Book Miles

July 10th, 2011
Book Signing at Seton Hill University

Signing for Many Genres, One Craft at Seton Hill University.

So here’s a question: how important are live events in the marketing of books? I trust everyone reading this blog is a book reader and buyer, and many of you are writers as well. So what do you think? Do the wonders of Social Media make is possible for a writer to rely on virtual touring? Or is it still necessary to do in-person events?

I’ve just returned home from a string of appearances, starting with a couple of book-launch event for Many Genres, One Craft — one event at the Stoker Weekend in New York, the other part of the In Your Write Mind Writers Retreat at Seton Hill University. The events were successful, providing opportunity to sign books, meet with readers, and network (often long into the night) with fellow writers. Those are important things, but ones that need to be balanced with travel expenses and time away from writing.

With First Writes at Borders, Wilmington, DE

Following the NY and SHU events, I had a week at home to work on two books (editing one for a fall release, drafting another for an early-winter deadline) before heading east again for events at a Borders in Delaware and Garden State Horror Writers in New Jersey. Now, back from those, I am once again endeavoring to make more progress on the forthcoming books while simultaneously getting ready for events at Confluence, GenCon, and Context.

Wordsworth wrote of “the bliss of solitude,” and I wonder how many writers (who are by nature an introspective lot) begin their careers with the intention of plying their trade in peaceful isolation only to find that the writing life does not exist apart from the world at large.

To me, the biggest challenge is shifting gears. This morning, when I should be devoting time to the characters in my next next book, I find myself wishing I were still enjoying to company of the people I met during my swing through the east.

Consider all of this the challenge facing the 21st century scop, for whereas the storytellers of an earlier time plied their fiction in public, the modern writer needs to balance both worlds – the world of public performance and that of solitary creation.

Or am I overthinking this?

I’ll look forward to reading your comments. For now . . . back to the books.

  1. This entry was posted on Sunday, July 10th, 2011 at 3:41 pm and is filed under 21st-Century Scop. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.


5 Responses to “Book Miles”

  1. I believe you said the key word in your third paragraph from the end. Balance. When I began doing the cons nearly three years ago I made up my mind I was doing no more than three a year. (Lot of threes here.) But that was three big ones that I was traveling to. If I’m in an area for another reason and I can tie something else in – so be it.
    we do have to find that balance and maintain – as well as understanding when, or if, we are capable of taking that next leap. Full-time work to part-time or leaving that job behind.
    The only way you truly know what you can handle is to do it, but take caution and your time when taking this ‘little’ steps.

    • Lawrence C. Connolly says:

      Leadie: Good words! And that balance applies no less to the digital world: blogs, Facebook, Twitter, email. For a writer, I suppose it comes down to balancing all three worlds: the real, the cyber, and the fictional. Thanks for your comment!

  2. Meg says:

    I really think you need to do both! I plan a “virtual” book launch party to include everyone, but then do several “in-person” signings – probably once I get the print copy. I only handed out postcards at the MGOC event, but it was so much fun meeting people and chatting face-to-face. 😀

    That’s my opinion, anyway! There’s a great commercial now on TV about a kid on her laptop, alone, who has “over 200 friends” while her parents are out with real friends and doing activities. It’s certainly something to think about! Both have pros/cons, but in this day/age, both are necessary.

  3. Lawrence C. Connolly says:

    Meg: Great hearing from you. You and Leadie make a good case for finding balance, and it seems to be working for you. Any advice on how best to achieve that balance in days that already seem to be too full of other things?

  4. Jon Gibbs says:

    Hi Larry,

    I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation on scopping at the GSHW meeting earlier this month.

    These days, I think writers need to promote themselves and their work both online and in person.

    The internet’s a fantastic way to reach a great number of people, but a personal appearance makes for a far greater (and longer lasting) impression.



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