Thursday, December 9, 2010

An Author's Pet Peeves

As a new author--and I mean brand spankin' new--I know I haven't really EARNED the right to have developed any pet peeves yet. Nevertheless, I must say I've got a few.

As I've mentioned before, the road to publication has been wonderful with so many well-wishers and kind friends and family helping me along every step of the way. These pet peeves are to the rest of the world...

1. When people say, "How much money did you make? Is Dan going to quit his job?"
That one makes me laugh so hard milk comes out my nose!
First of all, I won't have any idea how much money my book has made until six months after it's release date and even then I will only be paid a small percentage of my book's sales price on a monthly basis.
From what I've learned from other authors, the writing business is for THE LOVE and not for THE MONEY. I wrote Growing Up Gracie for fun. Then I attempted publishing it because I thought it would be neat to see my name on a book shelf and my daughter's name in the title of a real book. I never began this journey with the idea of making money.
Only a very small handful of people make it big in the writing world. And the LDS market is even smaller. A best seller in the LDS world is like 1,500-2,000 copies which would roughly net me $55 per week for the time I worked on the book. It would be more lucrative to join a bogus multi-level marketing campaign! So, now that I've divulged all financial inquiries, stop asking if I'm going to be rich.
And some day, if I do make it rich with a big national best seller, your check's in the mail.

2. You're going to be like Stephanie Meyers
Yes, I am Mormon. Yes, I did write a book. That's it.
If you believe I'm like Stephanie Meyers, you obviously HAVEN'T read my book. She is one of the few people I was talking about in my previous pet peeve that actually HAS made it big. And if I could make $50 mil in the first year my book was released, trust me, I'd love to be like her.

3. Your cover is so beautiful. You did a great job!
Well thank you. I love it too. Actually though, the publisher has 100% control over covers, blurbs on the back, and titles. I had nothing to do with my cover. I did name my book however.

4. You should have demanded this (insert some crazy demand here) and this (another crazy demand here) in your contract
Thanks for the advice; however, most first time authors don't have a lot of clout to be in the position of DEMANDING anything in a contract. We mostly take it or leave it. I'm not saying its good to be walked all over, but in the publishing world, you kind of have to tread lightly until you have a little more experience (and book sales) backing your name.

5. When people ask "How much did you have to pay to get your book published?"
Nothing. Nada. I didn't go with a vanity press or a blog printer. Growing Up Gracie is an actual company published book backed 100 percent by Cedar Fort. (I'm not knocking self-publishing, it just wasn't a route I was willing to take).

6. When people ask, "Where do you find the time?"
I've already covered this one on Facebook. I feel everyone FINDS the time for the things they love. As I've said before, there are many things I don't FIND the time for because I'm not really interested in them. For instance, I don't sew, deep clean more than occasionally, or exercise. Most my dinners can be cooked in 30 minutes or less. I envy other mothers I know who seem to get so much done each day. It's all a matter of our own priorities.

Now that I've aired all my pet peeves, I hope you got a laugh out of this and nothing more. This wasn't meant to offend. What are some of your writer's pet peeves?


chris said...

I have been following your book release for the past few weeks. Congratulations on everything! It must be exciting. I did order a book for a Christmas gift so your check from me is in the mail. Haha
I am enjoying your playlist by the way!

Take Care,
Chris Parks

Dan said...

Great job, Maggie, and I know how you feel! I certainly have a fair share of relatives overestimating the amount of money I'll make. They're sure I'm making 99% of the profits on every book sold. I don't correct them because I know they'll complain and complain in the belief that I could/should have gotten a million dollar advance. (All us authors are millionaires, after all.) ha ha!

The church statistics are that there are 13 million LDS, so my family is certain that half that number will buy the book. Gotta give them credit for being lenient here.

I've never ever asked anyone how much money they make at any job, so it's astounding how many people feel free to ask me now.

At my book launch one old friend of mine was asking all kinds of questions like "How many books did you print?", "How'd you decide on the cover?" He was shocked the answers were "I don't know" and "I didn't choose the cover, although I love it!"

Anyway, three cheers to my fellow millionaire!