Tuesday, July 10, 2007

She Got Caught

This is the journal of a writer's life, so let me give it to you straight.

Just because a person has a book published doesn't mean he or she is suddenly on Easy Street (I have no idea what that means, but my fantasy author said it five or six times at a pretty high volume, and it was one of the few phrases I understood through her slurred speech last night) and suddenly flush with lottery-winning wagonloads of cash (that analogy I understood). She's amazed, in fact, that the idiot who abandoned her to foreclosure and bankruptcy is seeking half her future royalties off the Choices Meant for Gods trilogy because she currently has no royalties and she'll be seeking assistance for half the cost of marketing and promotion if he'd like to see any of the benefits of that marketing and promotion. It's highly unlikely the fool will want to pay the sum that would require at this point...

What it comes down to is this: published authors don't suddenly buy mansions and BMW Alanas (I am familiar with that because she thinks those vehicles are pretty cool) just because they're published authors. In fact, when Fantasy Author Sandy Lender got to her home last night, she stopped at the end of her driveway to check her mail. While standing there, a car pulled up, the window rolled down, and a man asked, "Are you Mrs. Lender?" Sandy informed him that she prefers not to be referred to that way. He served her 20-day foreclosure notice papers anyway.

And there you go.

Just because you have a book contract, a published book, and the next two books in the trilogy under consideration, it doesn't mean you're on Easy Street. You can't afford to pay someone thousands of dollars to send out press releases to the New York Times for possible inclusion in their Sunday edition. You can't afford to take out an ad in the daily paper announcing your book signing at the local Barnes and Noble so people remember to show up. You can't afford to fly up to some convention where you've been assigned to speak on a couple of panels to promote...what?...oh...she's doing that anyway because she feels that she has no choice. (And she'll just send the bill to the idiot who wants half the benefit in the future anyway.) But I think I've made my point with a pretty dramatic example. If she'd let me put a sword through a couple people, I'd not hesitate to do it right now. For some reason, though, she fears judicial repercussions.

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