Friday, March 28, 2008


"The way you overcome shyness is to become so wrapped up in something that you forget to be afraid." ~Lady Bird Johnson

I just found out that my publisher (Samhain) has canceled its appearance at the Philadelphia Book Festival in May. Even though my book wasn't going to be out in print yet, I had still planned on going and promoting/meeting other authors and some of the staff/checking out the rest of the book festival.

Now I'm not.

And the reason they gave for canceling? "lack of participation."

Okay, this was a totally free promotional opportunity for authors, other than the cost of getting yourself to the festival if you were from out of town. Samhain has a lot of authors, and I just can't believe they couldn't find a solid 5-10 to go to this thing. (Earlier in the year, they were actually trying to limit the number of authors who could be at the tent at one time, to give everyone some time/space). But this is what I'm discovering, the more time I spend talking to other authors and reading conversations on loops: many don't like to actively promote themselves.

I understand that some writers may be reticent...that's the beauty of writing, right?! You don't have to talk to, or see, anyone else. But why wouldn't you take advantage of chances to interact with potential readers, to talk about your books and what you've accomplished? I see plenty of people taking out ads (which cost $$$ in some cases) or participating in chats or contests or giveaways, though lately even those seem more sparsely populated. I just don't understand why authors wouldn't want to do everything possible to promote and market their work, especially when some options are free or super-low cost.

Unless they really don't care if anyone buys it. I suppose that could be the case. Writing a book is one thing, and finding a publisher is another, but once those accomplishments are through, maybe that's enough for some people.

I don't know...but I'm still disappointed.

What do you think?


Marianne Arkins said...

I think marketing is VERY important... and like you, I'm surprised they couldn't find a few folks to go. That's a bummer.

Anonymous said...

I find that very disappointing . I would think authors would WANT to have some public exposure. But as you say, maybe many writerse are afraid of the public eye. Too bad they can't be like you and enjoy the conviviality of people who enjoy writing and reading!

Love, Mom

Maria Zannini said...

Hi Allie,
I just started reading your blog. I think I learned about you from Diane Craver.

If I could have gotten to Philly, I would have. I am dying for a chance to rub shoulders with readers and colleagues--especially at a con. I don't think book store signings are my thing--but cons, definitely. I love the energy there.

My vacation (and cash) is limited. And Philly is a long way from Texas. I hope there will be other opportunities--and I hope I'll get a chance to meet you in person.

Love your blog!

windycindy said...

Hi, I can understand why you are disappointed. I know I would be also! As your publishers, part of their job description would be to help you promote your books with appearances and such. Cindi

Dru said...

Marketing is so important to get your name out to the public.

I would be disappointed if I was an author and my publisher pulled out. I wonder why there was a lack of participation from the authors? Was it logistics? Lack of funds? (That's the researcher in me)

As a reader, I would be disappointed to not see authors of books that I enjoyed.

Perhaps if others show interest, they will change their mind.

Virginia said...

I would say that this is very,very disappointing for you. I can't imagine an author not wanted to promote their books. That is what brings on the sales. Promotions is a big part on any type of sales.

Devon Gray said...

My blood ran cold when I read this. I have an obsession (not kidding!) with marketing, and even though I am still in the agonizing pre-published state I market like crazy. I do understand that it is a financial issue for some, but promotion is so important! I can understand why you feel so disappointed, and honestly, I am shocked to hear this even happened!