introducing readers to writers since 1995

April 03, 2005

Nobody Will Hand Literary Success to You

by Ron Hogan

You've got to get out there and work for it. And not just at the keyboard, either; in fact, some of the hardest work will come after you've turned the book in, as I'm finding out in the months before my first book, an overview of '70s films called The Stewardess Is Flying the Plane, comes out. Well, okay, technically my first book is View from the Top: Law Firm Leaders Unlock the Secrets of a Successful Legal Career, which seems to be out in stores now, and if you want to get really exacting, I've contributed to a bunch of other career guides for law professionals in the last three years. But as good as those books are--and if you're a law school student I highly recommend View from the Top--I'd have to say Stewardess is the first book that's substantially mine from conception to execution. So I've been putting a lot of effort into getting it just right, and making sure its entry into the marketplace goes well, too.

So about a month ago, I spent a Saturday at Book Promotion 101, an author's workshop put together by Bella Stander about what a published author can (and in most cases should) do to augment whatever publicity efforts the house will make for the book. You get the perspectives of publicists, publishers, media trainers, and authors who've been through it all themselves; if nothing else, it will teach you how to make sure that you're really working with your in-house publicist. Bella's got another workshop lined up in Los Angeles this May, and if you're on the West Coast and you have a book coming out this year, I can personally recommend the course.

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