September 3, 2012
Back when I published my first novel--an event which has been on my mind, perhaps because my daughter is now the age I was when I had her and when my first novel was published--it was completely unnecessary to do the sort of self-promotion and self-generated publicity that is now an integral part of the profession. In fact, there was a supposition that my job was to WRITE, a private and solitary act, and that all of the other aspects of having a book published were assigned to the experts--my first editor, Laura Geringer; my first publicist, Bill Morris, my first agent, whose name escapes me. I did nothing, NOTHING, to promote, or sell, or publicize my own books, and nothing was expected of me. My work was sent out into the wide world by others and everything was carefully filtered for me, filtered and fluffed, so that nothing would discourage or confuse me--the new writer, she-who-must-be-protected, exposed to the marketplace gently.
How lucky I was, to have published at all during that era, certainly an easier time for writers who are shy and love their privacy. I never even made a phone call on my own behalf--I just waited for others to promote me, knowing that the rewards of writing a good book would come. And rewards did come--strong sales, invitations to speak, citations and awards--all without any effort from me beyond doing my best to write the books I was meant to write.
Well...I have just spent the past month, getting my book and my name out, out, out into the marketplace, with the invaluable help of a seasoned publicist, but I am experiencing up close and personal, the changing role of the writer in our overly-interconnected world where buzz and speed and promotion is everything!