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Author Marketing Lessons From The Wire

A short post on the promise and peril of each interaction.
Apr | 16 | 2024
  Apr | 16 | 2024
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BY Phil Simon
  Phil Simon

Author Marketing Lessons From The Wire

A short post on the promise and peril of each interaction.
Phil Simon
Apr | 16 | 2024

Author Marketing Lessons From The Wire

TL;DR: A short post on the promise and peril of each interaction.
Phil Simon
Apr | 16 | 2024

For my money, The Wire is one of the best TV series ever created. Over the course of five intricate and dense seasons, showrunner David Simon and company explore complex social, educational, economic, and political issues. What seems like a throwaway scene in the first season may prove pivotal four years down the road.

Light, easy viewing it is not.

Equally dense is All the Pieces Matter: The Inside Story of The Wire—Jonathan Abrams’s definitive oral history of the show. I often think about his book’s subtitle in the context of author marketing. It’s spot on.

Every interaction is an opportunity.

Every LinkedIn post matters. Sloppy grammar in your posts and comments will color a new connection’s view of you. Ditto for overly aggressive pitches, constant emails, and jejune blog posts. On your website, a gaggle of broken links and missing images won’t exactly endear you to acquisitions editors, lit agents, and speaker bureaus. Offline, every in-person interaction offers the potential for promise and peril.

If your social skills aren’t up to snuff, don’t be surprised if that new connection isn’t keen on blurbing your book.

What Authors Can Learn From Accountants and Payroll Managers

What You Need to Know

There’s a term for someone who reviews everything you’ve ever written: stalker. A ten-year-old gaffe probably won’t hurt an aspiring author. Using who when whom is correct happens to all of us. Astute readers can find errata in just about every book they read. Brass tacks: When it comes to author marketing, every interaction may not matter.

But it could.

I can’t speak for you, but I’m less likely to buy a book from an author who consistently gives off a sloppy or unprofessional vibe.


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