Virtual Books Signings?

C.E. Dorsett

I have really mixed feelings about this...

LONDON - Margaret Atwood has had enough of long journeys, late nights and writer's cramp. Tired of grueling book tours, the Booker Prize-winning Canadian author on Sunday unveiled her new invention: a remote-controlled pen that allows writers to sign books for fans from thousands of miles away (AP on Yahoo!).

It is hard enough to attract an audience as a Non-Booker Prize winning writer, but it would be impossible with a virtual machine. This is an invention to help big wigs sell more books... not to be selfish, but what does it do for people like me?

Over the last 5 years or so, all of the best fiction I have read has been either posted to the internet or self-published because it does not follow some predetermined formula. These writers aren't huge because they don't have the money behind them to tour and promote their books... Low budgets are hard on a writer. Why would someone stop at a booth for a writer they have never heard of?

While Margaret Atwood is tired of book tours and writer's cramp, there are plenty of writers who would gladly take her promotion budget. It is one more why for well-to-do writers to distance themselves from the rest of us.