Familiarity breeds...

well, sometimes it can breed a whole lot of things that we aren't sure that we need or want. Such as those people that you treat nicely and are rewarded with a snarky attitude or even lewd suggestions. But sometimes familiarity breeds success... And in the case of Jenny Crusie and Bob Mayer they are reaping the benefits of familiarity in droves. Last year at conference time they decided to start a blog and sites dedicated to their new venture of tandem writing of Romantic Adventures. As they said during a talk at the NEC conference, no one was quite sure what was going to happen with a book written from a male and female perspective alternatively. But since both had a strong readership already the idea of combining their efforts and promoting their difference became the linchpin in their successful book launch of Don't Look Down.DLD, as they affectionately call it, hit the NYT list at #21! Nothing to sneeze at especially when you add to that the fact that this is basically an untried venture. But a large part of their success is due to the fact that they built their following through familiarity. By using the things that they do well, a great wit and even at times a bit of sibling type rivalry that most can identify with, they managed to legion a troop of the most dedicated readers. The Cherrys, these are the ones that are Jenny's fans from her writing lists, and The Cherry Bombs, those followers from the dueling blogs of Jenny & Bob are among the most ardent followers. They show up in cherry stylized gear and offer a support system nationwide that could rival the red hat followers. They gave of themselves, offering up their frustrations, their successes and even their shortcomings to make themselves a part of everyday life... and in doing so hit on a goldmine that most writers will never see. In all of the years that I have been writing I have seen a lot of hero worship on the part of readers (and writers) to those they looked up to. Some of it was kindly accepted, warmly invited and even encouraged. Others really didn't get what it was that they were being offered. But as writers, we write in an isolated vacuum. Without those human interactions we would have nothing to write about and without familiarity that comes with those human interactions we would be left out in cold... or perhaps off the bookstore shelves.

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