A Moment of Jen
THE NEXT BEST THING — In Stores July 3rd!

Friday, July 09, 2010
posted by Jen at 7/09/2010 09:03:00 AM

So here we are, three days out from the July 13 release of FLY AWAY HOME, and my editor asks, could I please Facebook and tweet about it more?

I directed her toward this article, which says that authors who incessantly beat the drums of self-promotion get unfollowed.

Then, ignoring the problem of taking Twitter advice from a woman who doesn't have that many followers, I went to the beach.

But seriously, the problem of promotion is a tricky one, especially if you are not the kind of writer who can get the handful of media outlets still covering books to beat the drums for you.

Sadly -- or maybe not! -- we can't all be agent-turned-addict-turned-author Bill Clegg, whose recent memoir has netted three NYT pieces (one profile, two book reviews) and the recent "Today Show" appearance (speaking of TV appearances, I'm taping the Joy Behar Show on Monday, where I might get to talk about my new book, FLY AWAY HOME, which comes out on Tuesday).

The rest of us are left to beat, and tweet, our own drums, to Facebook about the blog q and a's and radio chats and good reviews, to tour the country (all my dates are here) and do whatever we can in service of the book.

In my case, that also includes running contests, asking people to tweet me cute pictures of their copies of BFF, which I will post as soon as I figure out how (there's one of the book on the toilet!)

It also includes buying ads.

If you follow me on Twitter, you might remember my plight in re: the New York Times Book Review.

My agent wanted me to buy an ad there. I didn't want to. The NYTBR never reviews my books, or many books like mine, and when it does, it says such stupid, ignorant things about chick lit (none of it's funny! it's all about moms!) that I'd hurl the stupid thing across the room except it's too flimsy for a good toss.

But, said my agent. Booksellers still read the Times. Which is why you'll find giant ads for the likes of Danielle Steel and Nelson DeMille within -- not because the Times takes commercial fiction seriously, but because it's a way to give booksellers a heads-up that your new book is coming out, say, this Tuesday.

I reluctantly caved. Then my brilliant agent and the whip-smart art department had the genius idea of creating an ad that actually shows the first two pages of the book.

So instead of a book cover, a half-dozen laudatory quotes and a link to my website, Times readers flipping through praise for Jennifer Egan will be able to actually read a piece of the book.

Maybe they'll think it sucks as much as they suspect all chick lit does. Maybe they'll be intrigued enough to buy FLY AWAY HOME, when it goes on sale this Tuesday. Pick up a copy (of the Times, not my book, which does not go on sale until Tuesday), and let me know what you think! There are also nice mentions of FLY AWAY HOME in the August issues of O Magazine -- my first-ever appearance in that illustrious publication -- and in GOOD HOUSEKEEPING, and on the summer reading list in the on-stands-now ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY.

Meanwhile, I hope to see a bunch of you in NYC on Tuesday (when my book FLY AWAY HOME goes on sale), in Princeton for lunch at the library on Wednesday, then at the Free Library of Philadelphia Wednesday night, in DC on Thursday, in Atlanta on Friday, and in Florida over the weekend.
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