1. Writing a book is easy.
Please, for the love of all writers out there who clutch their pearls in outrage every time they hear this, just don’t. If writing was easy, everyone would do it. That’s not an invitation, by the way.
2. “Hey, I want to/already did, write a book, can you help me publish it?”
First of all, getting published is hard. It involves a lot of moving pieces and parts and is time consuming AF. Even if you’ve got an agent and a publisher handling most of the nitty gritty details for you like trim size for your book cover, formatting, and marketing, there are always twenty other things that need to be done, at all times. If you self-publish, like I do, your schedule is probably over booked twice over. Please, don’t be offended if I tell you to google how to publish a book. That’s how I got started in the first place, and I’m more than happy to come in and help you if you get stuck, but it would take me weeks to explain everything to you, and I’m already behind on my own shit.
3. “You should write a book about (insert idea here)”
No. No. And for the final time, no. I’ll even throw in a dear God, no. We’ve got a multitude of characters, all with their own personalities chattering all at once, not to mention the seven-hundred or so ideas we have for future books, kicking around in our heads. Please don’t add to the madness.
4. You can write anytime, just take a break for a few.
Ha! If only that were true. I know writers that can turn it off and on, no problems, although they’re far and few between. I know some that have a routine/ritual before they can write, and I know writers that can only write in the early morning or late at night. If we could write anytime we wanted to, it probably wouldn’t take us weeks and months on end to write a book.
5. It must be nice to be able to work from home. You can work anywhere.
Yes, it can be nice to work from home. It has its perks like not having to wear a bra that digs into my rib cage all day if I don’t want to, and not having to deal with office gossip. That doesn’t mean that I can work from anywhere. Could I answer emails anywhere? Yeah, so long as I’ve got my phone and a cellular or wireless connection. Can I write anywhere? Nope. I struggle to focus as it is with my noise cancelling headphones in my home office, how in the hell do you expect me to write in a coffee shop with a revolving door, strange and sudden noises, and some nosey broad leaning over my shoulder to see what I’m typing?
6. “You don’t have a ‘real’ job.”
Excuse the fuck outta me, but yes I do. Other than writing, which we’ve established is like trying to catch air with your bare hands, I take care of all admin duties, accounting, marketing, market research, plotting, accepting edits, re-writes, working with designers for book covers and graphics, social media interaction on multiple platforms, and a long long list of things I’m forgetting at the moment because I’m a one woman show.
7. “You’re always on deadline.”
Yes, yes I am. Want to know why? Because these books won’t write themselves, no matter how much I beg and plead with them to do so. Also, it only takes a few hours to read a book, and readers are constantly hungry for more. See above with the one woman show bit.
8. “I found a typo in your book.”
*headdesk* While I appreciate you telling me so I can fix it (No, seriously, thank you!), please understand that this happens all the time. Even for authors who have a giant publisher behind them. Editors and proofreaders are only human, just like the person penning the book. I’m just as upset about it as you are because that usually means it snuck past me, my editor multiple times during multiple rounds of edits, my proofreader, my beta readers, and an entire team of early reviewers. Please remember to be kind when pointing out flaws in our word babies, and don’t forget we have feelings too.
9. “I’ll read your book if you give me a free copy.”
Number one, that’s rude. Number two, this is literally how I make my living. I don’t come into your office and demand you give me a free dental cleaning because we share some genomes, Susan, so step off. Number three, authors run sales and giveaways on their books all the time. If you really can’t afford to spend .99c or maybe, *gasp* $4.99 on my book instead of a latte from your favorite coffee shop, grab a copy the next time I run a promo. It shouldn’t be hard to miss, I usually post it all over social media in what you like to tell me is an “obnoxious” way.
10. “Do people even read books anymore? You must not make any money.”
What I do and don’t make is no one’s business other than my own. And my accountant’s and the IRS. Yes, people still read books, and no I’m not a starving artist, so please stop sending me links to jobs you think I should apply for. I’ve already got a career that I love wholeheartedly, even when I’m bitching about it to you over a drink.