Spent two weeks in Tainan down south visiting Emma's mum, then back up for a few days, then off to Hong Kong to get some visa stuff sorted out. I don't travel at all well, and I more or less crashed out the past day or two until I felt like a functioning human being again. It's been almost a week since I last set eyes on the third Dakota book, which for me is a long time. I feel just about fit enough to start working on it again.

My agent's been slightly urging me in the direction of returning to the UK, at least briefly, for publicity reasons, for Nova War. I think she's referring primarily to magazine interviews and stuff like that, but every single one I've ever done was either over the phone or by email and didn't actually require my physical presence. When it comes to other kinds of publicity work - readings and signings, for instance - I've never quite made up my mind about either the necessity or effectiveness of such, at least for a mostly unknown author like myself. I've been to readings and signings by the likes of Neal Stephenson, and they tended to be fairly underwhelming in terms of their attendance (mind you, it was several years ago, about the time Cryptonomicon came out), and if the man who wrote Snow Crash can still get a bare few dozen to turn up at an event, what hope is there for the rest of us?

I'm inclined to the belief that author events are only really any good when the author has already developed a name; Greg Egan seems to have done just fine as a SF writer without ever showing his face. Online interviews, reviews and interviews in glossy publications like SFX, sure, but I've never been motivated one way or the other to buy someone's book because they happened to be doing a reading at my local Waterstone's. In this day and age, it's an online presence that really counts. Giving stuff away free, posting sample chapters; that's where it's at now.

1 comment:

The Antihippy said...

Hi Gary,

I've been reading your blog for a little while now. In fact I was recommended it. You right good informative posts. Reading through your back posts I came across a recommendation to read The Career Novelist. I have. Donald Massey states - and I would agree - that signing are useful as they allow you to cultivate your readership face to face and increase word of mouth. This is common sense I think. As such I can see the utility in them - but also can see how expensive they would be (in the UK) from your base abroad. Keep up the good work.