And So It Goes in the Arts Today…

Here’s an interesting quote I happened upon in yesterday’s newspaper in an article about how Marianas Trench is doing a concert in St. John’s tonight and I’m not going. Okay, so the article says nothing about me not going, I’m just bitter (come on, I was just there!). It does, however, feature guitarist Matt Webb saying something that sounds exactly what you hear from authors all over the place these days:

“Everyone thinks that once you have that elusive record deal that you just coast,” he said, “but in today’s world, it’s when the real hard work begins. There’s no huge budgets anymore, so you really have to do a lot of the work yourself, whether that’s online through social media, promoting your work or whatever.”

Take out the word “record” and replace it with “publishing,” and how many times have we heard that? Seriously, tell me. I’ve lost count. Once a day, at least, on various blogs or news articles.

Sucks for many of us, who would be happy to just write and hand off the marketing stuff to someone else. This seems to be our reality, though.

So, what thinkest youse guys? How do you find out about new music or books? Do you ever try to connect with favourite artists via facebook or twitter, or have fans connected with you that way? How much promotion of this sort do you think is necessary? How much does it suck that I’m stuck in the armpit of the province right now and not in St. John’s, waiting for a concert and a possible holiday on Wednesday?*

Feel free to post any links to helpful promotional sites/tools/whatever, anything you’re using and having success with. Or if you think that self-promotion is a crock and completely useless, feel free to tell me that, too.

(I’m a fan of Kristen Lamb’s blog, myself. I’m waiting for her revised books to come out so I can read ’em up)

Bonus thingy:  CreateSpace posted this on faebook yesterday, and it was too perfect not to share. I’m totally doing the guitar hero thing. *ahem*

*Regatta Day is a floating holiday, entirely dependent on the weather. It’s a bit weird, to be honest, but I like it.

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About Kate Sparkes

Kate Sparkes was born in Hamilton, Ontario, but now resides in Newfoundland, where she tries not to talk too much about the dragons she sees in the fog. She lives with a Mountie, two kids who take turns playing Jeckyll and Hyde, two cats, an intentional boxer and an accidental chihuahua. She's the author of the bestselling Bound Trilogy (mature YA Fantasy). www.katesparkes.com View all posts by Kate Sparkes

5 responses to “And So It Goes in the Arts Today…

  • Charles Yallowitz

    I think it’s a little disheartening because it makes one feel like you do the same amount of work for publishing that you would for self-publishing. You might have a little more influence with a publisher’s name on your book, but you still have to tweet, post, and market like mad. I wonder something in this equation. What does the literary agent do?

    • Kate Sparkes

      It is disheartening, but there are still differences. If a publisher decides to promote your book as the next [insert bestseller here], there will be a big marketing push, but they can’t do that for every book. They can still get your book into bookstores for a few months, if the stores decide your book is going to pay for its shelf space, just as a recording contract would get albums into stores. It’s just that most writers don’t get that star treatment, and almost everyone has to do some level of self-promotion. You see authors with contracts all the time out there doing it.

      I don’t know that a literary agent would do much after they get the book into an editor’s hands and get the contract settled. Ideally, they’ll get a contract specifying certain promotional obligations on the part of the publisher; the hope is that the publisher will do something great with that.

      As I see it, the best place to be is as a publisher’s chosen rising star, with a huge advance and massive promotional efforts aimed at getting a book in front of people’s faces. Odds are against that, though, and it seems like mid-list authors often struggle with marketing as much as a self-published author does. I’m still undecided on which way seems better for me…

      • Charles Yallowitz

        Odds definitely are against that. I’m enjoying my freedom as an indie author right now. It’s a lot of work, but I find that I get to reap more satisfying benefits. It’s really hard to tell too. As an indie, I get more of a royalty, but as a traditional one would sell more. I think it depends on the author’s goals and priorities.

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