|Colt's statue in Hartford. The man overlooking the boy carving the wooden gun.|
It's almost a month since Road to Reckoning came out and I'm fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to do some publicity for the book. I've done three BBC radio interviews and several more in the US and got some great press reviews on both sides of the Atlantic and I'm pleased that its been so well received.
The downside of course is the travelling and being away from your family and if writing is a solitary pursuit than promoting is even more so in the way of that Paul Simon song, "Homeward Bound."
"And every stranger's face I see reminds me that I long to be homeward bound."
And that's exactly it.
But I count myself lucky that I get asked to do this stuff when many writers don't get the chance so I'll roll with it. But it occurs to me that writers today have to do so much more hard work in promotion with diminishing return than writers of the last century. Now we have podcasts and FaceBook and Twitter, blogs and maybe a dozen other mediums that we're encouraged to engage with, but to what end?
Each action of social media may reach a new reader but I can't help feeling that the old stuff is still the most effective. A good newspaper review, a radio-spot, an advertisement, a book-signing (I don't do a lot of those BTW so if you want a signed copy contact me) still appear, IMO, to be the best avenues.
It reminds me of those FaceBook businesses where it just seems that the people are just buying from each other and liking each others' craftwork all the time (and at the same time insisting that FaceBook shouldn't charge them for running a business on their site).
I suspect that a lot of Blog Tours are like that. You're just shouting into an abyss. The only ones reading it are writers not readers or purchasers, and there are so many of them. Thousands and thousands of them. And because there are so many that unless you're doing dozens a month even the abyss can't hear you.
We live in strange times. Apps and websites that have never made a profit are sold for billions. Currencies that only exist in a virtual world are traded as real commodities with just as virtual and fragile profits. I am reminded of the great Bubbles in history, the Tulip one in particular, where great fortunes could be sustained on a flower bulb and it became a crime punishable by death to pick a Tulip's petals.
My favourite story is of a man working as a labourer and the lord of the house permitted him to come inside to eat his lunch. Spying what he believed to be an onion sitting strangely on a velvet cushion the man took and ate the onion with his sandwiches and left for the day and immediately impoverished the lord by eating a Tulip bulb which was the collateral for the entire estate.
Beware your BitCoins.