GrubStreet instructor Ethan Gilsdorf had the chance to speak with Wild author Cheryl Strayed about what it's like to take risks in your personal essays and memoir writing. Here's what she had to say.
Ethan Gilsdorf: This is a question for my writing students at GrubStreet. I’ve been teaching a class right now here in Boston called “Writing and Publishing the Risky Personal Essay.” I’ve been …
by Ethan Gilsdorf
Is the book tour dead?
It's true that the lavish, publisher-funded, four-star hotel tour with handler, driver and copious bowls of M&Ms (green ones carefully plucked) is over. If that even existed.
Today, with publishers facing woefully depleted publicity staffs and budgets, and the culture's current focus on ebooks, the Internet and social media, one wonders if the old-fashioned reading tour is even worthwhile.
By Ethan Gilsdorf
When I write for a public venue such as this, I'm often trying to pass along some writerly trick of the trade. My ideas or advice or tips are for your benefit. My audience is you. Whoever you are.
Not this time.
This time, I'm writing as much for my benefit as yours.
See, I've just come from another harrowing session with my therapist. (Not kidding about the therapist. Every self-respecting writer should have one.)
When it comes to promoting your book, you need to think beyond the ordinary book store reading.
Really, you should think beyond the traditional book tour. Your goal is to get your book into the hands of as many potential readers as you can. But people don't find out about books only on the bookstore shelves anymore. There's the Internet, and blogs, and weirdo subcultures, and niche groups, all to tap into. It's a whole new world out there. So take advantage of it.
Jason Segel, already an actor and musician, can now add “author” to his resumé.
With Kirsten Miller, author of the Kiki Strike and Eternal Ones series, Segel, 34, has co-written a middle grade novel, Nightmares!, book one of a planned trilogy, about 12-year-old Charlie Laird who must face his fear of bad dreams to rescue his brother from the world of nightmares.