News Flash, August 31st

We have said it in many ways an with many words over the past few days, but the 2008 Debutantes (Gail Konop Baker, Jenny Gardiner, Lisa Daily, Danielle Younge-Ullman, Jess Riley and Eileen Cook!) would like to thank you, our readers and community here, for a wonderful year. We have experienced untold support and generosity from so many of you and had a wonderful time sharing our debut year(s) with you. Thank you for being a part of it.

We are also thrilled and excited about the 2009 Debutantes, Eve Brown-Waite, Tiffany Baker, Katie Alender, Kristina Riggle and Meredith Cole. We leave The Ball in your capable (gloved) hands and look forward to getting to know you and watching you launch your careers. You’re in for a wild and crazy dance…

Deb News:

Deb Danielle
(about to be Founder Danielle!) has received some great reviews for Falling Under in the past few weeks.

Cheryl, at Cheryl’s Book Nook, says: “Danielle Younge-Ullman definitely did not hold back. She came out swinging to produce a wonderful and amazing book in Falling Under.” See the entire review here.

And from Book Chic: “This debut is absolutely phenomenal and barely reads like a debut novel. It’s an emotional tour de force and very realistic in Younge-Ullman’s portrayal of main character Mara and her life.” Check out the site for both the review and a Q&A.

The inimitable Andrea Frazer at GoodHousekeeping.com wrote a fascinating review/article (“Bad Boy Sex-Why Does Wrong Feel So Right?”) around some of the issues raised in Falling Under, and also called Falling Under “hard hitting and explosive, with a raw energy that left me breathless.”

And in case you missed it a few weeks ago, Writer Unboxed posted a great two-part interview plus excerpt from Falling Under. Check it out, here.

You can also now find Danielle (sort of, and very casually) at her own blog where she has an archive (with links!) to many of her favorite Debutante Ball posts and will be writing about…well…we’ll see.

Deb Lisa Daily adopted a new dog last week: Meet Zeus.

Deb Founders News:

Founder Debutante Mia King is celebrating the release of her second novel, SWEET LIFE, this Tuesday, September 2nd! It’s a featured alternate for the Doubleday, Literary Guild, and Book of the Month Club book clubs. Founder Mia has an amazing give-away going on and is giving away extra entries for people who buy her book on Sept 2nd. Visit her website at www.miaking.com for more details.

Deb Friends:

Some exciting news for Deb Friend and Co-founder of www.writersunboxed.com–she has sold her novel! (BTW, this was happening in the midst of Therese doing her interview with Deb Danielle) Here is the announcement: “Therese Walsh’s UNBOUNDED, about an accomplished professor of languages whose grief over the loss of her twin has isolated her from her friends and family; when she impulsively purchases a keris — a Javanese weapon imbued with legendary powers — she embarks on a mesmerizing journey from New York to Rome, following the mysterious provenance of the dagger, which will ultimately lead her to the truth about her sister’s tragic past, to Sarah Knight at Shaye Areheart Books, in a major deal, in a pre-empt, in a two-book deal, for publication in fall 2009, by Elisabeth Weed.” Woo hoo! Congrats Therese!


Debutantes Love to Do The Funky Chicken by Deb Lisa Daily

You know how at the beginning of a night out dancing, you head out onto the dance floor and do that subdued side-to-side move because you don’t want to look like a dork?

And then, by the end of the night, fortified with a few tequila shooters or a bottle of Veuve, you’ve kicked off your shoes, begged the DJ to play Oh, What a Night or Dancing Queen or Hit Me Baby, One More Time. You’re popping and locking, shimmying up to partners half (or twice) your age, doing the most current rendition of the Electric Slide/Hustle/Macarena/Achy-Breaky Heart, and finishing out the evening with your super spectacular version of The Funky Chicken.

And then, twenty minutes after Last Call, as you hail a cab in your bare feet, you don’t care if you looked cool or not. You had one hell of a night.

To me, my year with the Debs has been a lot like that.

