Sunday, January 23, 2011

My spin on: JOANNE KAUFMAN's article "How Authors Move Their Own Merchandise"

Writers must now not just write well, have a great story and a burning desire to write it, but it is essential to have the guts of a peddler and soul of a meddler to promote and sell our darlings.

After slaving over whatever media for who knows how long to get that baby out, crouched over a computer, paper, calloused form a pen or seat on the train, or speaking into a recorder or iphone while commuting, and hurrying to write down the diamonds of idea, story and prose in the rough, before… before it stops making sense. Refining, rewriting, not becoming discouraged by rejections and finally getting an agent or publisher, is time to resort to any and all means to sell it.

"It's no longer a top-down media culture," said Paul Bogaards, from Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Making donations, running contests, pre-publishing marketing, working Facebook friends, twitting tweets, blogging blogs, and all social networking sites, to provide venues for pushing prose, is light lifting. And God knows that its not easy to keep up with all the logins, updates, replies and oh… is enough to make me just curl up with a good book or stare at the TV or just take up cooking.

Penny Sansevieri, "To get noticed," she said, "you have to throw more at people than just your book."

So, is the writer relying on great technique down the drain of obscurity? Is becoming the Lady Gagas of writing - to be really out-there? Is that the do or perish on the unsought, unread shelves of sweethearts abandoned?

From contest to sex toys, gifts, signed copies, “Particularly for up-and-coming authors, advance purchases "get the attention of publishers, which may get them to put more muscle behind the book," said Anne-Lise Spitzer, the creative marketing director for Knopf.”

To be read one must use You Tube, the stage and even marathons to make a few fans that will (hopefully) make more. If you are thinking, as I am by now, that best I schlep a backpack and go door to door, we are not that far off from reality. So, when does a writer get to write and when does fan chase end and is their life that?

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