Wednesday, August 16, 2006

What About Publicity and Self-Promotion for Artists?

We expect a musician or singer or actor to have to do a certain amount of self-promotion and publicity for their new CD or movie or play. Something about seeing these "bigger than life" people in a more "human sized setting" on a talk show or a Hollywood TV news show just helps make them more appealing somehow. You see them, hear them talk about the project, then you find you really wanna go support them and get their CD or see their movie.

To a degree that's also what happens at conventions, where you meet "the face" behind the book or comics project. Same for an art reception. Something about talking to the artist and getting to know the thinking behind the artwork they produced that's just appealing. You understand the art to a deeper level and can appreciate it so much more.

It still is a more elusive idea for a writer or artist to grasp, the whole handling their own publicity and promotion concept. I mean, after all, we're not "selling our presence" like singers and actors do. We just wanna sit at home and make our books and artwork. But the need to handle a certain amount of publicity and self-promotion is still just as important.

I was horrifically surprised to discover this author responsibility on the "back end" so to speak with Chris' books. I presumed publishers would take care of a certain amount of that sort of thing, out of the sheer interest and necessity to sell the merchandise, right? It just makes sense to expect that.

Who wouldn't?

But I'm finding across the board, regardless of publisher, nearly all of our writer friends are stuck in that elusive and strange place of having to actively self-promote to help sell their books. GAK.

It's bad when you're surprised by it. It's so much harder to play catch up. But when you know that going in, then you can actually be proactive. Proactive is WAY BETTER than Reactive.

The great thing about writers is that they've caught on to this, and have created various blog alliances and site alliances and have been quite generous with sharing their information with each other. It's a smart way to handle things. Grassroots marketing (like we've heard and seen for Snakes on a Plane) can be super effective.

Or at the very least help provide a foothold that can grow stronger and sturdier.

I've been adding terrific links to my sidebar here with writer advice blogs and all this is just the very tip of the iceberg. My husband, Chris is very proactive with getting this publicity machine in gear to help promote his books. I'm learning a lot just by checking these wonderful writers out, and by participating when I can, like with the Fiction In Rather Short Takes Program (used to be First Chapter/First Day) Chris pulled together that's now being handled by MC Pearson.

Anyway, not to digress into fiction (fiction is on Thursdays!) but rather to think out loud.

A local artist blog alliance would be REALLY COOL.

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