We all started off a bit unsure of ourselves and each other, and what the experience might be like. But by the end of our year here, we’ve let our hair down and kicked off our shoes. We soothed each other through disappointments and cheered each other on through triumphs: Movie Deals! Target Breakout Book! New Book Deals! Kick Ass Blurbs!

And then, the most amazing things began to happen. Larramie debuted us all on her blog. John Grisham, Jodi Picoult, Meg Cabot, Meg Tilly and Jane Green joined us as honorary Debs. We had a perfectly valid excuse to wear tiaras on special occasions. Readers came (and linked!) from all around, and the grog took on a life of its own.

I think all of us will tell you that the most unexpected, and by far the best experience of the Deb Ball has been the friendship we found with each other, at this, the most exciting, terrifying and lonely time of our lives.

The one thing no one ever tells you about publishing is how stranded you feel through the process. (Tom Hanks-talking-to-a-volleyball-stranded.) How you find yourself searching out writer blogs for somebody, anybody, who knows how you feel. You’ve sold this book, something you spent months or years of your life creating, and it seems like an engraved invitation to be a member of a really cool club, but what you really feel is how you don’t have any idea what’s going on, how you’re terrified that no one will buy it, how so much of your career is out of your hands, and how sometimes it seems as though the publishing house might just be plotting against you. Or like no one in the whole world understands (or gives a crap about) what you’re going through.

Except here, there were six of us. And we all knew what the other was going through, because we were all in the same place.

I am so thankful to the brilliant and talented Kristy Kiernan for creating this wonderful grog, and so happy to be a part of this amazing group. It’s been my honor and delight to know all of you.

Congratulations to our 2009 Debs, I hope this experience is as wonderful for all of you as it was for us.

And last, The Debutante Ball would not be The Debutante Ball without all of you, our readers. Thank you so much for cheering us on, reading our blog posts and our books, weighing in on everything from publishing to pets to Shaun Cassidy. You’ve helped to make the debut of Fifteen Minutes of Shame, and all of our books, a thrilling experience.

So, before the bouncers have to drag me out, I’ll say goodbye. (Or maybe I’ll stay. It wouldn’t be the first time the bouncers have had to drag me out…I think this might be the part where I start slurring, But wait, I jusssss gotta tell you ….I REALLY love you guys! )

And I really do.

If you’d like to hear about what I’m up to next, I’d be completely thrilled to tell you all about it.

(Just once a month or so. You will not find yourself pelted with unnecessary emails every afternoon to update you on my new laundry detergent preferences, the shoes I got on sale at Nordstroms, or my dog’s psychic predictions. Well, unless he tells us who Jennifer Aniston is going to date next. )

Enter Your Name:
Enter your Email:

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Cue the Chicken.



Save Holt! Deleted scenes from Fifteen Minutes of Shame by Deb Lisa Daily

Fifteen Minutes of Shame

As many of you know, Fifteen Minutes of Shame was published in the strangest of ways and I miraculously (insanely? stupidly?) sold it with no novel-writing experience whatsoever.

So, check and deadline looming, I sat down and attempted to actually produce a novel.

Something I wasn’t exactly sure how to do.

Here’s the gist of the story: America’s favorite TV dating expert Darby Vaughn finds out her husband Will is cheating on her, live on national television. She throws up and passes out, and becomes the national laughingstock and fodder for late night comedians.

Darby has become particularly close to her stepchildren Lilly & Aidan, who are her husband Will’s children from his former marriage. Her divorce attorney Holt Gregory informs her she doesn’t have a chance of getting custody of her children unless she gets back together with Will.

As I was writing the story, I needed to give Darby a really good reason to resist a relationship with Holt. (Otherwise, there would be no love triangle, just one philandering husband left in the dust on page 72.) Holt is a tall, funny, rakishly yummy, well-mannered, brilliant attorney with a southern accent and Patrick Dempsey hair. No sane woman would ever walk away from that. I had to give him some flaws, some serious flaws.

