What They’re Saying About The Writer in 2009

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17 August 2009

A couple of state-of-the-industry pieces on the Web:

Popular-fiction writers Cory Doctorow and Neil Gaiman discuss the strategy of giving their work away for free on the Internet to increase sales, buzz, and ratings (both are in favor).  Read about it (and listen to it) here.  I confess that when I first read the headline at Publisher’s Weekly, I thought it referred to EL Doctorow, and that’s what made me click over.  Now that would be something.

Literary agent-blogger Nathan Bransford declares on his blog that the age of being “just an author” (and not a promoter) is officially over.   He cites Thomas Pynchon’s lending his voice to the book trailer for Inherent Vice, and the fact that “even Cormac McCarthy went on Oprah.”  I also noticed that on Pynchon’s Web site, there is a link for a Pynchon Wiki – which is something like Cliff’s Notes on the Web, I believe?   

I’m not sure what the effect of Well, McCarthy and Pynchon are doing it is supposed to be exactly — convincing, or comforting, perhaps.  If Marilynne Robinson started blogging and making You-Tube videos, I personally would certainly take notice.  I guess for those of us who are still on and off the wagon — Analogians Anonymous — there are stages of grief; and the great-writers evidence effectively jolts us out of our denial.

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3 Responses to “What They’re Saying About The Writer in 2009”

  1. Surya Says:

    I just found out that Margaret Atwood started blogging and tweeting!

  2. Eric Says:

    We were already doing it wrong if we, the newcomers, were paying attention to what Pynchon and McCarthy and Atwood were up to–they being our old models for writer-god. We were a different sort from the very beginning.

  3. sonyachung Says:

    I don’t know, Eric. You and I are of different decades, and thus probably also different “sorts.” Perhaps it’s the Gen X-ers who are the in-between generation when it comes to celebrity culture and digital technology. And trying to figure out how to make it work in a “progressive” way, without feeling forced to regress.


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