For years before I started my own business as a freelance writer and publishing consultant, I was a national event specialist for Borders Group, Inc. This meant that I booked authors for events in our many stores across the country, while also hosting a vast number of events in our Manhattan location. I was given the opportunity to work with many authors, some famous, others not so famous, and there were even a few infamous thrown in the mix. Because of this, I had the occasion to witness some amazing attitudes or just plain ignorance when it came to dealing with booksellers. I was amazed that these authors didn't realize that their rude behavior could mean books pulled from the shelves before the market had a chance to discover them. This bad behavior also could mean that booksellers recommending a book would more likely suggest one where the author didn't scream in his or her face because not every chair was filled for their event. So, when it came time for me to begin doing events for my novel, I implemented what I learned from my experience in dealing with authors and in turn had much success for Without Grace.
Due to the success of my novel, and the experience I had at Borders, I was then paid to write The Author's Guide to Planning Book Events. Initially, I didn't think I had enough info to fill a book, but the more I wrote, the more I realized that many authors could use the information, especially those who are new to the business. It amazes me, though, that there are a number of authors who think it's not their job to promote their book. Whether they are traditionally published or use an alternative means to get their book in readers' hands, forfeiting ownership will mean that the book will not have legs. There's really very little excuse in today's Internet, social media world not to find ways to promote one's book. Even those recognizably named authors like Salman Rushdie, Lisa Scottoline, Alice Hoffman, as well as others, have a major presence on the Worldwide Web because they "get it." Thankfully, we writers no longer have to traipse from one town to the next like our literary forebears did in order to garner readers. Yet, there are still authors who don't understand the necessity of having a Web site, a blog or participating in any of the possible social media outlets all from the comfort of their own home because they expect their publisher to do all the marketing and publicity for them. Unfortunately, especially for the author just starting out, this attitude will quite likely mean a certain short-lived career, no matter how wonderful the writing. With the effort it took to create the book, letting it flounder seems nothing more than foolish. From doing events where only a handful of people show up to interacting with potential fans on Facebook or Twitter, it benefits the author to invest in his or her profession because the publisher can only do so much and so much just isn't enough in today's market.