The first few times I told someone I was a writer I wasn’t prepared for their reaction. They looked at me distrustfully as if I had stated that I was a major in an intergalactic alien army while wearing a tin foil hat. “What have you written?” They would ask. Once they heard the answer they responded “Well, I’ve never heard of it.” Sigh.
People are full of good advice for the debut author. I had no less than a dozen people offer key suggestions for my publishing success such as:
- You should get on the Oprah show! (or Today, or Ellen, or People magazine or insert major media outlet here);
- Make the bookstores do a big display for you, no one is going to see you back there on the shelf;
- You should have made the cover look like (insert their design idea here).
I was impressed they thought I had this kind of clout in the publishing world. I’ll just call Oprah today and tell her the world didn’t need another interview with sofa hopper Tom Cruise- they want me. I’ll send a stern letter to the CEO of Borders, Chapters and Barnes and Noble to find out when I can expect my front of store display- just as soon as I have the cover re-designed to my exact specifications of course.
My favorite comment thus far was the person who told me “you don’t look like a writer.” When I inquired what a writer looked like she said “you know, more tortured. Deep.” Apparently I look frivolous and a touch shallow. How disappointing. I’ve decided that I need to take up wearing a black beret and smoke clove cigarettes while discussing how Sylvia Plath was way too plucky and upbeat for my taste.
I think I’ll take lessons from Henri here: Henri
13 Replies to “I would look great in a beret by Deb Eileen”
Too funny! Love the Henri clip and the comment about Oprah. I’ve gotten that one and my book isn’t even published. I also get a lot of comments from people who think that once you write a book, it automatically gets published. If only it were that simple, right? 🙂
BTW, read Unpredictable a few weeks ago and thought it was great. Found out about it on this blog, and after I read the excerpt, I knew I had to read the whole thing.
You may not look like a writer, but you sure do read like one. 🙂
You mean you’re not a major in an intergalactic alien army while wearing a tin foil hat? You sure had me fooled!
Henri was fabulous. My cat Sushi sat in my lap while we enjoyed his existential angst. Sushi now has her back to me so I suspect she too feels haunted.
BTW–I spoke at a book club a few weeks ago and the women wanted to learn about the publishing industry and after I gave them the low-down one woman looked at me and said, “You know, you seem like a smart person. You’re obviously very good at marketing and PR. Why on earth are you wasting your time writing when you could be working in PR or marketing and actually getting PAID for it?”
I was left temporarily speechless.
Annette – you’re my hero. Thanks so much for picking up the book I’m glad you enjoyed it.
Lisa- awww thanks. I guess if I have to choose between the looking like a writer and the writing part it is a no brainer choice.
Jenny- I love the book club story- that’s priceless
Henri is fabulous. As are you, albeit in a more approachable, friendly way.
The ‘best’ advice I’ve gotten about publishing was from a cousin of my father’s age who suggested I self publish and then perhaps my mother’s hairdresser wouldn’t mind selling the books in her shop. Like Jenny, I was rendered speechless, managing only to squeek out a “perhaps”. I suppose the advice was well-intentioned, however…
When I inquired what a writer looked like she said “you know, more tortured. Deep.” Apparently I look frivolous and a touch shallow.
Sorry, but LOL! If you looked tortured and “deep” I might be afraid to read your books. So it’s good that you don’t.
Does that make me frivolous and shallow too?
I get the first two comments all the time. Love it. 🙂
If I had a dime for every time someone suggested the answer to my publication woes was giving Oprah a call. Well, I’d have at least a buck. 😉
Every day I get the when are you going on tour question AND the Oprah question.
Remember when the topic of the week was “stereotypes?” Well, going out on that limb, my guess is that anyone who claims you don’t look like a writer, Eileen, isn’t a reader! 😉
Great suggestions for writers! I will link to you and Henri.
BTW, did you get the book at long last?
I think even if you wore all black and a beret and smoked cigarettes and muttered a lot, the true Eileen would still shine through. 😉 (That’s a good thing. Tortured artists are fun in theory but a drag at parties.)
You know, I dated a lot of guys that embodied that tortured artist stereotype. None of them wrote any books, despite their black turtlenecks and deep thoughts and cigarette-stained fingers.
Comments are closed.