Thursday, July 10, 2008

Which of these authors will you be?

From Slunch, a group blog of publicists, comes a list of author archetypes you do NOT want to be on (at least, I don't think you want to be on this list - personally, I'm making notes for the future):

1) The Space Case: Although well-intended they forget about interviews (even after being reminded the night before) and if they do remember they have an event, they’ll show up late. The net result causing mild ulcers every time you get a phone call from a reporter or bookseller who doesn't know how to get a hold of him/her. Solution- Never let them out of your sight.

2) The Overeager: Not to be confused with the Gem (see below). While thankful and willing, wants to do too much and constantly floods your inbox with unfeasible ideas. “Hey, how about we send Oprah my signed tiger woods golf club along with a copy of the book?” ummmm, dude, your book is about child rearing and Oprah is friends with Tiger. I’m sure she can get his club any time she wants. Solution- Ignore the majority of their emails and never reply immediately to anything they send you.

3) The Gem: Thankful for any and everything you get them, they are an eager beaver willing to do anything and everything you ask them. At times, you feel pity for getting them on WOR’s Joey Reynolds show and making them stay up till 3am, but hey, its a national booking. Solution- Thank God.

4) The Two Face: Will deal with you politely, then complain to their agent and get their agent to do the dirty work for them. Oh sure, you’re all smiles now, but that venom dripping from your agent’s surgically reinforced lips tells me a different tale. Solution- Document everything and share this ammo with the editor and your boss so you have peeps in your corner fighting for you. Take author off your Christmas card list.

5) The Ego: A prima donna that comes in 2 levels, unjustified and justified. The Unjustified Ego is the first time author who thinks they should be the center of your attention and laments their lack of coverage loudly. The Justified Ego is the New York Times bestselling author who's sales make up your paycheck and who can actually get you fired if you screw up. Solution: Bitch about the Unjustified Ego to their editor and they’ll whip em into shape. As for the Justified Ego, do your damndest to do anything and everything you can for them.

6) The Recluse: Impossible to get to do any media whatsoever and you can only communicate with them through their agent. Solution- None.

7) The Waste: Sadly, The Waste has no presence whatsoever, looks ugly, and can't hold a conversation no matter how brilliant they sound in print so you can't get them any publicity outside of an email Q&A. Solution- None.

8) The Neurotic: Constantly worries about their performance, compares themselves to other authors and are self deprecating to a fault and detriment of their publication. Bonus points if #8 is also an Unjustified Ego. Solution- Prozac, counseling.

9) The Amazon Author Crack Addict: All of the above obsessively check their ranking.


  1. I'd hope to be The Gem, but I'll probably also be an Amazon Author Crack Addict. I can't help checking stats and things. While I do tend to get a little neurotic from time to time, it doesn't spill out of my head most days (and even then, never out of the house), so an editor/agent wouldn't have to deal with it. ;o)

  2. Inmost of my dealings with the world, I'm a Gem-which gets me into a lot of trouble which I normally come to regret too late.

  3. LOL
    I want to be the sweet wonderful generous author that everyone wants to be around.
    How about a # 10 choice for us perfect authors? hahahaha
    Yeah, but I can dream. :)

  4. Oh this is a great list. As a person with serious traits of #8 I really don't want to analyze this too much and admit anything here. Eek! Running away now to my own blog. LOL.

  5. Wow. Every new author should read that list. I've heard some horror stories from authors about their publicists... but this puts the shoe on the other foot.