The internet lit up with recently that the world's last typewriter factory had closed. Though obituary now appears a bit premature, it's another reminder of how much the world of the writer is changing. Most writers ditched their typewriters years ago, but when it comes time to sell books, many are finding print media needs electronic media. With TV Oprah-free at the moment, authors just want to win the literary musical chairs that gets them a seat across the desk from Jon Stewart on The Daily Show.
T.J. English went on the Comedy Central hit show a while ago toting a copy of his latest effort, The Savage City, a story of race, murder and a generation on edge in the New York of 1960s and early 70s. Here's how it went:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
English posted this on his Facebook page just after his appearance:
"Here's what The Daily Show can do for an author: yesterday, THE SAVAGE CITY was at #2,500 on Amazon.com. After I appeared on the show yesterday the book, as we speak, is at #71 and still rising. That is what you call a BUMP. To those of us who celebrate and revere the writing and reading of books, Jon Stewart is the Mack."
A week later his book was #30 on the New York Times Best Seller List. English is doing a lot other radio, TV, print interviews as well as readings and signings, and venues hosting signings are using the Daily Show clip to promote his appearances.
Dan Barry of the New York Times knocked it out of the park with Bottom of the 33rd: Hope, Redemption and Baseball's Longest Game, which hit booksellers a couple of weeks ago. Barry got a great big-media boost when he and the subject of his book were featured on the highly-rated CBS Sunday Morning. Here's a look:
David Monagan moved from Connecticut to Ireland about a decade ago and wryly wrote about the changes he saw and experienced in Ireland Unhinged, published on St. Patrick's Day. He returned stateside for a frantic fortnight of readings, signings and interviews. He didn't sit down with Jon Stewart, but getting into this kind of extended on-air conversation with WNYC's influential Leonard Lopate is on the media wish list of most serious authors:
Mary Pat Kelly found a great way to promote the paperback release of her epic Galway Bay -- just get a top film producer, Jean Doumanian, to develop it for television. A hit mini-series is going to sell a lot copies of this sprawling saga... enough to get Mary Pat a seat across the desk from Jon Stewart?