Since Jane already noted the high stakes, high drama standoff between Amazon and Macmillan, and Rachel already discussed the death of J.D. Salinger (anyone else think he’s totally overrated?), I wasn’t quite sure what to blog about today. Then I found this pretty fascinating article from the Denver Post about the author’s role in publicizing their own work.
Tama Kieves might be a little hyperbolic with regard to her readers (“They thank God for me and I thank God for them,”) but she makes a number of solid points about the need for authors to take on a distinct amount of the burden of publicizing their book.
Though Kieves is prepared to “walk across the desert for this book,” most people don’t have the time, energy, or financial backing to be able to make PR a full time job. That said, self-promotion is a big part of the business. And though the tone of a lot of publicity discussions is increasingly negative (my publisher didn’t send me on tour, I don’t understand why Oprah hasn’t called, etc.), I think it’s actually a really exciting time to be published.
Social networking sites make spreading the word about your work cheaper and easier than ever. And for those authors who are on the shyer end, you don’t even need to actually speak to anyone to get the job done! Sure, publicity budgets may be decreasing, and your publisher might not set you up in a fancy hotel before your Today show appearance, but there is a rabid group of readers out there almost asking to be directed towards new work.