So, I did what any inexperienced novelist would do. I tried to kill him off.

I gave Holt a fatal, meticulously researched heart condition. And poor Darby, who had already had so much loss in her life, just couldn’t bear to play nursemaid to a dead man walking.

My editor, Allison Dickens, called me as she emailed my editorial letter.

“I love the book,” she said, “but you can’t kill Holt.”

“But his illness is the thing that’s keeping them apart!” I argued, freshly fortified with all of the Novel Writing For Morons/How to Write a Novel books I’d devoured in the previous eight weeks.

“I think you need to find another thing,” she told me. “Darby has been through a lot, this feels like the kitchen sink.”

I thought about it that afternoon and that night, and I realized she was right. I needed to find a more interesting (and frankly, less Movie of the Week) reason why Holt and Darby shouldn’t be together.

(Also, I kept flashing back to my mother, who called me after she read the manuscript wailing, “Why, why, WHY, does Holt have to die? Isn’t there an operation? Some miracle cure? A Czechoslovakian pacemaker? Something???”)

I was very aware of my inexperience with writing a novel, and had promised myself I would give careful consideration to any editorial suggestions, even if my immediate impulse was to dig in, throw my computer out the window or hit the drive-thru at Dunkin Donuts for an emergency case of jelly donuts.

I wanted for Fifteen Minutes to be realistic, unpredictable, cheese-free. I wanted it to be good.

That afternoon I got to work on saving Holt.

You’ll be happy to hear that his heart is perfectly fine. As is my mother’s.

Deb Lisa


Newsflash, July 13 2008

Announcing the Debutante Ball Class of 2009

We are most excited to announce the 2009 Debs, who will take over the Debutante Ball on September 1, 2008. We had so many extremely talented authors from which to choose, all with exciting books debuting next year, and narrowing it down to five was no easy task.

Without further ado, our 2009 Debutantes are:

Eve Brown-Waite, author of the memoir First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria: How a Peace Corps Poster Boy Won My Heart and a Third World Adventure Changed My Life (Broadway Books/April 2009).

about the book: With wit and candor, First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria chronicles Eve’s misadventures as an aspiring do-gooder in the developing world. From intestinal parasites to being held hostage, from eating termites to cultural misunderstandings, here is an honest – and hysterical – look at the search for love and purpose – from a woman who finds both in the last place she expected.

Tiffany Baker, author of the literary novel The Little Giant of Aberdeen County (Grand Central Publishing, January 2009).

about the book: The Little Giant of Aberdeen County is about how Truly, a woman born a giant, overcomes her small town’s prejudices, uncovers decades of family secrets, and learns that love doesn’t always come ordered to size.

Katie Alender, author of the YA thriller Bad Girls Don’t Die (Disney/Hyperion, April 2009).

about the book:When 15-year-old Alexis Warren suspects that her younger sister Kasey’s strange behavior is more than just angst, she thinks she can handle it on her own. But creepy parlor tricks are just the beginning, and it soon seems that Kasey may actually be living out the violent legacy of the Warrens’ gothic home. Alexis is forced to seek out the help of her arch-rival, cheerleader queen, Megan Wiley. Only by working together can they try to save Kasey. But what if the green-eyed girl isn’t even Kasey anymore?

Kristina Riggle, author of the women’s fiction book All Happy Families (Avon/HarperCollins, May 2009).

about the book: Faded flower child Mira Zielinski isn’t about to have surgery for her newly diagnosed breast cancer, which will no doubt upset her grown children — when she gets around to telling them. They’re coming home with their own lives falling apart over spousal secrets, an elopement, and withered dreams. As this all comes to light on one pivotal weekend, will it shake Mira’s resolve?

Meredith Cole, author of the mystery novel Posed for Murder (St. Martin’s Press, February 2009).

about the book: Lydia McKenzie, an edgy art photographer who recreates murder scenes in a film noir style, finally achieves her dream of putting her art in a gallery. But when someone starts killing her models just like they were posed in her photographs, she has to catch the killer before she becomes the next victim.

