The most revered of French novelists recognized the need for P.R. “For artists, the great problem to solve is how to get oneself noticed,” Balzac observed in “Lost Illusions,” his classic novel about literary life in early 19th-century Paris. As another master, Stendhal, remarked in his autobiography “Memoirs of an Egotist,” “Great success is not possible without a certain degree of shamelessness, and even of out-and-out charlatanism.” Those words should be on the Authors Guild coat of arms.
Hemingway set the modern gold standard for inventive self-branding, burnishing his image with photo ops from safaris, fishing trips and war zones. But he also posed for beer ads.
Beer, I don’t think so, but if anyone wants me to try out a new e-reader, I’ll pose. Or I could take a leaf from Herodotus who, back in the day millenia ago, pumped his Histories at the Olympic Games. What do you think? Standing up in the stands at a hockey game?