Saw this on an author’s Facebook posing today: “’THIEFS.’ As it stands, this group is selling my novel after I’ve told them (3 times) to delist it. Isn’t that called stealing . . . ! [sic]”
Granted, the book is listed on the publisher’s site. However, who goes to a publisher’s site to buy books? Well, we looked this author’s book up on Amazon and it’s actually being sold and listed by a different publisher. It also has a current Amazon Sales Ranking of 5,000,000 with a publication date of March 27, 2009. Do the math: Hmmm, an Amazon Sales Ranking of 2,000,000 translates to 0.0001 (1 copy every 1000 days). The book has been out for 707 days and we have not calculated the additional zeros for the balance of the 5,000,000 Amazon Sales Ranking. This results in negative numbers. Where’s the theft? The “thief” must be a time traveler in the future.
A friend from a publishing house shared this (edited email) that he received from an author: “Are you nuts? Why do I have to do a stupid [sic] marketing? This is your job! Wake up, man! You don’t understand any literature and how can you promote my book? I am leaving [name of publisher]. I will go to a major publisher where has offered [sic] me a nice advance and invested in my book. I am an artist, so I don’t need to market, especially, stupid FB. This is your job to market my book, but your lack of performance disgusted me to the hell [sic]. I’m going to publish my book in Japanese version in Japan with a major publisher as well. I know my worth now. Good publisher offer a nice advance and market my book with a great consideration and respect. And on top of it all, make me to market my book! You are insulting me too much. Stop embarrassing yourself, my book is a masterpiece. Have you ever read my book? Of course not. If you did, you wouldn’t say stupid things and wouldn’t let your ignorance show off in such a frivolous fashion. And do not expect I’ll [sic] be quiet, my mission as a writer is telling the truth to the world. I will sing at the top of my lung! [sic] You are useless, so I herby [sic] declare: You are fired.”
Delusional or diva? Or a little of both? The publisher is nuts, marketing is stupid, the author is “an artist,” the book is a “masterpiece” and he’s going to “sing at the top of [his] lung.” English is obviously the second language here. Well, we certainly wish him all the best of luck. Hopefully, the “major Japanese publisher” has a great marketing and editorial team for this one-lunged author.
If you’re a new author, here’s a couple of quotes that do put this into perspective:
“The sad but very true fact is, unless your name is Stephen King, John Grisham, Nora Roberts, or some other household name, nobody is going to spend any significant time or money marketing your book. Even if you land a traditional contract, you will still be expected to do most of the grunt work. Don’t believe me? Just ask any midlist or other relatively unknown author.” – WritersWeekly
“ . . . [I]‘ve learned never to underestimate writers’ ability to be delusional about the value of their work (and that includes me, though on the opposite end of the spectrum). –Victoria Strauss
“Amazon Sales Rank Tracking.” Rampant Information Technology Books. Web. 04 Mar. 2011. <http://www.rampant-books.com/mgt_amazon_sales_rank.htm>.