The Age of Self Promotion

I've never been comfortable singing my own praises, whether because of shyness or humility, I can't say. But these days no author—certainly no new author—can decide to retreat to some Salinger-style cabin or Pyncheonesque bomb shelter and let the "flaks" at the publishing house do the dirty work of marketing one's masterpiece. In today's publishing industry modesty is a killer, and false modesty is professional suicide. I say this by way of introduction to this month's Editor's Note in Down East in which I am forced to acknowledge:

a.) I wrote a novel about Maine that is getting wider attention (and better reviews) than I ever dreamed possible.

b.) Thanks to the beneficence of my publisher, an advertisement for this novel occupies a place of prominence in my very own magazine.

In the age of Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, when every teenager in America is angling for a reality show—or at least a spot on Jersey Shore—I've begun to wonder whether self promotion of any kind can still be called "shameless."

Wait, I take that back. There's still Tila Tequila.