Suspend Your Disbelief

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Writer, Sell Thyself

Peddler, 1849

Peddler, 1849. Photo Credit: Flickr

On the NYTimesOpinionator blog this weekend, Dick Cavett reflects on the role of author as salesman in “I Wrote It, Must I Also Hustle It?” Cavett writes:

I just did 12 — or was it 14? — back-to-back radio interviews from New York to Seattle and, so it seemed after five of them, all points in between.

Somewhere around number eight you begin to lapse into a kind of dream state, wondering if what you just said was something you had said to the same person 10 minutes ago; or was that said to the previous host? Maybe he is the one you said it twice to? Or do you think you just said it now but in fact only thought it?

You want to go back to bed.

Writers with far less name recognition than Cavett are very familiar with the importance of providing a public face to their books. The competition for review space, speaking engagements, radio gigs – you name it – is fierce, and agents, publicists, friends and the authors themselves work together to get the word out about a book. With even table space at the bookstore is up for sale, a coordinated strategy is key to giving a new book a shot at finding its audience.

Writers, and their agents and publisher, have been getting creative. Eco book tours, promoting a new novel by sail boat, creating an app for a book (separate from the e-book version) for use on the iPhone and iPad, and the list goes on. Have you seen an unconventional, innovative way an author is getting the word out about her book? We’d love to hear about it.

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