An old-school author

WD0809When I pulled my copy of Writer’s Digest from the mailbox yesterday, I was happy to see Anne Tyler smiling at me. In honor of her 18th novel due out in January, she granted the magazine a rare interview—but only by email. She’s an extremely private person, having not given a face to face interview since 1977. As the article states:

“Anne Tyler belongs to a disappearing generation of writers, those who came into their own in an era when it was more than enough to—well, to simply write.”

For new authors, such reclusiveness is unimaginable in today’s publishing world. Once you’ve written, edited, revised and polished your book, once you’ve signed with an agent, once your agent sells your book to a publisher—then you get to start another career. You have to market your book.

Of course, most authors have always done book signings and interviews, but in this digital age, you’re expected to also have a website, a blog, a Twitter account, do podcasts, blog tours, and anything else you can think of to promote your book. It’s up to you to write it and sell it.

All that activity, of course, does not excuse you from setting to work on your next book … and don’t think you can take three years to finish it. Authors are expected to be personalities … to entertain their fans. And if you’re not a writer, but you are a celebrity … hey, there’s probably a multi-million dollar advance check with your name already on it.

So, all you writers out there, is this self-promotion policy something you enjoy (if you’re published), look forward to (if you’re aspiring), or do you long for the days when writers could “simply write” and publishers publicized?

17 thoughts on “An old-school author

  1. You’re kidding??? Breathing Lessons, An Amateur Marriage, A Patchwork Planet, If Morning Ever Comes, Saint Maybe, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, Back When We Were Grownups–Did I mention Ladder of Years?

    Okay-I’m going to take a walk and clear my brain.

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    1. All great books. You know, A Patchwork Planet is the book that really got me back into reading more fiction. I had gotten mired in non-fiction, mostly religious studies, and one day my youngest son handed me that book and told me he thought I’d like the author. I certainly did and have read all her novels more than once, now.

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