In the News
The LA Times reports on the Oprah new pick and refers to the letter that many of us singed way back when. A lot of us thought that letter fell on deaf ears but according to this NYT's article article, Oprah said she had been moved by it.
Which is, to quote another media diva, "a good thing."
First time author Greg Fishbone writes about a subject that I think deserves an enormous amount of attention. The first time author.
He's going to send us reports as time goes on.
Over and over I talk to authors who are simply not prepared for what's to come once the book is sold.
This is his story. I invite other authors to write in about how they coped with the dream versus the reality and I'll post the responses over the next few weeks. Following that we'll do some posts on switching publishers from multi-published authors
Reports from a Freshman
Week 1: Author's Brain
Some people get tennis elbow. Others get athlete's foot. Me, I'm suffering a raging case of Author's Brain.
I'll define Author's Brain as the self-delusion that a publishing contract marks the end of a book's development, like a period at the end of a sentence. New paragraph, indent, start another book. Author's Brain sufferers believe that marketing and publicity just happen, or are the responsibility of someone else, and that all an author needs to do is write, revise, submit, and cash the royalty checks.
This week, after years of effort, I finally gazed upon my coveted first book contract and suddenly realized it wasn't a period at all. It was a comma at best, maybe even a dreaded semicolon! I can't say I wasn't warned. I've heard complaints and horror stories from published authors. In the back of my Author's Brain, I suspectedthat I'd someday need to learn a thing or two about the business sideof the business. I even read a few articles on the subject, but the information never filtered past the Daydream. Daydream with a capital D that rhymes with the B in Author's Brain.
The Daydream starts with an offer on your first book and suddenly, poof, you're an overnight sensation. Reviewers are naturally drawn to your book, and are unanimous in their praise. Editors and booking agents fall over each other to schedule interviews, radio shows, and multiple appearances on Oprah. Booksellers place copies of your book face-out on the aisle endcaps because, well, where else would they go?
Your book signings take place in massive auditoriums, filled with people who learned of the event from a friend of a friend of a friend. Awards are almost an afterthought. And through it all, your publisher supports you as if yours were the only book on their list.
If the Daydream sounds familiar then you too might be suffering from Author's Brain.
I don't have the cure, at least not yet, but I am working toward it.
Over the next few months I will attempt to rewire my Author's Brain by picking up new skills, finding new resources, and making lots and lots of mistakes. Then maybe I can form a support group of the likewise afflicted.
"Hi, I'm Greg, and I have an Author's Brain."
Greg Fishboneis an author from Boston, MA. His first book is forthcoming from Blooming Tree Press (title and publication date to be determined).