Thursday, July 9, 2009

The author as hustler

It's no secret that it is hard for an author to get the world to know that he or she has published a new book when that author is not already famous. And the state of publishing nowadays isn't helping. The Daily Beast reports on the phenomenon of authors reaching out to book groups to sell themselves. It means that not only do they have to write well, but they also have to sell well. That's pretty tough on those poor starving artists in their garrets or ivory towers or wherever they hang out.

TDB: Money is scarce for publicity, and the way it’s often hoarded to buy full-page ads for the books that make bank (think: James Patterson, Stephen King) means that authors must be on-call at all times. To make a living off of fiction, most writers must be as attuned to marketing as they are to writing... The focus on book clubs has spurred the evolution of a new breed: the author-hustler, the writer who succeeds in large part because of door-to-door salesmanship. After the writing comes a new challenge, one of industriousness, perseverance, and charm. More...

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