Filed Under: How Far Should An Author Go?

Sarah: Wow, Carolyn Parkhurst!  Everyone is talking about your hysterical new book trailer / video.  How did you come up with such a wonderful mockery of authors overdoing it?
CarolynThis idea—like so many things related to book promotion--grew out of a sense of futility.  It seems like authors have such a brief window of time to make people aware of their books and hope that they buy them, and I was trying to figure out if there was anything I could do to improve the odds that this novel would actually sell some copies.  I thought, "I have all these great review quotes, but no one really pays attention to any of that stuff.  What do I have to do--embroider it on a throw pillow?"
Sarah: I love the pillow!
Carolyn: Of course, there's a fine line between pretending to be the person I am in the video and actually becoming that person.  Now that I actually own all this stuff, I'm not sure what to do with it.  I mean, I paid good money for a keepsake crystal block engraved with a lengthy (and complimentary) quote from the New York Times—should I put it on my desk, or is that the first step toward the dark side?
Sarah: I think that sucker should go right on your desk as a daily reminder of what every writer goes through to get her work “out there.”  And now I’m going to close with your bio blurb.  How’s this?
Carolyn Parkhurst is the New York Times bestselling author of The Nobodies Album, among other groundbreaking works.  Visit her at 
Carolyn: Can you put that in a bigger font?


  1. Great video (and you have at least one new Twitter follower, Carolyn).

    Jessica Faust had a great post about swag on the Bookends, LLC blog the other day.

  2. Petra--that is a great post! Thanks for sharing. "There's nothing better than watching a manly man drink beer from a romance author's can cozy."

  3. Way to make my mascara run, Ms. Parkhurst! (Sorry I can't comment in a size 18 font.)

  4. This, as I just "filmed" a trailer in which I try so hard not to be boring that I seem hysterical and needy. Trying to figure out whether to use or not. All authors should be forgiven for any trailers, none of which any of them actually want to make, but we are told we have to do everything and anything possible. In the end, what works is people reading, liking, and recommending to friends.
    And now I'm going to go follow Carolyn Parkhurst on Twitter, in sympathy!

  5. Sorry, Daphne, but I just can't imagine you coming across as "hysterical and needy." That said, I imagine watching myself on video would be excruciating. Writers are supposed to be more comfortable in print. It's what we do!