Deb News:

This week, Deb Jess will be on tour at the following locations…join the fun if you’re in the area!

Wednesday, July 16, 7 pm at The Book Cellar
4736-38 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, IL

Thursday, July 17, 6 pm at the Portage County Public Library
1001 Main Street
Stevens Point, WI
(Enter to win a beach bag full of goodies!)

Saturday, July 19, 11 am – 1 pm at Conkey’s Bookstore
226 East College Avenue
Appleton, WI

Jess is also thrilled to share Swapna Krishna’s glowing review of Driving Sideways for Curled Up With a Good Book. Five out of five stars! From the review: “The novel has a lot of heart and emotion, but it is never cheesy or sappy, demonstrative of Riley’s talent as a writer. She manages to touch her readers and evoke the emotions she wants them to feel without telling them to do so. It is a mark of her ability to write sympathetic and believable characters that the reader really does care about.”

Get an online goodie bag worth $500
when you purchase Fifteen Minutes of Shame at Amazon on Monday, July 14.

Fifteen Minutes of Shame, by Lisa Daily, is a romantic comedy about what happens when America’s favorite TV love guru finds out her husband is cheating – live, on national television.

To get the free $500 online goody bag, purchase Fifteen Minutes of Shame before 12 midnight PST on Monday, July 14 at Amazon.com (where it’s currently bargain-priced around $10) and email your receipt to swagbag (at) lisadaily.com.

For a details and a complete listing of all the swag, which includes one week free at Bag Borrow or Steal, a two-month subscription to Cupid.com, a free lip-plumping serum, an exclusive T-Tapp exercise video download, free mineral makeup, free cellulite firming cream, sneak peek chapters of books and not-yet-released books from debs Eileen Cook, Jenny Gardiner and Danielle Younge-Ullman and former debs Mia King and Kristy Kiernan, (plus Jane Porter, Mary Castillo, Mike Robbins and Lisa McLeod and others) plus lots of other goodies, check out www.lisadaily.com/swagbag on Monday 7/14.

Deb Gail has a cover for her book!!

Deb Jenny’s novel Sleeping with Ward Cleaver got a fabulous review from Book Room Reviews: “If you want to laugh until you pee your pants, then pick up this book. If you want to gain some insight into what goes into a marriage, then pick up this book. I loved the character of Claire. She is someone that every woman can relate to, young or old. Jenny Gardiner has a gift for finding humor and at the same time tackling tough issues. This is a great mom lit book to read by yourself, or giggle about with your book club.”
I might suggest you go to the bathroom before you start reading my book 😉 .
Book Room Reviews is raffling off their copy of Sleeping with Ward Cleaver here.

Founder News: Founder Kristy Kiernan’s new novel Matters of Faith (Aug.5) continues to garner great reviews! The newest from Bookpage:

Everyone believes in something. Whether our beliefs are rooted in religion, experience or just intuition, faith is one of life’s strongest arguments. Many believe that life’s trials are there to test faith. However, the true question just might be where we should place our trust—can we even trust ourselves when a crisis is at hand? Kristy Kiernan, the author of last year’s Catching Genius, has centered her new book on a South Florida family with more than a few trust issues. Matters of Faith is a tense but touching novel that forces its characters and readers to re-examine their beliefs.

Chloe Tobias, a free-spirited mother, is constantly at odds with her pessimistic husband Cal. Along with her contentious marriage, her preteen daughter Meghan’s severe food allergies are a constant reminder that all is not as carefree as she would like. When their oldest child Marshall arrives home from college with a new girlfriend, Ada, an uncomfortable tension develops. Ada is from a religious Nebraska community. She looks down on Meghan’s strict diet and strongly pushes her beliefs on the unprepared family. Unfortunately, Marshall seems to agree.

