In this article, Boog discusses writer Paul Malmont’s appearance on the Morning Media Menu podcast, where the author was promoting his new book and discussing an upcoming writing contest he is hosting for his fans. The winner will have the opportunity to be published in the paperback takeover of his novel The Astounding, the Amazing, and the Unknown. The contest is relatively simple, the readers are presented with the first and last partial sentences and must fill in the middle with up to 2000 words. The winner’s work will be selected to appear in the upcoming book. One of the most interesting aspects to this contest is that Malmont used an application originally designed for Facebook to easily put it all together. Malmont is clearly an author who is onboard with using social media and other online digital technologies to help promote his work, “You’ve got to look around at the other tools that are out there,” he says. This application is automatically broadcast to a participant’s social network every time they vote, write or submit, and this “will hopefully bring in people that hadn’t heard of the novel before.”

Malmont cites the cutting back of publisher’s marketing tools, particularly those that put writers in the most direct contact with readers, as the catalyst for his online self-promotion strategies; “(Publishers) aren’t sending people on tours, they found that people don’t really go to readings anymore … the cost/benefits of a tour don’t pay off the way they used to.” Malmont also contacts booksellers directly to set up digital events like streaming videos and live chats to make up for the lack of author/reader interaction. It is a very smart decision on Malmont’s part to recognize these new marketing patterns, and actively seek out alternate ways to get his novel and his profile noticed.

Social media and other online technologies are used by so many- myself included- because they are a convenient “one stop shop” source of information. It is easy, it is current and it is fast. Rather than mourn the good old days (and they do still carry a romantic appeal) of book launch parties and elbow-rubbing with famous authors over glasses of free red wine; it is imperative for authors let go and get with the times, so to speak. Malmont is correct to point out that the cost/benefit of this kind of promotion simply doesn’t add up anymore; it is almost unfair of authors to expect their publishing houses to adhere to these old traditions, especially the smaller ones who just don’t have the budget. Digital forms of promotion not only save money, they can reach more people at one time, and if done correctly can garner positive results for authors and their work. With so many tools and platforms available, there is something to suit the comfort level of most any author who is open to changing their views on the marketing of their book.