Free Style

Chicagoan Carol Felsenthal is a journalist who writes in-depth magazine articles about political and media figures. She has also written several biographies, including books on Katharine Graham and Alice Roosevelt Longworth. Her new book about Bill Clinton’s post presidency, Clinton in Exile: A President Out of the White House, was published by William Morrow/HarperCollins in May.
So, why does this successful writer contribute to Huffington Post for free?
The Chicago Reader inquires…

Two months before Clinton In Exile came out Felsenthal told HarperCollins, her publishers, that she wanted to start a blog to drum up interest in the book. “I was naive about the process,” she says. Start a blog, a marketer replied, and no one will ever see it. Instead, the marketer sent her to HuffPo. Her first post, dated March 17, examined Bill Clinton’s “pangs of envy” at Barack Obama’s acclaim as a speaker and memoirist; she was off and running. She says, “It just surprised me how effective it was, and how addictive it became to me because it’s immediate. Everything else–magazine or book writing–there’s such a lead time. But this–put something out at 4 PM and go out with the dog, and you have e-mail on your Blackberry saying your piece has been posted.”

Ah, the power of push button publishing. For content creators, it can be an intoxicating affair.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.