Chloe struggles with her manners until Ada’s faith in prayer over medicine results in a disastrous fate for Meghan. Suddenly the couple must simultaneously deal with Marshall’s betrayal, Meghan’s condition and their deteriorating marriage. The story has the suspense of a blockbuster film with the internal examinations of a breakthrough therapy session. Kiernan draws exquisite parallels between different forms of faith, protection and abandonment. Ultimately, however, the book is about choices: which of their children will Cal and Chloe choose to protect? Will Marshall choose his love for Ada or his family? Should faith be put aside in favor of modern medicine, or can the two work together?

The story gives plenty of perspective on both sides. Matters of Faith begins as a recognizable family story and transforms into a view of human nature under pressure. How open will minds be when lives are interrupted? Will we believe the same things when loss tests our faith? How do we choose between the two things most precious to us? Kiernan’s portrait of the Tobias family is a study in emotional turmoil that will stay with any reader when their beliefs are, inevitably, called into question.


Let’s Do The Time Warp Again… By Deb Lisa Daily

Fifteen Minutes of Shame The year is 1986.

Every weekend my friends and I tell our parents we’re going to the midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. This buys us a pass for a few curfew bonus hours, until at least 2:30 in the morning.

Sometimes we actually go.

Our little group of prepsters and jocks don our garters, party hats and freakwear, sneaking rice and water guns into the theater downtown.

And we’re not the only ones. Every weekend this place is packed with kids in drag at midnight, as we sing, dance and scream out the lines to the most freakishly fabulous film any of us have ever seen to this point.

“Hi! My name is Brad Majors, and this is my fiancee, Janet Weiss.”

“Oh, it’s probably some kind of hunting lodge for rich weirdos.”

“What have you done to Brad?”
“Nothing. Why, do you think I should?”

Tim Curry. Academy Award winner Susan Sarandon (well, not for this picture, but still.) Barry Bostwick. Meat Loaf. Singing and dancing in their underwear.

But not exactly the kind of thing you’d put in a time capsule.
At least not with a really long letter of explanation.

Time Curry in The Rocky Horror Picture Show

The Time Warp
I remember doing the Time Warp
Drinking those moments when
The blackness would hit me and the void would be calling
Let’s do the time warp again…
Let’s do the time warp again!

It’s just a jump to the left
And then a step to the right
With your hands on your hips
You bring your knees in tight
But it’s the pelvic thrust that really drives you insane,
Let’s do the Time Warp again!

It’s so dreamy, oh fantasy free me
So you can’t see me, no not at all
In another dimension, with voyeuristic intention
Well-secluded, I see all
With a bit of a mind flip
You’re there in the time slip
And nothing can ever be the same
You’re spaced out on sensation, like you’re under sedation
Let’s do the Time Warp again!

In case you missed it, here’s the trailer. Again.

Deb Lisa


A tale of sand and idiots by Deb Lisa Daily

When I grew up, we went water skiing every Fourth of July with the Curtis family, and then we’d lie exhausted on the beach, eating cold fried chicken and my mother’s fabulous top secret potato salad. (It’s the ingredients that are top secret, not the salad itself) — this paper plate will self destruct in five seconds…

When we got home, we’d get cleaned up, eat some more and then, we’d all head over to the local elementary school to watch fireworks. I don’t remember anyone doing anything particularly stupid, except for the time my brother and his teen-aged friends almost set the fence on fire. A contraband bottle rocket gone awry.

Now, we head down to Siesta Key every year to watch fireworks on the beach. We sit on the sand, snuggled on our blankets, listening to the waves and watching the grand show over the Gulf of Mexico.

Which is lovely. Except for the fire-retardant (and not in a good way) folks who frequently express their love of country by shooting off illegal fireworks into the dry grasses and sea oats, and occasionally, the crowd.

Last year, one such reveler shot a firework into the grass and started a small fire. He scrambled over to put out the fire, accidentally setting his shoes on fire. When he finally extinguished the grass and his footwear with the help of a dad/ impromptu fireman, he wandered right back over to his laughing clan and shot off another one. Which landed in the same spot. And set the remaining uncharred grass aflame.

