The Non-Promotion Author: Anne Lamott

Today I went to Barnes & Noble and asked about the aforementioned Anne Lamott book. The bookseller looked at me quizzically and then led me towards the Christian Inspiration section (wha!?) where we found a copy of Traveling Mercies, but no Plan B. Then he led me to the computer and searched for the book, found it, poked around at the search results for a while before telling me it’s not available yet.

Apparently it comes out tomorrow. But the guy couldn’t tell me that.

How is it that an author as well-known as Anne Lamott can have such a hodge-podge promotional strategy? Granted she’s no Stephen King, but she has quite a following. Shouldn’t the guy at Barnes & Noble know her book is coming out? Shouldn’t a fan like me have heard about the book a while ago? Shouldn’t I get something better than old Powells and Christianity Today interviews when I search Google? There’s her archives, but those end in October 2004, making you wonder if she couldn’t handle another Bush presidential victory and gave up the column. The best I can come up with is her page on the Steven Barclay Agency site.

Sigh. Not even a web site. How can an author in 2005 not have their own web site? For someone like me who has blogs and web sites on the brain, it’s inconceivable. Yet she does it.

4 thoughts on “The Non-Promotion Author: Anne Lamott”

  1. I can recommend to you several published authors (or signed bands for that matter) who can lament to you the struggles of getting their publisher (recording company) to do any sort of effective promotional campaign. But you’re right — authors (and bands) take matters into their own hands all the time and get a Web page going for their own benefit. Then again, some people are Luddites. Lamott strikes me as a Luddite.

  2. I’ve identified your mistake. You went to BN instead of Borders. Not that I’m biased, but I wouldn’t trust those people as far as I could dropkick them. We Borderians been trying to get the book out as soon as we can. (Thursday is the date.) Oh, and my manager’s favorite writer? Lamott. She also used to run into her occassionally at the grocery store in Santa Barbara.

  3. Meh, it’s all on the store or employee you go to. Sometimes you’ll get podunk employees at either store that don’t know much. Heck, even I didn’t know every book that was coming out when I worked at B & N, and I’m a huge book fan and paid attention to most stuff like that.

    I’ve run into some crappy Borders, and some crappy B & N’s… same for employees at even good stores.

    As for the rest, not everyone feels the need to be quite as wired as you do Kevin. And Lamott may be just fine with her advertising, strange as that my sound. I’m surprised that there aren’t at least a few decent fan sites out there that do some rumor mill stuff, etc. Just about every mildly successful author usually crops these up.

  4. From the official Borders email newsletter:

    Fans of Anne Lamott’s books already know that few writers can touch hearts with the sympathy and wry humor that she invokes on every page. In her latest, Plan B, she again deftly blends the personal and the political to shine a beacon of hope into the life of anyone who feels shrouded in doubt. From her struggles with her aging, Alzheimer’s-afflicted mother and an adolescent son trying to find his own way, to the war in Iraq and ecological destruction, Lamott tries to find faith in a trying world, and she helps readers do the same in a compassionate, deeply thoughtful book.

    Coupon (good until Mar 14)

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