Thursday, July 06, 2006

Maintaining An Audience

I've always been curious how authors are able to maintain their audience, build on it year after year, while others who work just as hard and write just as well never quite attain notoriety, ie.. becoming a household name.

Are authors like actors and singers? Is it really someone "in the big office" deciding who they will wave their magic wand over and "make them a star?" What makes a publisher decide to "put their money" behind a particular author and push them out into the world?

The questions are endless and perplexing. And no amount of publicity or tricky gimmicks are going to answer the questions. Unfortunately, it is often the luck of the draw. The same "star power" that is seen when one singer is plucked from the group to strike out on their own, while the group quietly slips into the background or tries to redefine themselves.

If there is an answer it is simply to write a dammed good book, not get bogged down by "why him/her and not me," accept the harsh reality that you may never make "the lists," or be able to buy the house of your dreams with your advance check!

The comfort is seeing your words come to life, walking through a bookstore and seeing it on the shelf, getting that letter or email from a reader saying how much they enjoyed your book, how it changed them, made them smile. That's really what it's all about.

Do those "stars" write better, sing better, dance better, act better than all of their counterparts? Naw of course not! But what do all of us not so famous folks have over all the stars? We never have to worry about hearing the words: "Whatever happened to whatshisname?" Heehee 'cause they didn't know who we were to begin with!

1 comment:

Sir John said...

I fully agree, in any business the public relations part of it is the most important. While I love writing, I make my money selling real estate. I currenlty spend around $10,000 a month or more just to keep my name in fornt of people. I wonder what would happen if i redirected that money to my writing - hummm