Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Letter to Miami Book Fair International Authors Who Cancel

Dear Authorton McWriterface,

God forbid you have a successful tour.  Poor you, having to meet folks who adore your work.  You don't want attention, then guess what?  Don't tour.  Before that, don't publish what you write.

Clearly your work has struck a nerve, but screw the fans whose purchases have assured you'll never need a real job again, right?  Screw the folks trying to schedule hundreds of authors around your event, huh?  Fuck that guy in the buying office beating his brains against his desk trying to find copies of your book somewhere, anywhere, because your publisher is caught by surprise and your book is in reprint, yes?

Fuck those people because it's all about you, and flying in an airplane, checking into a hotel, sitting in a chair, and signing your fucking name is just too much.  You know why David Sedaris signs for four hours at every gig, even after all these years on tour?  Because he knows that real work is much, much worse.

Get a fucking job.

Google Images doesn't have much in the manner of book beatings. 

And if your tour is not successful, so what?  You published an honest-to-God book.  In this climate, where publishers are leary of anything not rambled (or co-rambled) into existence by some "celebrity," you did it - you didn't self-publish, you didn't CreateSpace, you didn't offer your book on the Kindle for 99 cents.  A publisher looked at your work and thought, "This.  This will keep the doors open a while a longer."  That's not enough affirmation for you?

I get it, it's frustrating to think you have something to say and that no one will listen, like this is your one big chance to shout your message to a mass audience but the crowd went, "meh."  I have no idea what that feels like.  But you know what it feels like being the guy ordering books for the guy for whom that's not good enough?  It sucks.  It's soul-crushing.  It sets my teeth a-grinding.

So think of me, pull your head out of your ass, and woo the half-dozen people who care what you have to say so hard that they'll have no choice but to tell half a dozen others.

Of the two book beating images on offer, this is the clear winner.

And if this is your second year canceling... oh, Authorton.  Nothing could make me agree to this again, order everything for Miami Book Fair while doing my regular job.  But to see you come in, give your presentation, and melt down because your books aren't here, thinking of that almost makes it seem worth the effort.

Better yet, maybe we'll just have you sign copies of our return paperwork.  Fuckwad.

May All Your First Printings Be Remaindered,

Frustrated in the Buying Office


  1. I bet that feels good to get it down on...not paper... on your screen anyway.You are right, they are fuckwads!

  2. "know why David Sedaris signs for four hours at every gig, even after all these years on tour? Because he knows that real work is much, much worse"

    that was awesome

  3. This was cathartic, but scary. I'm always a little worried when I vent about work, which is why I can't name names (a couple people have asked).

    That Sedaris thing is not speculation. I worked my fifth event with him last week. Approaching midnight, a guy working with me asked him how he does it. Sedaris said something along the lines of knowing it wasn't a real job, or it was a lot better compared to work.

    Two more cancellations yesterday. Damn.