All Authors Have it Tough

I belong to a group called, Definitive Serious Writers on LinkedIn. A question was asked, “What was your most embarrassing moment as a writer?” It was good to see authors making fun of themselves after a mistake. Here are some examples.

“I was at a book signing with advanced copies on the east coast. I get a frantic call telling me to STOP SELLING. I guess the wrong file got uploaded to the printhouse, and it was only the revised draft, not the final edit. So there are 100 “Collector’s editions” out there! I had to laugh, or I would cry! (and of course I ordered a double jameson and cranberry, no matter that it was at 11am!)”

“I went to a signing, and the bookstore manager spent the first half of my time slot downstairs dealing with a personnel issue. The cashier kept promising that she’d be right up, and would set me up a table to sign (books). But after wandering around the store for an hour, I finally asked them to just bring me the books and I’d sign the stack. So I’m sitting on the floor, signing books, when a friend of my husband’s came in. He’d shown up just to see the big-name writer at a book signing. Not a glory time…”

“I’m at my first book signing and I’m speaking with a local teacher in charge of the literacy for the school. I bend down to snatch a buisness card from my purse and when I come back up – wham! – my head hits a bookshelf.

Lesson Learned: If you’re a klutz, have them move the table into an open space – not into a corner nearby a bookshelf.”

“I remember being so excited a few years ago to meet a particular agent at a conference and pitch my mystery novel. I worked three days on getting my pitch just right. Finally, the big moment came and I pitched my heart out in three minutes time. The agent looked at me a bit puzzled and said, ‘I’m sorry, I only work with children’s books.’ Guess I learned a hard lesson that day…research, research, research!”

“I had a book signing scheduled six months in advance for a new book that was going to be released on that day. The two owners at the publisher split up a week before my signing and all books were put on hold. I decided to hurry up and just have the book printed by an outside source, because hundreds of people were going to show up and I did not want to disappoint them. The crowd looked at the horribly printed book and there was this collective moan. I had to spend the next year rebuilding my image…”

“Reminds me of my book tour last summer. The part where I arrived in a city late because a large part dropped off the bottom of my truck going 70mph down I-40 and I had to pull off at the next truck ramp and make repairs… then when I got to the city there was road construction and I did not have time to take a shower before going to my free-45-minute-lecture-followed-by-sales-pitch — did I mention it was summer in Arizona, and I had been driving (and making repairs) in the daytime? I’m sure I made a great impression as a dirty, smelly, greasy hippie. But was I embarassed? No! Because I have the one truly essential ingredient for anyone trying to promote their own product– I have no shame!”

Here was my favorite:

“I WAS AT A COMIC CONVENTION IN PITTSBURGH WITH MY SON WHO WRITES NOW FOR D.C. COMICS. I was walking with a gal who was a writer and artist on her own book called Wandering Star (In the 80s). She got the brilliant idea – on her own – to offer a hundred free books to her hopeful new fans around here. She took an arm-load of them and tossed them in a flurry into the air. Folks were not picking them up, but rather trying to stay clear of the fallout.

SO WE STAYED THERE TOGETHER AFTERWARDS PICKING UP EVERY FREE BOOK SHE WAS OFFERING FROM OFF THE FLOOR. I was feeling a bit guilty by association. After this she disappeared into the crowd and I never saw her again. She is an amazing pointillist and you can’t help liking her work, just not her methods of distribution. LOL”

What was your most embarassing moment? I’m sure you are thinking about a moment in time that you wish could be erassed. Just remember that all authors have it tough. The good ones laugh it off…

Ron Knight

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Ron Knight

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