Today was a clean out my inbox kinda day and I was struck by the large number of well-meaning strangers contacting me about things of which I have absolutely no power or knowledge. So I figured this blog post was VERY necessary since these hopeful strangers don’t know me personally and probably are not clear about what I do. I hate seeing people waste time going down a dead-end road (i.e. my inbox or my social media pages).
The following rant is solely mine alone and may or may not express the views of fellow writers who I am sure are receiving similar emails/requests.
So, these are my disclaimers… *in Usher’s voice*
1) I write books for a living via publishers who pay me. I write the book. I turn the book in to my editor. The staff of hard-working and experienced people at my various publishers take over from there. It’s not a bad job and I like it. (Please note: I have never self-published a book/had a book printed and have no idea of: how to do so, how much it should cost, what format should be used, how to apply for an ISBN, had a book cover designed…or anything else dealing with self-publishing. I admire those with the walnuts to take on running their own book publishing biz but I am not the one to ask about it because I only want to write ’em. Please believe me and thanks in advance for doing so.)
2) I am not an editor-for-hire. Please do not send me requests for my rate to edit your book because I REPEAT: I am not an editor-for-hire. There are plenty of people who advertise and do business in this capacity. I ain’t one of ’em. I just write ’em and hand them over to my own editors. And thank you baby Jesus for them!
3) I do not hire models or help the publishers select the models or stock photo used for covers of my books. That’s not my job and not in any career description for a writer–not this one anyway (see #1). I can not pass on your head shot or explain how to get on the cover of books. I have no clue how that part of the industry works because it doesn’t involve what I do. Please do not send me photos or modeling resumes. Good luck with your dreams but I am not the dream weaver for book cover models. 4Real.
4) I do not purchase the works of other authors and publish it under my name. My job is to WRITE MY OWN BOOKS because–let’s say it together–I am a writer. (Please don’t offer me your book. I’m good. I got this. Thanks anyway.)
5) I don’t publish books–including my own– because I don’t think I’m qualified to own/operate a publishing company and I’m too busy writing. I will not be soliciting or purchasing manuscripts for any reason. (see #4 again for good measure and also note that if you send me your manuscript out the blue I will not open the link. I am not chancing a virus because you are feeling lucky.)
6) I am too busy writing 3-4 books a year (which includes writing and my own round of editing, then my editor’s edit, then the copyeditor’s edit, and then a final read of the page proof for typos by the typesetter –3-4 times a year). Because I am busy living my dream of writing books I can only supply endorsements via requests filtered by either my agent or editor–and even then if it doesn’t fit my writing schedule I can’t do it because I HAVE TO read the book to endorse it. So, 8-9 times out of 10 I won’t be able to endorse your book. My apologies for not wanting to neglect my J-O-B. (Please note: I have, as of last year, plainly expressed to my own editors that I will no longer personally solicit endorsements. I refuse to ask people to do for me what I can not do for others. Hypocrisy is a “no-no-no-no-no”.)
7) I do not own/operate a referral business. If you contact me wanting advice on getting published then I will gladly give you advice (and some homework on properly researching getting published). If your true intention is a hope that I will say one of the following…
- Let me introduce and/or refer you to my agent.
- Let me introduce and/or refer you to my editor.
…that will not happen for the following reasons:
- That’s not my job. (Refer back to the title of the post.)
- I do not know you. (Would you grab a complete stranger by the hand and take them to your boss to plead for a job based solely on your recommendation? I didn’t think so.)
- Just like you had the idea to try for a random referral so did a gazillion other unpublished authors. It is not an original idea. Please believe me.
- It’s not my personal story of getting published. I took the time to learn the industry as I was completing my first book. I believe knowing the industry is important and if you are not interested in doing the work to get better informed than you are not ready to be published and you dang sure shouldn’t be asking someone else to help get you published. (On a side note: If you are actively seeking to get published and have no clue who the different publishers are then you are not ready. There’s the Big 6, large independent publishes, small independent publishers, self-publishers, and print-on-demand companies. You should know the different publishers by name and be familiar with the books they publish. Seriously.)
Okay, so I think I have covered just about everything people–whom I suspect do not even read my books–think I do besides writing. A lot of writers are more ambitious than me because… all I want to do is write. That’s it.
I’m a writer. I write books. I tell stories. Period. Point blank.
I’m okay with that. I just need everyone else to be okay with that too because I am so comfy with staying in my storytelling lane.