This is from the on-line daily version of Publishers Weekly: Authors Lose Air Time as Writers Strike
And then there’s this from the New York Times: TV Writers’ Strike Leaves Jilted Authors Looking for a Bully Pulpit
The gist of the articles is that with the strike and shows like The Daily Show, Colbert, Leno, Letterman and O’Brian, running repeats, authors don’t have a place to pimp their books. I wonder how driven book sales are from these interviews. I’d guess somewhat. I know I get more NPR driven sales as customers will come in and tell me, “I heard about this book on All Things Considered”. I don’t get, however, people asking me if I can remember who Jon Stewart interviewed last night. Not that our customers don’t watch Stewart or Colbert. But I’ll bet that clerks at the chain stores get those questions all the time.
The Queen of promoting authors is Oprah. If she can make Cormac McCarthy a best-selling author, well, you know she has to be huge.
But for the authors, this loss of a place on the tube can be devastating. The real shelf life of most books is two or three weeks. After that most books sit on the bookstore shelves. No one talks about them anymore. And if there is still a market, many customers are happy to wait for the paperback release a year hence.