybe I did a better job when I titled my second novel Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight. The heroine Linda Almquist in the book loses ten pounds in fifteen days when she investigates a “diet doctor” for two murders. I even show readers how she does it without consciously dieting. That’s something positive.

Bottom line?
I believe in research so I’ve included positive images in this blog - pictures of my dog Bug when he’s trying to ignore me and when he’s trying to please me. By the way Bug is the only nonfictional character in both my novels.

JL Greger
Coming Flu (paper back and e-book formats) is available form the publisher Oak Tree Press and Amazon. Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight will be published in March.