FireDad came to the rescue again, informing the amateur arsonist that he was on his own if the field caught fire again.

The Fourth of July is the busiest day of the year for ERs across the country.

The National Fire Protection Agency says that “nearly half the people injured by fireworks were younger than 15.” Sparklers, fountains and other “safe” fireworks accounted for 26% of the ER fireworks injuries.

Which doesn’t account for the thousands who just slap on a band-aid and guzzle another beer.

I think fireworks should be left to the professionals. But hey, that’s me.

Deb Lisa


Spermicide and other beauty secrets. By Deb Lisa Daily

I was wracking my brain for some clever beauty secret to share with all of you, and I could not stop flashing back to an early episode of the Oprah show I watched in my teens: A very attractive woman in her forties claimed the secret to keeping her model-perfect skin so smooth, youthful and beautiful was to slather it with a big ‘ol glob of spermicide.

Yes. Every night before she went to bed, she put spermicide on her face.

On purpose.

I’ve often wondered if PTA moms across the Midwest added Gynol to the grocery list that afternoon with giddy hopes they might have stumbled across the fountain of youth.

Although I’ve never put contraceptive products anywhere but their intended destination, that particular beauty tip has stayed in my memory, stuck there like the theme song from Gilligan’s Island or all six verb tenses for “burp” in German.

My own beauty secrets are significantly less exotic — lots of laughs, sleep and sex.

As the Debs’ resident dating expert, I’ll share a little secret with you: sex is great for your looks.

If the orgasms and naked men aren’t enough of a draw, below you’ll find three beauty reasons for having regular sex.

* It makes you younger looking: A study at Scotland’s Royal Edinburgh Hospital found that women who were having sex four times a week looked on average, 7 –12 years younger than their not-so-active counterparts.

*Sex gives you a better booty: That’s right, having sex works your butt, thighs, pelvis, and arms.

*It gives you better hair days: Sex releases estrogen, which makes your hair shiny and your skin supple.

Good skin and a good time? Absolutely beautiful.

Deb Lisa

Fifteen Minutes of Shame


Newsflash, Sunday June 22 2008

Deb News:

This week, Deb Jess was interviewed by the PKD Foundation as well as her alma mater, UW-Oshkosh. Driving Sideways made its debut as a Target Break-Out book this week as well.

Also, Deb Jess will be doing her first book signing next Saturday, June 28 at Creekside Books in Cedarburg, Wisconsin from 12-2 pm. Stop by and say hi! Cedarburg is celebrating Strawberry Festival that day, so Jess is looking for your best strawberry recipes to share with readers. Email your favorite recipe by Thursday, June 26, and she’ll send you the full collection to thank you. (jess (at) jessriley.com)

Fifteen Minutes of ShameDeb Lisa‘s book Fifteen Minutes of Shame received a really great write-up from Kristy Gustafson at the Albany Times-Union.

Gustafson says, Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows I’m not a gusher, unless I truly love something (like Neiman Marcus customer service or AOA or 518Living) I don’t sing praises. But today I have to gush.
Lisa Daily’s Fifteen Minutes of Shame was one of those books. I chose Daily’s novel because of her name. I interviewed the dating columnist back in my NightCap days and have followed her since…
You can read the entire article here.

Romance Junkies also recently posted a fabulous review of Fifteen Minutes of Shame. You can read all about it here.

Deb Eileen has just joined the Girlfriend’s Cyber Circuit which means she’ll have the chance to interview and host some great YA writers on her website. The first one will be this coming Friday- be sure to check it out.

Deb Danielle was at Book Expo Canada last week and did her first reading reading as part of the Speed Dating for First Time Authors and participated in a signing at the Penguin booth where she signed nearly 100 advance reading copies of Falling Under before they ran out. Thanks so much to all who came out!

