Thursday, April 05, 2007

We're not in Kansas anymore

One thing the French do at their book fairs is get the authors to spend a long time sitting behind piles of their books, ostensibly doing "dedicace" (signings) but in practice actively flogging units. Naturally, some are better at this than others. I think I'm not so good (especially in French). Personally I can't understand how any writer is good at that. Writing is a solitary thing. Your communication skills get specialised towards the written word and probably flag a bit elsewhere. You develop a manic look when people approach you which tends to ward them off. Also the chronic dribbling and gibbering doesn't sell books in the long run. So, I'm no good at the face-to-face side of book promotion. And I reckon I'm not alone in that.

I think that's why writers embrace this internet thing. You get to use weapon #1 on here: text. Any ideas about your work* you want to communicate, you can do it from behind the silver screen of cyberspace. You're a bit like the Wizard of Oz - the stumpy little gimp who sits in his magic cubicle and tries to make out he's a god. And you get to dribble.

So, to compensate for my lack of "meatspace" sales skills, I hereby invite anyone to drop me a line if they want to know why they should read my books. (Or why they shouldn't - you never know.) But I have to know who you are, or it's just sales literature. So tell me at least one thing about yourself (eg: what books you like... what sort of alcohol you like...) You can even do it in French. I've got a dictionary here.

I don't expect to get a lot of take-up on that offer, but there it is. And it's a permanent one.

* What a ponce. Any writer who says "my work" is up their own arse.


Jim Winter said...

You mean aside from the fact that FAGS & LAGER has been sitting on my shelf for a year and a half resisting any and all attempts to kick it to the top of Mt. TBR?

Charlie Williams said...

You need to get it down and read it, Jim. Clint Eastwood is in it. Also drugs, sex, men in rubber suits, strippers (female), talking statues, exploding heads and disabled people. It's all there waiting for you.