Authors, Limos, and Promotional Events

When you’re an author, you tend to be a little detached.

There’s always this gap between you and the reader, a distance that is both metaphorical and physical. It’s why there are some who think your view and interpretation is all that matters, and others believe the author’s perspective ceases to matter once it’s in the hands of the audience.


However, sometimes this isn’t the case. When you go to places like book signings or to events where people can ask you questions, some of that gap closes. You can be coy. You can lie. However, most of the time, you just want to give the right impression and answer as honestly as you can.


Depending on the book and whatever image of you the publisher wants to project, that can mean different things.


Obviously, if you’ve written a story about how to become rich and financially successful, you’ll want to splurge a little. Or you’ll want to talk your publisher into spending a little.


That could mean calling to make sure you get to your book signing or event in style. Another possibility is to hold the whole thing not in some random bookstore, but in an upscale place.


If you’ve written a steamy romance novel, then things change appropriately. You’re going to want to sell the fairy tale of it, and there’s less money involved. For example, you could end up reading a sample chapter of it in a library.


These days, you might be asked to promote the book through an AMA – that’s “ask me anything,” for those of you who aren’t updated on the internet terms. It’s when you go to a website or a live panel and take questions as they come, answering them however you feel like.


Personally, I think these are great ideas. They’re all excellent ways to promote a book, get the word out that it exists. It’s also a method for interacting with your readers.


Of course, there’s nothing in the world requiring you to do this. Sometimes, you don’t want the posh limo to take you to a promotional event. Sometimes, you just want to sit at home, relax, and let the world talk about your book without your input.


Then there are the folks like Neil Gaiman. He’s known for showing up in random bookstores, looking for copies of his books, and signing them. Personally, apart from this, I think he’s a recluse, but it just adds to his mystique.