Reflecting on the publication of her new novel, “Reunion,” author and journalist Beth A. Brophy ’76 recently had two editorials featured in The Huffington Post. The pieces, “An Old School Writer Adapts to the New Publishing Landscape” and “Friendship: Real, Virtual And Fictional” link Brophy’s new novel to her personal insights about the publishing process and the nature of friendships, respectively.
Brophy says the publishing industry has “changed and contracted” thanks to the influences of e-publishing and booksellers. Authors must navigate a terrain that often includes having a hand in design, social media and marketing to online readers.
“Publishing through Amazon has meant opening my mind and listening to a chorus of other voices, from writers extolling the virtues of being responsible for my own marketing and product, to my millennial daughters, comedians adept at using social media to promote their ‘brands,'” Brophy writes. “I’ve had to put aside my long-held belief that releasing work without the external validating stamp of a major house was an embarrassment. I’ve learned that – especially for a control freak – the ability to release work I’m proud of and to do everything I can to promote my book is empowering.”
Brophy discusses how she has adapted to this new environment by learning how to publish via sites such as Amazon White Glove: “I’m hoping to prove that a dinosaur can adapt to her new terrain, and not succumb to extinction.”
In her piece on frienships, Brophy recalls: “Until very recently, I resisted joining Facebook because the act of posting a note or photo or sharing information in a public forum seemed to have little in common with actual friendships — you know, where you talk to friends face-to-face, read facial cues and interpret body language. Or where you share an experience together, such as taking a walk, or eating a meal, or seeing a movie. All these experiences seem far more satisfying, and intimate, than posting a message that hundreds of others can read.”
She adds, “And even a skeptic like me has to admit there’s been an upside to all this social media.”
During her time at HWS, Brophy majored in English and worked for Alumni House writing press releases and articles. She went on to earn a master’s degree at Northwestern University and work in the publishing industry as a writer, editor, columnist and reporter for publications such as Health Affairs, Forbes, USA Today and U.S. and World News Report. Also a successful freelancer, she has published a number of fiction and non-fiction pieces over the years, including her latest novel, “Reunion.”