Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How to Sell Books By the Truckload

(Please note: The following is not actual advice. This is completely tongue-in-cheek and sarcastic, and written because I am feeling sarcastic today. The author of the following post does not actually bear any ill will toward any of the authors who may or may not be inferred through the following piece. The author of this post actually admires many of them, though she will not say which ones.)

Are you thinking about becoming an author? Do you want your name splashed all over newspapers, magazines and the Internet? Do you dream of seeing people reading your books in cafes, on subways, and in airports? Check out these tried-and-true methods of becoming a rich and famous author!

* Tackle the central tenets and long-held beliefs of a huge, powerful and influential institution and create a fictionalized account of corruption and buried secrets, thereby angering that institution and getting its administration to ban your book, prompting its members to buy it and see what the fuss is all about.

* Get a head start: write a novel when you're still a teenager, while your parents own and operate a publishing company, and get them to cart you around selling your book.

* Choose a genre and subject about which you know nothing, thereby allowing you to ignore all the established lore and come up with something completely "original, fresh and different" (and sparkly). Target teenage girls by making your main character an empty shell upon which they can project.

* Instead of writing your own books, become an idea person who dictates outlines to a team of co-writers, therefore allowing you to produce 9 novels every year. Make sure to keep your chapters ridiculously short (this creates "page-turners"). Produce television commercials, and buy a little $100 million shack in Florida.

* Change your legal name to Stephen King. Publish your grocery list.

* Sell your soul to Satan.

* Die before your book is released.

Any of these things will virtually guarantee wild authorial success!

(Alternately, you could - oh, I don't know - work your butt off, write a great book, and hope for the best...)

This message is brought to you by People Who Are Sick And Tired Of Ridiculous "Out Of The Box, It Worked For So-and-So" Crap Masquerading As Sound Advice. No authors or furry animals were harmed in the creation of this message. Please tip your waitstaff. Have a nice day.


Kim Smith said...

EEK! I know who you are talking about in several instances. Amen, sista!

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Oh my God, you cracked me up, and I, too, recognize many of your examples. LOL. I used to write one page chapters, until I met and was honored to work with this cool urban thriller fantasy writer you might know. ;o)

(By the way, since two of my daughters worked their butts off as waitresses for a long time, I always overtip the poor waitstaff who take care of me. Everyone should do this! They only get like 3 bucks an hour base pay. They deserve much more! ;o) )

Maggie Desmond-O'Brien said...

Oh my God. This is too funny. And sadly, too true.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Great post.


Jeffrey B. Allen said...

It took me four years to write my first novel. After my trials and tribulations of finding someone to publish it, I was shocked to find out there are as many sharks praying on authors as there are authors. And some of the sharks call themselves authors which really screws with your head.

Kathleen Kaska said...

Thanks for putting things into perspective with your wonderful humor. This post made my day.