We’re on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and a host of other social networking sites. We blog, make videos, have launch parties, attend conferences, offer free gifts and excerpts from our writings. Hope for decent reviews and awards, and speak about our books wherever and whenever we can.
Last Thursday, the New York Times ran an article about “Masterpiece,” a new reality show in Italy where writers compete. Contestants submit an unpublished novel—approximately 5,000 writers’ entries were received and read. Some writers were then screen tested. Four authors were chosen for each of six shows. Each member in a group of four plays a part in a happening then is given a project with a time limit of a half-hour.
The judges consider the script and then reject two of the contestants. The two contestants who have survived the first round pitch—have just under a minute to pitch their baby to well known icons who have succeeded as authors and may revise their manuscripts. One will live to tell his or her tale in the finale. After many more trials, the victorious author will see his book debuted by a primary publisher. If the program succeeds, it will soon be seen in other nations around the world.
According to the article, book promotion goes back many centuries. Herodotus—the Greek historian—paid for his book tour. Maupassant hired a hot air balloon—its mission to float over Paris adorned with the title of one of his short stories. Not a bad idea—perhaps we could drop bookmarks or slips of paper leading to our blogs.