8.21.2006

More on PR cause y'all are fretting again

Dear Miss Snark,

I'm an as yet unpublished writer and your blog has been wonderfully eye-opening for me. When I was reading "No Tipping" about book promotion, you said that agents expect authors to do lots of pr, including traveling, which I'm aware of. But I, as a full-time college student with three years of school left to go, can't easily leave for longer than two or three days. Since I would more or less be limited to local events or things like email and websites to promote my book, would that be a deterrant to an agent when deciding to represent me or not?


Most pr is done locally, and a lot of it is by phone or electrons. Massive, weeks-long book tours are not the norm. Yes, they happen, but most first time novelists don't do them. If they do, they're set up around your schedule. There's a clause in your contract that says so.

I don't expect clients to disrupt their lives to the point of death/divorce/flunking out. I just want them to be eager to do the things they can, and be WILLING to do the things I know need to be done. The can-do attitude is what I'm looking for.

Don't worry. Write.

12 comments:

HawkOwl said...

Right on. There's only one libray within 300 km of my house. Two hours there and an interview for the local eight-page weekly newspaper and I'm done!

Dave said...

I thought y'all chained writers to keyboards and whipped them daily to get the good stories out?

happy, smiling, friendly agents. . . now that's an original concept ;)

Anonymous said...

And learn to spell "deterrent."

BradyDale said...

I. WOULD. KILL. to go on a book tour. I'd want to do a book tour almost more than I'd actually want to get a book published. I can't even imagine how much fun it would be. If an agent or publisher were willing to set up the appearances for me, I'd probably do it on my own dime, just because I can't imagine a more fun road trip. In fact, I'd really like to do the Perpetual Motion Roadshow for this reason. So cool. I would definitely take unpaid leave from work to do something like this. Wow. Wow. Wow.
I can't believe anyone would ever stress about doing a tour. What could be better? Small venue performances and talking books all day? Sign me up.

You know, there are a lot of introverted writers out there. Hey writers! I'm a really charismatic guy! Send me a few bucks and pay my expenses and I'll pretend to be you and do a really spicy book tour for you. How about it? Any takers? If you're a woman, I can do it in drag. No problem! Very flexible!

Anonymous said...

BradyDale in drag...
But are you better looking than I am?

Poohba said...

BradyDale. Have you happened to read the article on book tours in this month's Writer's Digest?

The author describes a phone conversation she was having with her husband back home. He asked her what city she was in and she had to look out the hotel window and spot the Washington Monument before she could answer him.

Local and regional publicity is one thing. Losing track of what city you're in as you traverse between your hotel room and the local Barnes and Nobles is another. I'd love to be able to promote my book to a national or international audience some day - but extended living out of a suitcase gets old quick.

Anne said...

bradydale, that would make a good plot for a book. A sort of twist on the classic Cyrano de Bergerac story. (For those needing a modern reference, think "Roxanne" and "The Truth About Cats & Dogs.")

Elektra said...

BradyDale: "I can't believe anyone would ever stress about doing a tour. What could be better? Small venue performances and talking books all day? Sign me up."

But you're NOT talking books all day. You're stalking down people in bookstores, praying for even one person to notice you're alive and that your book actually exists.

Anonymous said...

this "forced publicity" thing is a fantasy concocted by Hollywood screenwriters. I don't know anyone who is writing fiction being FORCED to leave their home to promote their books.

What I have noticed is a lot of writers who use it as an excuse to self-publish, so they won't be "forced" into book tours that may take them away from their families. To omany viewings of Cheaper By The Dozen, if you ask me.

Cudd said...

Yay! Thanks for answering this question. It had been bugging me, since I'm in a similar situation to the e-mail author and was wondering the same sort of things.

Cheers to Miss Snark for alleviating our fears!

BradyDale said...

Yeah, yeah, yeah... travelling at length can suck. I know. I did it for work for a while a few years back. It still sounds totally fun, though, and I'd do it for a second. Losing track of what city you are in is part of the charm. Believe me, when I was doing it (for less glamorous reasons), I hated it, in a way. Looking back, I miss it. Besides, I love a stage. Even if it's just two grandmas listening, and that's only because they wanted to sit down.
To anonymous: if you're a woman, then, no... there is almost no way I am better looking than you. Feminine looking, I am not.

BradyDale said...

To anne: You know what would be an interesting book... for an actor and a writer to do this for real, keep some sort of journal of it, and for the two of them to put that into a book. How the one felt about being someone else for a length of time and how the other felt coaching someone in being him.