Thursday, June 30, 2005

Bad Karma Ten

Ten Things That Wreck Your Writer Karma

1. Attacking Dan Brown for writing The DaVinci Code, but only because he's made so much money.

Guess who reads your new book, decides to give it a quote, and stops by your weblog to let you know the very same day you compare him to pond scum?

2. Supporting a group you dislike out of fear for your career.

Any rat can become a cannibal. Multiply that by the membership roster.

3. Tampering with another author's books at the store because you think they don't deserve to sell.

Most book stores have security cameras, and very bored employees. You could end up publishing's Gary Brolsma.

4. Refusing to shake hands with readers at your booksigning.

Some highly contagious people are easily offended, excellent spitters.

5. Sucking up to a reviewer in hopes of getting a good write-up.

This is like becoming a necrophiliac for the romance, but guess who gets screwed?

6. Deciding that You Know Everything About Publishing immediately after you sell your first book.

Hello, Three Book Career.

7. Telling your editor the his/her incompetence is ruining your novel, when it's really your lousy writing.

No contract -- or editor's patience -- lasts forever.

8. Pretending never to have heard of or read a popular author.

That's okay. They won't have to pretend about you.

9. Making a ton of money as an author but sponging off the unpublished at cons because you're cheap.

Someday, chapter two of the industry expose.

10. At the big writer's conference, not allowing an exhausted handicapped person to sit down on the only empty chair in the hotel lobby while she waits for the elevator jam to disperse. Why? Because you're having a private conversation with your best girlfriend.

Gimps have very long memories, and you were wearing that big, easy-to-read conference name tag around your neck.


  1. Anonymous5:08 AM

    Two from a much-loved author of my youth:

    11. Writing very popular Sword and Sorcery, then subsequently being snotty about it.

    12. Slagging off your juvenilia, then subsequently publishing it.

  2. Anonymous8:34 AM

    Zornhau and I have obviously hung out with the same people.

    Jim, someday we have to sit down and swap panel stories. Seriously.

  3. Anonymous9:12 AM

    I was thinking of a certain New Wave British SF writer who made it big in the 70s then subsequently moved to the states and now writes literary stuff. If you see him, give him a slap from me.

  4. Count me in on that panel-story-swapping confab. The way that one author took over, I was less important than the water pitcher.

    Other way to wreck your karma: Dis an author's work, not realizing their editor is standing behind you. (I was standing with an editor when the snooty writer in front of us in line referred to another author's book as 'crap'.

    That writer had an appointment scheduled with the editor for the next morning, too. Wonder how that went?


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