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Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Word to the Newbie

Welcome to the glorious and glamorous world of children’s books. We old-timers are speechless with joy at your arrival. By now you’ve probably noticed the astounding change in your life, most notably the flush of street-cred, peer-recognition and influx of cash. We are happy for you and wish you well, really.

We would just like to caution you about a few (6) things at this time, knowing full well that you will grasp them no better than we did when we stood in your shiny new shoes.

  1. This is a hard one so you may have to read it twice: Others enjoy hearing the minute plot details of your new book precisely as much as you enjoy hearing theirs.
  2. Similarly; Others relish being inundated with e-mail, tweets, & facebook messages about your book exactly as much as you do theirs.   
  3. Those school visits you are so giddy and willing to do for free are how many seasoned authors pay their bills. Think SCAB. 
  4. It takes time (unpaid) to read a novel and craft a blurb. And, if we think your book sucks, we will both be embarrassed.  Let your agent take care of requests off screen.
  5. It is not a compliment to be called The Next Joan Doe when the original Joan Doe is still alive and writing.
  6. Very few veterans in the biz enjoy hearing that you felt called to write for children because everything else published out there was crap.

That is all for now, but stay tuned for further helpful tips from the dinosaur. 
Wishing you all happiness and success,
Curmudgeon Koss 

P.S. One day, several books from now, you will think this post is funny. I promise. Meanwhile, here's a picture of my dogs.


Kelly McClymer said...

LOL. I may be an old far... erm, publishing veteran, but I find all those things a breath of fresh air to hear when they come from the direction of someone still in first blush love with having reached for and grasped that brass ring of publication.

Yes, most of us learn not to radiate our joy and broadcast our pride for fear of frowns from the jaded and sighs from those in the trenches.

However, I hope I never lose the ability to remember what it was to feel that joy and pride at finally grasping the brass ring I'd tried so hard to reach.

There's time enough to realize it is just a ring of brass. Probably more than time enough :-)

Janette Rallison said...

Sooo painfully true.

The Pen and Ink Blogspot said...

No newbie should have to read this thill they've had at least a month to enjoy the ecstasy.
Sadly true and very funny.

Anonymous said...

Even as an unknown, I get annoyed with all the indies sending me info about their unknowns and I always told myself that if/when I were to reach the top, I'd remind myself how annoying it was so that I wouldn't put that crap on other authors up there.

Honestly, I don't think anyone is as excited about their work as much as the author of the book and readers. Good to know other writers out there realize this.

Kristen Kittscher said...

Oh, Amy, you should have just told me to shut up directly! (:-))

I find this funny now. Oh no! I guess that means I'm jaded already. I blame this Tumblr for my education: