Saturday, March 18, 2006

Finally: PTC #2, Part I

The last of the questions, brought to you by the engineers at Blogger, always in the process of being informed, notified, and assigned to fix mysterious server glitches....

I saved this one for last because it's a tough one, and we're all hit with the same propaganda about it.

2. Staying Pro: I'd like to see more on how to KEEP selling, or how to organize my time (and) Once you start selling the plan is to keep selling and have a nice long career. Pointers?

To keep selling and have a nice long career, this is what I was told to do: write politically-correct, acceptable books that cross no lines or boundaries, praise all things publishing, be supernice to everyone, never speak out against your publisher, or better yet never refer to your publisher at all unless with glowing groupie enthusiasm, do exactly what your editor says and never argue about anything, same goes for your agent, spend your entire advance on self-promotion, hover around and attend bestselling authors and/or constantly pay homage to dead bestselling authors, join your genre writer's association and suck up to the players in it, speak only in gushes and then apologize for gushing, never get involved in a controversy, stay far, far away from scandals and scandal-magnets, put your book in for every single award out there, be a wonderful loser and congratulate every winner, adding that they are much better writers than you and deserve it, praise all reviews and reviewers, have them use the Zero Visibility Fog lens for your author photo, wear something pink and cute if you're a girl and something conservative and blue if you're a boy, refer to your first book as the book of your heart, use afterdinner mints as the color scheme for your web site and weblog, better yet don't keep a weblog because they're dangerous, stick with your writer org pals and only do favors for/make award nominations for/hang with them, and moonlight at one or two jobs outside of publishing 'cause you probably won't make a lot of money as a writer (but if you are bounced out of print after four or five books I was assured that you still have the option to do the Con Workshop Queen or Guest Speaker Dude thing while you take freelance copy-editing jobs, climb the well-comped ranks of your writer org so you can go to all the cons for free, and dole out hefty how-tos to aspiring writers/fans on some hasbeen/neverwas newsgroup.)

I didn't listen, but I don't like being told what to do, and I'm allergic to pink.

Anyway, minus the sarcastic bits, it's actually pretty good advice. If you're very careful to hang onto your pom poms, speak politely when spoken to, make the right friends, and avoid the pariahs and lepers, you'll probably stay in some kind of print for the rest of your writing life. It's the safe, sound, well-trodden path, and it's what works the majority of the time for the herd. Out of such well-behaved stock always sprouts a handful of major bestsellers. One of them might even be you.

Want more than that? Stop in tomorrow for PTC #2, Part II.

17 comments:

  1. man, that advice you were given sounds pretty dang boring.

    i'm not allergic to pink, but I'm not all that fond of it. I am, however, allergic to being nice and behaving.

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  2. Oh, I'm so screwed. I mean, I'm nice and the older I get the more I think before I act, and I am decent with networking but still... I hate cliques, I hate petty politics, and I doubt I could grit my teeth long enough to do the sucking up required to be successful.

    So basically, I need to plan on never going out in public.

    Got it.

    M

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  3. I'm with Demented.
    Easy to get along with/ admiring and respectful and all that - but I have a gag reflex.

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  4. Hm, I have a mint coloured website, but I'm inacapable of gushing and sucking up to people. Do I need therapy now?

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  5. Okay, I admit it. I have on occasion sucked up. But I've done it in such a snarky way it didn't get me anywhere.

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  6. I don't mind pink - in fact I'm pink all over. Except for the hairy bits.

    But they made me cover most of it up for my author pic.

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  7. Um, okay.

    All the sarcastic bits ring pretty true about being a decent human being. Except for the suck-up bits.

    I wonder if Harlen Ellison fits any of this?

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