Founder News:

Deb Mia’s September 2nd release, Sweet Life, just sold book club rights to Bookspan as a featured alternate for Doubleday, Literary Guild and Book of the Month clubs. NYT Bestselling author Susan Wiggs gave the book a glorious blurb: “SWEET LIFE is the ultimate ‘escape-and-find-yourself’ novel … funny, poignant, and filled with home truths any woman can relate to. This book is as warm and delicious as the recipes … a delightful indulgence!”

Deb Mia also has an amazingly sweet Hawaiian gift basket and book give-away going on (no purchase necessary but don’t let that stop you from buying as many copies of her books as you’d like!). Just go to her blog on the Sweet Life page at Amazon.com and tell her what’s sweet about YOUR life!

What the Debs Are Reading:

Deb Lisa is reading the 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss.
Deb Eileen just finished reading Girls In Trucks by Katie Crouch.
Deb Danielle is not reading but she would love to be.


How to Kill Your Writing Career. And, Stuff in My Purse. By Deb Lisa Daily

Fifteen Minutes of Shame

How to Kill Your Writing Career.

We’ve all heard stories on how lackluster book sales can slowly leech the life out of your publishing career. But why wait for the returns? This guy is an innovator in killing one’s publishing career in one spectacularly insane gesture:

From Publishers Weekly
“A few weeks ago John Mitzel, proprietor of Calamus Books in Boston, was surprised to open his mail and discover he’d been named in a lawsuit filed by an author. The suit, filed by Larry Townsend’s attorney for copyright infringement, stems from a dispute over unpaid fees allegedly owed the author by his distributor, the Oklahoma-based Nazca Plains Corp. Nonetheless, the suit charges that Mitzel, along with over 40 other booksellers (including Amazon and Barnes & Noble), infringed on Townsend’s copyright by selling the author’s books in his store.”

“According to [Townsend’s attorney], Nazca Plains, aka Moseley, copied Townsend’s works without permission and then distributed the books to the booksellers.”

That’s right kids, an author is suing booksellers for selling his books.

It’s difficult enough for a self-published author to get his books carried in bookstores, but with the added threat of a potential lawsuit, that window may have just slammed shut forever. What bookstore wants to deal with that hassle, when the big NY houses are churning out a hundred thousand titles a year? (And will promise not to sue?)

Obviously he has a major beef with his distributor, but the second my attorney spit out the words,
“Hey, I’ve got a great idea! Let’s name all the bookstores in the lawsuit!,” I’d have to take a minute to think things over.

I’d rather gnaw off my signing arm than name a BOOKSTORE in a lawsuit, let alone 40, including all of the majors. Especially bookstores that had NO IDEA what was going on — other than the usual business of selling books. Call me crazy.

Now, as a fellow author, I think Larry should be compensated handsomely by Nazca Plains. If what he claims in his lawsuit is true, they ripped him off and pirated his work, they should pay and pay big.

Even Amazon, a haven for self-publishers, which will carry nearly anything in print, is named in the suit. I guess after this Larry will be selling his books out of the back of his trunk.

My guess is that the pressure from bookstores will cause Nazca to settle quickly, and possibly put them out of business, even if he has no intention of actually attempting to squeeze any cash out of the bookstores.

But my guess is that after this, every book buyer in the country is going to have a mug shot of Larry’s backlist taped up on the wall like a sort of PW’s Most Wanted. And I’m pretty sure that “Larry Townsend” is a name the bookstores won’t soon forget.

Okay. Rant over.

Now, on to my purse.

An epi-pen (my daughter has a peanut allergy)
baby wipes
tiny notebook to jot down ideas
Fifteen Minutes of Shame bookmarks
Fifteen Minutes of Shame postcards
6 Sharpie pens (I have no idea why I needed 6)
business card case
Junior Mints left over from Kung Fu Panda
useless receipts
my iPhone (I love this thing!)
teasing comb (Needed for the glamour pour on the back — leftover from 8 million tour TV appearances on book tour.)
lipstick, lip liner, lip gloss
DVD of Daytime Show I want to put on my website
And 23 (yes, actually 23) little scraps of paper with various notes written on them. Some make no sense at all, like this one that reads — July — green shoes.

