Nowadays it seems that many authors are promoting their work, whether it’s fiction or poetry, at live events. In London, there are so many open mic nights that this isn’t a problem for big city people, but in smaller towns, there might only be one or two events once in a while. As with any profession, there are many pros and cons. The pros are: getting good publicity for your work and selling copies of your chapbooks/ work. The cons are: stage fright! A lot of authors enjoy writing in the comfort of a nice, quiet spot at home, but can be reticent to get out there and promote their work (I procrastinate at this myself). In fact, it brings the question to mind, is writing an introverted profession or is it a minor kind of showbiz, a bit similar to acting? In my experience, the best performance poets or prose writers were actors, or people who were used to reading on the radio. It takes skill, not only in entertaining the audience, but in rhythm, timing and delivery. And then there’s book signings: talking to the public, engaging their interest in your subject matter. Get used to muscle cramps in your cheeks from smiling and be prepared to skip your lunch break!
Not to complain, however, it’s all part of the fun. I suppose with any profession a good balance is key. Take the introverted side as it comes with the extroverted promotion: after all, a writer might write, but if they don’t promote, they don’t sell.