Authors, Writers, Publishers, and Book Readers

I got wind of one of the most appalling comments written by an author I know. To paraphrase, she informed us all that “You can't teach an old dog new tricks,” and “All that Internet stuff is too new for me.” She went on to say her computer is for writing her manuscripts and research, that “Anything more is beyond me.”


Before anyone here plays the devil's advocate and tries to see her point, let me just add that when this author was invited to sell at our local bookfest, she sent someone in her place. She doesn't like to meet the public. All she feels she is required to do is write the book.

What this author is too green, too ignorant to understand is that self-pubbed and small-press authors never stood much of a chance in the book world prior to Internet marketing. Sure, you could pay thousands of dollars to have someone market your book—I know a self-pub author who did exactly that and got low sales anyway.

Then along comes the entire world to our PC's. It doesn't matter who you are or where you're located, you can create a fan base, a profile, a following. I sit in my PJ's most of the day and answer interview questions, blog on websites, pass on info to other writers and interconnect on the Internet.

You want to be my friend on Face Book, Crime Space, Shelfari? I want to sell you my books. You want to say wonderful things in reviews? I will subscribe and promote your blogsite. Quid pro quo. You scratch my back, I'll promote yours. This is collaboration, collective bargaining, networking at its best.

The new buzz word is “platform.” The author I mentioned hasn't got a platform, she's got a basement. She's already convinced herself that she hasn't the ability to market via the Internet. What she's really copping to is the fact that she's too lazy and can't be bothered to learn promotion. What this tells me is that she doesn't want a career. She is holding on to the illusion that “real authors” isolate themselves in a garret and wait for the world to discover their genius. Hemingway and Hammett are dead. So is that type of thinking, if it ever was valid to begin with.

Don't pass up ANY opportunity handed to you. Only old dogs bite the hand that feeds.

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