Writers = Desperate Self-Promoters?

"The best advice for today, and really in any financial climate, is to be fanatical and motivated to promote your book," a Random House editor told debut author Novella Carpenter (Book Publishers, R.I.P?, San Francisco Chronicle). "Do as many events as possible. Become a shameless self-promoter."

I don't know about you, but that job description sucks the creativity right out of me. She's right, of course -- selling books is a bottom-line requirement in the publishing industry. Unfortunately, this focus can lead to a glazed-eyed obsession with Amazon sales rankings and the consumption of massive amounts of chocolate after a not-so-stellar royalty statement.

Not the best atmosphere to inspire the next story.

Career writers have always needed to muster endurance for the long haul. That's why I prefer to stay motivated by a vision statement that reaches beyond a single title or a belt-tightening shift in the publishing industry.

Here's my best advice to the debut or wannabe author of a children's or teen book in this tough financial climate, even if it does sound sappy or idealistic: shamelessly create and celebrate good stories, and be fanatical about getting them into the hearts and minds of young readers.

Photo courtesy of Thorinside via Creative Commons.