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Writers and Self-Promotion

Walter Jon Williams has some interesting things to note about the changes that have occurred in the publishing industry in the last 20 years.

“Writers of mid-list fiction — which is pretty much everything but the best-sellers — are more or less obliged in these sub-lunary times to shoulder the burdens of publicity and promotion ourselves. We are expected to have web pages, we are expected to have blogs. It’s not that I don’t enjoy communicating with my readers, or that I don’t have fun on this blog, but I have to wonder how much profit actually accrues from this use of my time.”

See also: How Innovative Authors are using the Internet to Increase Their Profiles and SF/F Writers Who Blog.

About John DeNardo (13013 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

5 Comments on Writers and Self-Promotion

  1. Link to the original post.

  2. Criminey. Thanks, Jon. |-)

  3. Interesting, this. I run an online SF/F discussion group with about 500 members. Our members nominate novels every month, then vote on the nominations to decide which one will be the Book of the Month. I’ve been emailing the authors of these novels to invite them to join the group and discuss their novels with our members. Aside from enriching the discussion for our members, it also seems like a good marketing opportunity for the authors, to reach a few hundred dedicated readers. So far we’ve had John C. Wright, David Brin, Jeff Vandermeer and Robert Charles Wilson join, but most authors turn down the invitation or simply don’t respond. On the flip side, we get bombarded by new authors who just want to join the group to promote their new novels – often self-published. As this comes across as spam, we unfortunately have to block these messages. It’s hard to draw a line – we want to help authors promote their novels but at the same time not turn into a free-for-all.

  4. My agent and publisher both regard me as an effective self-promoter, but I think it’s essential not to cross the line into spamming territory. Whenever I come up with some bright new-ish idea I just ask myself how I’d like to be on the end of it.

    By the way, I’ve written a cautionary article on the subject of promoting your book online. You’ll find it here.

    In a nutshell, you can’t go wrong giving away free books. Everything else is regarded with suspicion.

  5. joshua corning // July 10, 2007 at 7:42 pm //

    Good writers have to pimp themselves to get a readership!?!?!

    SF signal is not doing its job.


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