Get yourself out there—REALLY, really out there!

The author as performer—some love it, most dread it. Yet as you’ve no doubt been reminded countless times, it’s not enough simply to write a book these days and have the publisher sell it. Websites, Facebook, Twitter, blogging, mailing lists, events, all of these things are part and parcel of being a published author. In fact, one of the first things we do when we sign up a client is send them a media guide to make them aware of how much extra-book self-promotion they’ll need to do right from the start.

But hey—at least we’re not living in the 19th Century! I loved this essay from the Times Book Review this past Sunday (yep, I’m back on the love side of loving/hating the Times) on all the crazy ways authors have promoted their books over the centuries, starting with Herodotus in Ancient Greece and running through Hemingway and Steinbeck “shilling” for Ballantine Ale in the 1950s. But it sounds like 1800s France was really the place to be for rabid self-promotion—and note that virtually all the stunts like hot air balloons and sandwich boards were paid for by the authors, not publishers…

So be of good cheer, ye naturally reclusive authors—it could be a lot worse. At least modern promotion relies mostly on remote transmissions for which you don’t even have to leave the house. And if you do love the spotlight, then be proud to follow in a grand literary tradition!

3 Responses to Get yourself out there—REALLY, really out there!

  1. I’ll pose for a beer ad as long as it’s not “lite” and the deal comes with free beer. The other stuff is just silly.

  2. So the suspension for 72 hours from a glass cage hasn’t actually been done yet? I’ll go with that–as long as I’m only an inch of the ground and have an adequate chocolate supply. :)

  3. Donna Hole says:

    **screams, runs into closet, closes door; damn, forgot the crayons**

    Seriously; its a frightening adventure. One I’m sure I’ll survive – at least in today’s publishing venue – but it doesn’t take the scary out.

    **link for “I wish I represented is distracting**


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