Before working in publishing, I thought an author's life consisted of sleeping in late, wearing a dressing gown all day, writing chapter after chapter of the next big novel, and attending glamorous book tour events. I pictured authors being shuffled from bookstore to bookstore for signings and readings and warm cozy nights tucked away in five-star luxury. Well, those thoughts were soon laid to rest upon entering the business.
The LA Times published an interesting article over the weekend which describes the kind of book tour that is most common these days - the drive-yourself, couch-surfing, expenses-out-of-your-own-pocket kind of book tour. It's nothing like what some of us dreamed up for our favorite writers. Now, more and more writers are promoting their books the DIY way because as the publishing business changes, so do the money risks of sending authors on book tours.
Not only do you have to be an incredible writer to gain a fan base these days; you have to be an incredible marketer. It takes a fair amount of effort to promote a book and reach out to new readers, and seeing the amount of work some authors put in when publishers cannot, is something that I greatly admire in authors. It's all about dedication to the craft, and from reading that article, there certainly remains a lot of dedication in the world of writing.