Divas and Other Energy Sucking Folk

March 5, 2007 at 4:50 am 16 comments

This was a chaotic week, fraught with emotion. From joy (I finished the book) to worry (teacher daughter has been placed on bedrest because of potential toxemia) to anger that has now simmered down into disgust. 

We have an author who wants to be a bestselling author.  What writer does’nt?  But getting there requires not just a good book, but hard work and to be honest, luck.  Mine is a tiny publishing company that doesn’t put on airs.  We don’t have money for ads in the New York Times, author advances, elaborate book tours, or hundreds of advance  reading copies.  We are right up front about these things with all of our authors.  Its spelled out clearly in the contract that they sign.  We exist at all because the big houses are so flooded with manuscripts that Hemingway wouldn’t get noticed in this day and time except through pure luck.  Our role is to provide a finished book to good first time authors, do what we can to get it noticed by the experts in the industry and sold as well as we can.  Our purpse is to provide good first time authors with a publishing credit that they can parlay into getting their next book noticed by someone bigger than us.  This is all clearly explained to our authors before they sign a contact.  All of them get it…except the Diva. 

The Diva writes the most heinous, venamous letters full of blarney you’ve ever seen.  Then she’ll end them with “any reply to this letter should be sent to the attention of my husband.”  Makes my teeth hurt dealing with the girl nowdays.  But I have learned a few things from our prima dona, what not to do after you’ve landed a publishing contract:

1.  Make sure that you find your editor’s suggestions for your manuscript “funny” and don’t make any attempt to take them.

2.  Ask for things that your publisher never offered and has no intention of providing.  When they don’t comply publicly trash them.

3.  Expect your publisher to let you set the price of your book.  When they don’t comply see 2. above.

4.  Bury their e-mail boxes with ridiculous demands based on air and then refuse to read the answers pulled from your contract. 

5.  Turn down book signings arranged by your publisher within one mile of your location because they won’t pay for cab fare.

6.  Make sure you don’t spend one moment being thankful, not necessarily to your publisher, but to whatever higher being you recognize has helped you take that first step toward your dream. 

Those of you that dream of making a living as a writer, remember to enjoy the journey.  Be realistic, read your contract, and know that with the exception of those authors who have multiple bestsellers or land one of those million dollar contracts, most authors have to work very hard right along with their publisher to get the book sold. 


Entry filed under: randomness, rants.

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16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. hammer  |  March 5, 2007 at 6:17 am

    It must really be bad working with such petty and demanding people. I hope that’s the exception rather than the rule.

  • 2. John Linna  |  March 5, 2007 at 6:46 am

    And I thought Pastors had to deal with some weird people.

  • 3. katcampbell  |  March 5, 2007 at 7:56 am

    Hammer – She’s our ONLY pain in the butt I’m happy to say.

    Dr. John – Nope, there are narcissists everywhere apparently.

  • 4. rel  |  March 5, 2007 at 2:11 pm

    Hi nKat,
    Some people just shit the bed! Like your Diva. Laughing is the best coping method I’ve found for dealing with these individuals.
    I hope your daughter’s toxemia is contolable.
    I mean to tell you more about my dad but get bogged down in day to day survival. I thank you for asking though.

  • 5. J.  |  March 5, 2007 at 8:32 pm

    Wow. I’d be turning cartwheels if somebody wanted to publish me.
    What a whackjob.

    I had Toxemia. Daughter was WAY early because of it. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate.

  • 6. katcampbell  |  March 5, 2007 at 8:42 pm

    Rel – I am looking forward to reading about your Dad, but I’m patient, I’ll wait.

    Jan – Thanks! I don’t know much about toxemia, except that untreated it can kill her. She’s staying on the couch and her neighbor is a nurse, so checking blood pressure regularly. Very scary.

  • 7. The Rev. Dr. Kate  |  March 6, 2007 at 12:21 am

    The Diva doesn’t deserve you. I had a dear friend who is a literary agent and tells stories that would make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. I am SO sorry that the Diva feels the need to mess with your head and make herself more important than she will every be!
    Prayers for the safety of your daughter and your grandbaby!

  • 8. The Rev. Dr. Kate  |  March 6, 2007 at 12:21 am

    The Diva doesn’t deserve you. I have a dear friend who is a literary agent and tells stories that would make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. I am SO sorry that the Diva feels the need to mess with your head and make herself more important than she will every be!
    Prayers for the safety of your daughter and your grandbaby!

  • 9. Leesa  |  March 6, 2007 at 1:53 am

    I cannot believe that certain divas exist. Most people just want to see their name in print – and not in the police blotters.

  • 10. katcampbell  |  March 6, 2007 at 7:45 am

    Thanks Dr. Kate for the prayers. I try not to let Miss Thing get to me, I’ve seen the results of “what goes around, comes around”.

    Hi Leesa! Good point.

  • 11. Velvet Sacks  |  March 6, 2007 at 8:32 am

    I guess there is a certain percentage of self-absorbed, ill-tempered people in every segment of the population. Sorry you had the misfortune to stumble across one of them who happens to be a writer.

    Sending warm wishes to your daughter, hoping the toxemia is under control soon.

  • 12. katcampbell  |  March 7, 2007 at 4:37 am

    Thank you Velvet! Daughter is doing well today, and keeping her butt in the bed like she’s been told.

  • 13. Mr. Fabulous  |  March 7, 2007 at 4:32 pm

    What a darling lady she sounds like!

    I am making a note not to do any of those things…

  • 14. katcampbell  |  March 7, 2007 at 5:46 pm

    Good! I’m glad you listened to me Mr. Fab, because the amount of energy we extend on behalf of our Diva is in direct proportion to how appreciated we feel.

  • 15. IceQueen  |  September 30, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    Here’s to hoping the little twit does’nt confuse your sense of humour for patience…special kinda stupid really. Well, until she…ahem…makes a best seller list of course..lol 😉

  • 16. IceQueen  |  September 30, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    Wow…Im late…


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