5am – Alarm rings – Sitting down in front of my laptop in my underwear, trying to focus my eyes on my screen as I don my reading glasses.
Opening Outlook …189 emails and three RSS feed-updates – Passive Guy, Dean Wesley Smith, and my man, Joe Konrath … normal morning.
Let’s see … ah, my fan mail, AKA my spam folder …
“Dear GERALD, I am felicitous to engage with you on LinkedIn, as we are now connected telephonically and spiritually. Please except my condolences on your book/song/product/service, as I have not had the consequence to use it as lubrication—“
That’s enough of that one! Moving on …
“Do you need a job?” Well, uh, I have a-
“ Do you need money?” Duh …
“Would you like to work from home?” Well, I am writing from--
“If you would like to make $60 … $600 … $6,000 … $6 gazillion sitting at home, in your underwear, eating cheese, with absolutely no education, training or experience, then all you need to do is click the button below (and be sure to have your credit card handy) …”
Next … I admit, they had me right up to the ‘eating cheese’ part. Let’s check my RSS feeds, ahh The Passive Voice … even the name soothes me. Checking his headlines, just from the past hour …
"Nook Tablet released early, available for in-store pickup today" - "It was a nice walk if you liked grunting" - "Writer’s Knowledge Base" – "A Great Resource for Authors" - "Self-Publishing and the 9.99 Boycott" - "A Sale on Ebook Covers" …
Wow, how does PG do it?? He publishes more blogs in an hour than I do in a year! Wait, there are MORE of them coming through?!
"Amazon lending library and the future of digital publishing" - "Penguin Launches a Self-Publishing Service" - "Three Good Things About Writing Part-Time" …
Okay, I’ll set aside from lunchtime today until midnight to read them. Now, moving on …. Wait … there are more coming through!
"Contracts on Fire: Amazon’s Lending Library Mess" - "From thirty feet away she looked like a lot of class - Amazon vs the Book Trade?" …
Please PG, have mercy … I’m just a man, alone, sitting in my underwear! I haven’t even had my cup of coffee yet—WAIT, there are MORE!!
"British author sues Amazon over user review" - "In short, I can’t afford to take a publishing deal - Demand For The iPad Is Fading" - "What NOT to Blog About" …
STOP IT!! PLEASE, PG … just stop … it! I already feel inadequate, under-informed, confused and it’s not 6am yet!!
<More Passive Guy articles relentlessly continue to populate my Outlook>
<Sigh> I’m not looking at them … I’M NOT LOOKING AT THEM! I’m moving on. Ahh, my mentor, Dean Wesley Smith is sharing some thoughts. Let’s see what he has to say …
“This week, I lost 35 pounds, wrote 16 short stories and three full-length novels, while publishing a blog, handling an estate settlement and playing in a world poker championship – which means I’m BEHIND in my objectives for the month …”
… And I’m still sitting here in my underwear … my inadequacy is growing! You know what I need, a good dose of Joe Konrath. I just wrote him an email thanking him for motivating me and telling him that I’ve started to advertise his eBooks inside my eBooks. He didn’t reply to my email but maybe he’ll mention me in his blog. AHH, there’s his new blog now …
“Hey, Joe here … first off, let me just tell all you sycophant losers out there that send me those stupid, meaningless, worthless emails telling me that I’ve “motivated’ you blah-blah-blah. How ‘bout this … BUY MY BOOKS!!!”
<Tears of shame in my eyes> But … but … I did--
“Bottom line, if you sent me one of those pissy-eyed, ‘Thank you Joe’ worthless, meaningless, ass-kissing messages, let me just tell you what I do with them. First, I don’t open them – then, I delete them – then, I nuke the memory areas of my hard drive where they may have soiled it – then, I replace my hard drive – then--
<eyebrows raised, bottom lip quivering, in shock> YIKES! I think Joe hates me … for thanking him for motivating me?
“Okay, moving on, today, I’m publishing the third installment of my conversation with Barry Eisler. Barry and I didn’t actually talk by phone … or by email … or by instant messaging. We’re far too busy and quite frankly, too successful to spend any time with those ‘legacy’ methods of communication. Instead, we’re both trying out this cool new ‘telepathy’ technique, so now we can speak to each other, inside each other’s minds! The only crappy thing is … I still have to type out our “ThoughtChat® (Barry owns the rights to that) to you 2,000-late morons. Anyway, here’s just a small piece of our 28-hour ThoughtChat®:
Joe: Hey Barry, can you hear me. I’m in your mind using your ThoughtChat®?
Barry: Joe, is that you?
Barry: Whew, okay, thought I was dreaming about you.
Joe: So, Barry, the imbeciles out there want to know more about how we both became successful and scored publishing deals with Amazon.
Joe: I tell them, it was all luck … we have it, they don’t.
Joe: I agree.
Barry: Me too.
<Closing my RSS feeds> Yeah … alrighty then. Let’s check my InBox. Ahh, Lightning Source … hopefully they’ll approve my latest, revised layout for my new novel … before I go completely broke from their incessant $40 charges!!!
“Dear Gerard, We have received your cover and interior files but unfortunately, they do not meet our criteria spelled out in our easy-to-understand-if you’re-a-friggin’ graphic designer-genius “How to publish your garbage on Lightning Source.” You need to fix the following items and then re-upload the modified files (each will cost an additional $40 … each … for each … each):
- The black on your cover is too black. Please do not use more than 240% CMYK.
- You have transparencies on your cover design. Please remove them.
But I don’t see them … probably because … they’re TRANSPARENT. Stupid question here: If they ARE transparent, then what’s the big deal with them remaining there?
Here are the charges associated with this issue:
Charge for sending LS improper files = $40; Charge for our opening the improper files = $40; Charge for our reading the improper files = $40; Charge for our making up silly items (see above), in order to reject your files = $40 (each … for each, each); Charge for sending you this email = $40
<Closing my Outlook>
OKAY … NOW I’m ready to write my next bestseller! c”,)
+ None of this was meant with malice.
+ All of this was meant in humor.
+ My continuing gratitude goes out to PG, Dean, Joe, Barry, and the rest of the writing community that motivate me every day!