Freelance/Indie writers have their own unique uniforms. Mine, lately, has been a pair of plaid polyester shorts that I got from Haband (old man clothes, shoddily made) and a t-shirt. I change the shirt, but I have been wearing the same pair of shorts for several weeks now. Last night, I topped this ensemble off with a white oxford shirt, pink tie, black vest, and a black suit jacket. Oh, and a pink fedora. From the waist up, I looked about as presentable as I am capable of looking. Why you ask? Because I am a fool and a moron. Let me explain.
The plan was to ‘interview’ myself for a book I recently collaborated on with two other foolish morons. And this was our foolish, moronic plan to try and get people interested in the book. I do stupid things like this a lot…trying to sell books, I mean. I have threatened to kill songbirds, I have spent hours poring over proofs (some people have this thing about typos) – very elitist. I’ve given the book away for free. I’ve done interview after interview.
I just put the cover for The Biker up on a cover review site so professional (and possibly quite bored) graphic designers could crap on it. I have business cards and bumper stickers. It’s all very sordid and unappealing. I’m not fond of any of it.
I talk to actual people online (and sometimes even in person) about my writing – this fills me with a sense of self loathing. I would rather talk about masturbation. But I do these things because I’d like to sell some copies of my books.
Here’s my new strategy. I am straight up ripping off the girl scouts and proud of it. I am going to have cute kids stand in front of grocery stores with piles of my books and guilt shoppers into buying them. The books cost about the same as the box of Samoas I bought (which gave me horrible heartburn and made me gain several pounds before I even opened the box).
Actually, I guess I’ll have the children stand mutely beside their parents like the Girls Scouts do. It conveys the message, “What, you don’t think my kid is cute enough to buy cookies from, you miscreant freak?!?! Go buy your beer and corn dogs, you piece of garbage.” This is why I bought the Samoas. It works.
I was thinking about auctioning off one of my toes on eBay. Rich people like to amuse themselves, you know? And I have ten of them. I even put up 29 songs I recorded for free download. (jdmader.bandcamp.com)
Being an Indie author is kind of like being the cheapest, most abused crack whore in town. You want to sell books. I mean, you wrote them. And you like to eat. And this is a capitalist system we have going here. But not one wants you to sell them. And if you try, they look at you like you are an ingrown hair. They can’t wait to take the needle to you.
It’s odd, considering we all accept that fact that we will have advertising shoved down our throats pretty much constantly from the time we wake until sleep. And sometimes we dream about things we want to buy. So, really, the ad machine never dies. But try and sell your novel to someone. It’s like asking them to buy a bag full of excrement. And I don’t really know why.
I think part of the reason is because writers are not good salespeople (generalization). Most of us can’t make eye contact and blink a lot when exposed to the sun. So, that makes people uncomfortable. I also think that people resist creative works that they wouldn’t be able to do.
Whoever that lady is (I have the internet right here and I’m not even going to check) who does the pictures of babies looking like flowers and animals. She sells millions of those creepy things. Maybe because when I look at it I think, “I could do that!” I wouldn’t, because it is creepy and disturbing. But I could.
It’s like people don’t even know what a novel is anymore. “You wrote what?!?! It’s about made up people? And you made these people up and made them do things with and to each other???? You sick, depraved maniac. No, I won’t buy your “novel”. Please move away from me before I call security.”
Most of the writers I know are about a month away from eviction and homelessness at any given time. But we all spend an inordinate amount of time trying to sell our work without freaking anybody out. It’s really quite a ridiculous proposition.
I think I am going to emulate graffiti artists. I plan to break into people’s houses and write flash fiction on their walls (faces if they are heavy sleepers) while they are dreaming about what car to buy next. This may sound extreme, but I think I’m onto something.
Edgy. That’s what people want. Not meek, little scared writers apologizing for breathing their air while they ignore what the writers are saying about their books. That’s outdated. I watched a TV at someone else’s house recently and I know what the people want.
So, here it is folks. Buy my book or I will kill someone you care about. Or, if you prefer, buy my book and I will kill someone you care about. Then the CSI people can come in. Maybe one of them will be wearing a Doritos shirt. You will be fulfilled. Of course you won’t read the book. No one expects that. It’s all about the murders. The books are merely your ticket to homicide.
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JD Mader is a Contributing Author for Indies Unlimited and author of the novels JOE CAFÉ and THE BIKER. For more information, please see the IU Bio page and his blog:www.jdmader.com (and musical nonsense here: JD Mader).
30 thoughts on ““Ewww, a writer!””
Good idea, JD, taking the hateful self-marketing issue to its logical conclusion. Do let us know how you get on. I work with quite a few people whom I really don't like and who are sure not to buy your book. Maybe you could start with them? 🙂
Totally, send me their names and your desire method of…uh…removal.
Dan you always make me smile. Where DO you come up with this stuff?
I don't know, Yvonne. And that's the damn truth. 🙂
Too bad. I need me some of that. 🙂
Get a time machine and some good huffin' glue? (Go to a cobbler, they have the best glue.)
Great post, Mader. I would also like to offer my own services. I also offer mutilation, decapitation (your own or someone else's (Hey, death and dismemberment is a lucrative game. Don't judge me), and humiliation of your enemies. Or loved ones.
Buy indie, y'all. We'll do *anything* for a sale.
Thanks. Humiliation. I didn't even think of that. I'm so used to just humiliating myself!
And you do such good work. Lol. Just a little joke there.
Fun read, as always. But if there were only a way we could sell books that read themselves…out loud, even…so people wouldn't have to work so hard making pictures in their brains…hey, I know. I will break into peoples' homes, tie them to something heavy, read them my book, then make myself dinner and watch a little pay- per-view. Yeah, then I'll be even.
Nice. And don't forget to look through their medicine cabinets.
Here to tell you it doesn't work, broho. I killed three neighbours just last week. Nothing. Not even a knock on my door in the small hours. Not even *guilt*, can you believe it?
Curse you Antrobus!
You hate me now, but you'll love me when I save you a pointless and lengthy jail term.
Flash fiction graffiti as interior design is actually a brilliant idea.
Been there since 2001. Lost many security deposits. 🙂
Okay, then, maybe not so brilliant…
Hmm it is a great article.
Listen up youse guys – me an' der udda members of da Mairangi Mob are plannin' to bust into a bookshop an' put our books on da shelves – how's dat for an idea? Watch for us on http://www.arrestingprose.blogspot.co.nz. I swear, we're gonna do it! (But we don't wanna hurt nobody.)
Guerrilla shelf-stocking, great idea!
The sad part is, I've actually thought about setting up in front of the supermarket. Everyone else does. I can't get in the door without money leaving my pocket. Every Saturday it's the same thing. I don't go on Saturdays anymore.
Yeah, busking is an interesting proposition.
JD, It's late and I can't think of anything to say except – well said, well stated, well typed, well darn it!
Personally, I'm into shooting, poisoning and stabbling, but I'm not adverse to spreading out into new areas. As for the Girl Scouts, sounds like a winner to me. Those little money-grubbers are so good at looking innocent until they're out of those uniforms with their body piercings showing in those belly-baring tops they wear with all those too-tight-to-sit-down jeans. But, that's for another day!
LOL, thanks LRB. I will get my navel pierced today!
Excellent post, JD! Especially love this:
"…Most of us can’t make eye contact and blink a lot when exposed to the sun…"
Thank you much!
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