In the Royal Navy, there’s only one kind of facial hair allowed. British Tars are either clean shaven or they sport a beard, known in the service as a “full set.” The antipathy to the mustache is no doubt because of its predominance among the rival landlubber officer class (although it could’ve later been its association with a different kind of “sailor.”)
Book authors now fall into similar categories. There are those who do nothing online and those for whom each book must be accompanied by the full set.<!--more-->
Those who do nothing are usually writers who were already well-known before the web became so important. They don’t need to be online, so they aren’t. Or they’re too old to get into a new kind of writing. Me, I have the internet full set. Here’s what I’ve got going on already for my new book, which is out in two weeks in the UK:
First there’s the updated website. The website is, of course, the equivalent of facial stubble. Everyone’s doing it, even those who don’t get around to growing a full set. Some of them are pretty rotten and look like they’d itch… You can tell that the writer only sports the stubble because he thinks he has to – a fashion necessity. He’d get rid of it in a moment if the fashion changed.
I’m very involved in the design of my site. I put lots of Extra Features in it. You can hear much of the music from MOZART’S LAST ARIA, my new book. (It’s a historical thriller in which Mozart’s sister tries to uncover the secrets of the great composer’s death.) I have a couple of brief essays about how I came to write the book; how I researched it; how I structured it to mirror my favorite Mozart piano sonata. A photo tour of all the real locations featured in the novel, and images of many of the real characters from the book.
Of course, I also paid for the thing.

Read the rest of this post on my blog The Man of Twists and Turns.

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Comment by Benjamin Sobieck on April 22, 2011 at 3:55am
That part about the beard is true about authors, too. (I fall on the "full set" side)

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