Launching a Book in the "Post-Empire" Era of Publishing

Question: Are contemporary book launches more or less fun than when you started?

Bret Easton Ellis:  Oh it's less fun.  It's much less fun because we're in the post-Empire world now.  I mean, book publishing flourished in the Empire and I can... look I haven't done any kind of touring or any sort of book stuff for about six years.  And even in these past six years I can see a massive difference in terms of how it works.  I mean, my Facebook and Twitter stuff are personal.  I mean, I have my.. I have a Twitter account and I have a Facebook account are solely mine and then there's like three or four or five others that are there primarily to promote this new book and to get the word out there. That I am semi hands on, semi. But a lot of other people are dealing with those sites and maintaining them. 

I'm completely for it.  I had to like fight my publisher to, you know, make sure that they were using these networks in order to, like, promote the book and they came around.  I mean literally, they... I don't think my publisher is even using Twitter five or six months ago.  And then I was having a fit about it and said you have to use Twitter for contests and information and all this stuff. And they came around and they started to do it. 

But in terms of myself getting a lot of satisfaction or enjoyment from it, I mean, sure.  I mean, I guess on a certain level but I'm also old, you know, compared to the average person who uses those sites extensively.  I have friends who are in their early- to mid-20's and the way the way they use Facebook completely different from the way I use mine.  You know, updating your status hourly and having eight different chats going on at once, and it being almost second nature. I mean, to me it's kind of amusing and a game but it's not something that I feel the need to express myself with.

Recorded June 23, 2010
Interviewed by David Hirschman

It's much less fun to release a book these days—with all the necessary Twitter and Facebook promotions—than when the novelist began.

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