»

| Give a Gift |

  • Digital Edition

Extreme Makeover

“It is a miracle,” says T. C. Boyle, whose twelfth novel, Talk Talk, is being published by Viking this month. Boyle’s Web site is www.tcboyle.com. “My son, Milo, put it up during the summer between his junior and senior years in high school, back in 1999, and I thought it would be nothing more than a tool to communicate with whoever was interested with regard to tour dates. I couldn’t have dreamed of what it has become. The fans swarmed to it and made it a vital community. In the pre-Web days, I’d publish a story and wouldn’t even know it until I got a copy in the mail. Now everyone goes mad. The fans have recorded every breath I’ve taken; the stories are analyzed and responded to before I know they’re out there. It’s exciting. It’s interactive. It’s molto cool.”

It took several years for Jonathan Ames—whose most recent book of essays, I Love You More Than You Know, was published in February by Black Cat, an imprint of Grove/Atlantic—to get his Web site up and running. “A fan offered to build a Web site for me for free, so I let her, thinking, ‘What the hell,’” says Ames, whose site is www.jonathanames.com. “This was in 2000, and I kept hearing about people having Web sites. So she built a sort of coming-attractions site, which was very good, but then she grew disenchanted with me and didn’t build the actual Web site. So I had this weird thing up for about two or three years, and then a friend said he would finish it for free in exchange for my books and no cover charges at my performances, and the occasional dinner. It’s been a great deal. I’ve bought him about half a dozen sushi dinners for quite a nice Web site. The design was based on what the original fan put together. I get contracted for writing gigs, performing gigs, and strange encounters through the site. It also enables me to let people know—the few who might be interested—when and where I’m reading.”

Memoirist Alison Smith was asked by her publisher to create a Web site to help publicize her book, Name All the Animals (Scribner, 2004). “Seeing as I’m a bit of a Luddite, I had never been to an author’s Web site, and I didn’t really know what [they] were for,” she says. “But I did as I was told and found a Web designer, Victoria Lau, through my agent. The site, www.namealltheanimals.com, has been incredibly useful. On average, I receive ten e-mails a week, from fans and [from] other writers responding to my book. I have also received a number of e-mails from magazine editors asking if I would like to write for their publications, and from universities requesting me for speaking engagements.”

Of course, not all authors see the need for personal Web sites. “I don’t have one. I’m not particularly interested,” says Rick Moody, whose most recent novel, The Diviners, was published by Little, Brown last year. “In general, I think more mystery about writers is probably better. I have learned this the hard way. I never look at other writers’ sites, nor do I read any book-related sites. I like the Web, and I use it for research, but I get that twenty-four-hour-flu-type feeling any time I have to read [online] about writers and books. ‘Literature and digital media’ might be somewhat anathema.”

“In the pre-Web days, I’d publish a story and wouldn’t even know it until I got a copy in the mail. Now everyone goes mad.”

Reader Comments

close
Article Permissions
Extreme Makeover (July/August 2006)
http://www.pw.org/content/extreme_makeover_1?article_page=2

In the details box below, please include information about the reprint permissions you'd like granted.

Thank you for your permissions request. We do our best to respond immediately, but it may take up to three business days.

City Guide

by Jen Michalski

Author Jen Michalski takes us on a tour of the many literary sites writers should visit while strolling the gritty streets of Baltimore.

Upcoming Events
Poetry
Reading
Cleveland State University Library
October 24, 2014 (All day)
Poetry
Reading
{9} THE GALLERY -- PHOENIX POETRY SERIES
October 24, 2014 (All day)
Poetry
Reading/Panel/Performance
New Jersey Performing Arts Center
October 24, 2014 - 9:00am
Poetry/Fiction
Reading
Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House
October 24, 2014 - 5:00pm
Poetry/Fiction/Creative Nonfiction
Talk
Split This Rock
October 24, 2014 - 5:30pm
Conferences & Residencies
Residency
West Cork, Ireland
Residency
Riga, Latvia
Conference
Charlotte, North Carolina
Writing Contests
Provincetown OuterMost Community Radio
University of Evansville
American Library Association
Magazine Articles

by Mira Ptacin

November/December 2014

Despite struggles, libraries are learning to navigate the ever-changing, and often cost-prohibitive, landscape of digital lending.

 

by Staff

Politics & Prose replaces Barnes & Noble as official National Book Festival bookseller; new Berryman volume and reissues released; Carlos Lozada named nonfiction book critic at the Washington Post; and other news.

Directory of Writers
Poet
Beverly, MA
Poet
Cincinnati, OH
Poet
New York, NY

Subscribe to P&W Magazine | Donate Now | Advertise | Sign up for E-Newsletter | Help | About Us | Contact Us | View Mobile Site

© Copyright Poets & Writers 2014. All Rights Reserved