Book Trailer The Noble Train

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Sweaty Author

You get there and the authors are already at their tables. One guy is taking pictures upon pictures and tweeting them all over the place. He has his table right in the middle. You are there with a bookstore and are standing by to sign books for whoever may buy. The self published contingent is there. They are organized and efficient with their books and their notebooks. They sit behind their tables and stare out at the people beginning to stream in.

You did not start this way. You came form the old world of publishing. Big advances and Big Media. Signings were exclusive affairs at bookstores for people who came to hear only you. Now you are a baker at a carnival in a sea of barkers. Everyone is selling something and a lot of the products are substandard but it doesn't really matter. Whoever barks the loudest gets the sale.

And so for the next five hours you bark at everyone passing by. Authors eye each other warily. Who has self published? Who has been reviewed? Who is selling? The arty crowd is there and they just want to make contacts. You are there to sell. People steer clear because you wear a sport coat and don't evince the tired Bohemia of so many literary festivals. Your book is heavy with reviews. Another violation. It goes like this and when the people stop the authors stare at each other.

And then it slowly dies. The guy who self published Goth Horror closes shop. The experimental guy with the crazy cover who sold a good amount of books leaves. Your bookstore takes off and leaves you with a few more books. You sell another one but that is really it. Time for a drink at a bar and the lingering vague dissatisfaction of the Literary Festival.

The era of the Sweaty Author is like that.

The Pitcher

Books by William Hazelgrove