Do I need to buy green shoes for some leprechaun ball in July? Was it a note to remind me about someone who was wearing green shoes? A riddle? A mysterious character in my next book? I have no idea, and I can’t recall writing it.



Beat Me, Whip Me, Send Me on Book Tour by Deb Lisa Daily

The business of publishing can really knock the wind out of you.

There are dozens of people involved in turning a big stack of paper into a book — the writer, agents, editors, publicists, marketing people, print managers, sales people and tons of support staff.

But sometimes it feels like the loneliest gig in the world.

If it’s your first book, you probably won’t go on tour. You probably won’t get rich. You probably won’t get on Oprah. And you’ll probably show up for at least one book signing where nobody else does. And sometimes, when you call your publisher, you’ll feel like that old publishing joke “the only good author is a dead author” might actually be real.

I was lucky enough to go on tour for Fifteen Minutes of Shame.

When I say “book tour” most people get this really glamorous idea of five-star hotels and limousines, formalwear, a ready-made entourage, and non-invasive paparazzi hanging around to take photos from your best angle outside your hotel, while a handler whisks you from party to interview to party to every author’s fantasy, a book-signing with throngs of your adoring fans lined up around the block.

The reality of a glamorous book tour is that you either a) take a flight at the crack of dawn, or b) show up in an airport the night before, and take a cab to a Ramada, or some other similarly-ornamented halfway house for business travelers. In the morning, you’ll drive yourself all over a strange city in a rental car, or if you’re really lucky, an author escort named Marge, or Betty, will pick you up in her late-model Toyota with used Starbucks grande cups and McGriddle wrappers littering the floor of the passenger seat.

Marge will know all of the gossip on every author on tour over the last five (to twenty) years, and can tell you who’s nice, who sleeps with bookstore managers, who takes uppers before she does the local morning show, and what bestselling spiritual author let his ratty little dog poop in the back of her car and didn’t even offer to clean it up.

You might head to a radio station at the crack of dawn to do a morning drive show, or a local TV station to do Good Morning Little Rock! or Good Morning Tupelo! or Good Morning Wherever The Hell You Are! and do your four minutes with a host who is graciously small-talking with you on-air, despite the fact that he probably doesn’t know or care who you are or what your book is about. Then, you’ll go to your bookstore signing, where even if you’re well-known, you can expect to sit at a faux wood table, looking a lot like those survey people in the mall, hoping to God that at least ten people will show up, so the bookstore manager won’t believe your appearance and frankly, your existence, to be a complete inconvenience and utter waste of her time. Typically, you’ll just be sitting around for two hours trying to catch any customer’s eye as they enter the store so you can psychically will them to your table. Mostly though, you’ll be giving them directions to the bathroom.

Whenever there are breaks in your day, you’ll drive-thru for coffees or sandwiches, then drop in at bookstores en route to your next gig, where you introduce yourself to as many unfazed bookstore employees as possible, and offer to sign any copies of your book they happen to have in stock. Which, if you’re a first or second-time author with a major publisher, will probably be one.

After you sign the single, lonely, copy they’ll rummage around the desk for one of those gold foil “signed by the author” stickers to slap on the front.

After your day is done, you’ll head back to the airport. You’ll grab a quick slice at Sbarro before your nine pm flight, and head (in coach) to your next glamorous destination. Maybe Akron.

You’ll miss your family or your sweetheart, you’ll gain ten pounds from eating crap at the airport, and you’ll spend much of your week(s) trying to figure out where the hell you are.

But here’s the reality that’s better than the perception:

Seeing your book, the book you wrote, for the first time in a bookstore. (Actually, that never gets old, even after the hundredth time)

And the best part, meeting your readers — the people who thought enough of you to spend $20 of their hard-earned cash on your book, and nice enough to tell you that your work means something to them personally.

For a writer, it just doesn’t get any better.

Deb Lisa