Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Fame and Fortune (Part 3)

There's no denying that the electronic media are the 800-lb gorillas of the infotainment world. The "Oprah Effect" on book sales is well-documented, and while Rush Limbaugh didn't make Vince Flynn's career, his free plugs for Flynn's novels certainly don't hurt. But how do we as writers --pardon the expression -- plug in to these electronic juggernauts?

The good news is that the electronic media are vast, gaping, bottomless gullets that must be filled afresh daily, so they're always looking for new material to pour in. The bad news is that every other publisher and professional publicist in the world knows this, so the media folks are already inundated with press releases, free books, and every manner of weird promotional knick-knack you can possibly imagine. (Among other things, I worked in radio for awhile. Oh, the stories I could tell...) If your publisher's marketing people are even remotely close to having their act together, they should be carpet-bombing media outlets with advance reading copies of your book in the months before it's released.

But that's assuming you have a publisher, and anyway, this is a blog, so we should be talking about alternative ways to use electronic media to promote your literary career. Which brings us to today's questions:

Does anyone here actually listen to podcasts? Streaming audio? Anything other than music on either their mp3 player or their computer? If you had the capacity to download, say, a dramatic reading of Theodore Sturgeon's It, would you actually bother to do so? And having done so once for novelty's sake, would you be likely to do so again?