The Haters Club discussion

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I Hate Pushy Authors

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message 1: by Kevin (new)

Kevin (kevinsampsell) If you work in a bookstore, you know what I mean. Do authors forget that we're the ones who sell their books? And can return them, never to be ordered again?
My (saracasm now) favorite is when authors complain that their book is not displayed in front. The latest nag was Natalie Goldberg--yes, the hippie who wrote Writing Down the Bones--she kvetched about not being displayed in the window and then she asked about a book.

Her: There's a book that I heard about by that Denis Johnson called Jesus Superstar. It's about the hippies.
Me: It's Jesus Son. It's a book of short stories. (in my head: um, you're a writing teacher and you don't know this book?!)
Her: But it's about hippies or the 60s, right?

Then she asked me where Among the Thugs was shelved and when I told her in the soccer section (it's about soccer hooligans), she said, "No, that's not right. It's much more literary than that."


message 2: by Kirk (new)

Kirk I hate authors ...

who come to your town,
and you do them the favor of taking them to your bar,
you know,
the one where you spend as much as your mortgage each month,
and the dipshit author proceeds to insult your favorite bartender/friend,
insult your favorite knee-high-sock wearing waitress by after a single swig, "This is double? Really?",
BEFORE claiming your favorite knee-high wearing waitress (whom you usually tip 25 percent to just for wearing said knee-highs) doesn't deserve a tip,
BEFORE
he stiffs you with the friggin bill.

And the clincher: he's not that great of a writer.

And the second clincher: you play nice and buy a copy of his book, but he doesn't return the favor. Basturd!

It has happened many a time...


message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) Kevin, do you think she was thinking of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar which has, on occasion, been directed as a big hippie group with Jesus as their guru?


message 4: by Kevin (last edited Feb 23, 2008 06:07PM) (new)

Kevin (kevinsampsell) Sometimes the worst authors are the ones that are supposedly the most spiritual. Like Deepak Chopra, who treats bookstore staff like they're his servants.
And Kids book hero Tomie Dipaulo was so rude to one of our staff a couple of years ago that he is not invited back. Apparently, he went so far as to say we shouldn't be selling used books. Ha! It's funny when authors think that used book sales are tearing into their royalty checks.


message 5: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Lambright OMG Natalie Goldberg is SO circular and self-important. I was psyched for this reading after loving Writing Down the Bones in college. I thought she was a real creep, totally condescending and remote. Listening to her made me want to NOT write. Sad. My friend and I left early.


message 6: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (randymandy) I've recently discovered that the authors who have a profile on goodreads are some of the pushiest in the bunch. I'm perfectly happy to read their books, but I'm going to do it because they sound interesting, not because they keep sending me friend requests and putting stupid little announcements on every group they happen upon.


message 7: by Howard (last edited Feb 26, 2008 02:20PM) (new)

Howard (HowardMittelmark) I hate pushy authors too, but I hate more that I'm supposed to be one. I hate myself way too much to push myself on other people. I hate that I was supposed to join myspace and facebook purely to promote myself, so I didn't, and I hate myself for not doing the job of promoting myself by doing so. Instead I joined goodreads because there is nothing flashing or spinning on the pages, and sort of hate that the first thing I did was join a group about hating. I also hate that I went ahead and posted without observing the site or the group long enough to figure out the etiquette well enough to know if this post will make me hated. I also hate that I don't know if I can come back and delete this if it turns out I'm perceived as pushy by barging in and posting without looking to see if there's a place to introduce myself.

I used to work at the Strand, in NYC, but don't have any pushy author stories from there. My friend that worked at Gotham, though, told me that everyone there hated Edward Gorey.




message 8: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (randymandy) Howard, you made me like you.


message 9: by Howard (last edited Feb 26, 2008 02:39PM) (new)

Howard (HowardMittelmark) Huh. Didn't expect that. Thanks.

I swear to do my best not to spam this place, or request people to be my friend unless I think we can make it work, even if it looks like it's going to take counseling.







message 10: by Lynn (new)

Lynn if you get your book published these days, the first thing your publisher tells you is that you've 'gotta get out there' some even have specific goals and destinations. so even modest, well-mannered folks like myself are supressing our cringe reflex and begging complete strangers to read 'bang BANG'.
if we don't, we don't get published again. the worst thing about it is that nobody knows if this annoying business of annoying other people actually sells books. . .

lynn (author of bang BANG, a novel about a woman who gets really upset with all the guns on the streets and does something outrageous to make things better.)



message 11: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (randymandy) It's the same way with all kinds of sales. I own my own retail tea business, and I have a ton of regular customers. But there are also a ton of other people I've pissed off because I started out way too pushy. You gotta learn what works for you. No matter what. Pushy works for some folks, but didn't work for me. It irritates me. Instead I give lots of smiles and a little tea and it all works out in the end. I guess...


message 12: by Howard (new)

Howard (HowardMittelmark) Here is a tea quote for you, Spike describing Giles's life: "Cuppa tea, cuppa tea, almost got shagged, cuppa tea."

And I suppose there must be some people around here who hate Buffy, so I'm staying on topic. Not me, though.




message 13: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (randymandy) I've only seen like 2 episodes of Buffy, but I'd be willing to watch that one. Spike makes me laugh. :) And I'm sure that quote is even funnier in context...


message 14: by Kevin (new)

Kevin (kevinsampsell) Speaking of Buffy (in a slightly removed kind of way), it seems that sci-fi/fantasy geeks are the worst. Neil Gaiman asked us to get him sushi for his backstage area and then he hardly ate any (more for us, I guess). Also, Bruce Campbell was all inconsiderate and hotshotty when he took his grand ol' time signing stuff for fans, causing people (employees AND customers) to stay at our store long after closing time.


message 15: by James (new)

James (Signal20) Y'all need to shut the hell up and get off of here and buy my book!
I swear, what has someone got to do around here to get some service!

;-)


message 16: by Howard (new)

Howard (HowardMittelmark) Science fiction and fantasy people are notoriously undersocialized, so I can see how that would compound the issue.

I'm not going to mention names, but I know a few sf writers who need to learn to chew with their mouths closed, among other things.




message 17: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 02, 2008 09:30AM) (new)

Melissa- That would be your good friend... http://www.amazon.com/Man-Middle-Kenn...


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

a little off topic, but i attended a writing conference where this "renowned" new england poet read from his work
he had received one of those sabbatical grants that he was supposed to use to write his masterpiece
he read an "excerpt" from this masterpiece about his brother who was a jogger and died of a heart attack...for an hour!
it was entitled "my brother running"
it was the most excruciatingly boring thing I'd ever heard, but how were you going to get up and leave?
during the heart attack stanzas while his voice was cracking?
or maybe during the rhythmic chanting of "my brother running, my brother running?"
it wasn't a packed house and any departure would have been noticed
i was doing that legs straight out head tilted back slung forward in my seat tortured sitting on my seat thing and he looked up at the end and just gave the audience this sort of sadistic smile



message 19: by Howard (last edited Mar 02, 2008 09:40AM) (new)

Howard (HowardMittelmark) I reviewed that novel, the one by Melissa's least favorite author. The last line of the review was

"A breathless, giddy, over-the-top tour of popular cliche, Now With 20% More Evil!"




message 20: by Howard (new)

Howard (HowardMittelmark) I had completely forgotten about him, too, so I would accept.




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