Book Trailer The Noble Train

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Why I Left The Literary Festival

There comes a point where you have to go. It happened in my first writing group. I had just had a book published by a tiny press and I could not stay. And now it happens when I go to the Midlist Author events. I just can't stay. There is something about walking into some town hall or VFW or restaurant and seeing authors captive behind their tables and books. They look in pain. They stare into space confronted with the egos of others in crisis. The authorial dream cannot stand up to ten authors eyeball to eyeball confronted with the obvious truth. No one cares that you wrote this book and no one is coming.

And the reason no one is coming is the same for book signings. That world is now online. The midlist author always had a hard slog but the dregs of the old ways of marketing assure us that truly the world of brick and mortar is on a time limit. And when the woman calls and asks for thirty five dollars to sit in a small town in a town hall and face down those other authors then it is insult to injury. Because you pay it. Marketing is marketing. But is it?

The waste of time is evident. The marketing that occurs on a booksite or on Facebook or shooting out tweets blows away sitting in a room with ten other writers trying to sell books. To add another pin to this scenario the library has a large room of books they are discounting for about a buck a book in the next room. So all the authors have to offer is their personality and that is buried behind embarrassment and depression over the fact this then is the real world of selling self published books to a world drowning in such books.

And so I leave. I see my table with my name. It is empty and in a way I should go and sit down and do my time. But I have done that before. It is time to move on. So I do.
The Pitcher

Books by William Hazelgrove