Thursday, July 29, 2010

5 Myths About Being A Mystery Author

1.)  We all get six-figure advances and are as rich as Janet Evanovich. *
2.)  Our publishers send us out on fabulous, all-expenses paid book tours -- first class all the way. *
3.)  We get all the books we want for free from our publishers. *
4.)  Authors don't have to work hard to get an agent, editor or publisher.*
5.)  We're all ex-police, ex-bounty-hunters, ex-private investigators or ex-wives.*

*#1 -- Pardon me while I wipe the tears of laughter from my face.
*#2 -- Most of us pay for our own book tours.
*#3 -- Authors get a set number of "author copies" (from none to whatever her/his agent can squeeze out of the publisher).
*#4 -- Let's not even GO there!
*#5 --  No, we're all ex-bored...we write because we love it.

Can you think of any more Myths?


Sheila Connolly said...

How about: who needs to do all that promotion stuff? A good book will sell itself.

Anonymous said...

Here's one for you: an author doesn't need any kind of support system. You can do it on your own.


If it wasn't for my Sisters In Crime chapter, The Guppies, I'd still be staring a notebooks full of rejection letters and taking fistfulls of antidepressants on a daily basis. Today? I've made the Times list twice (and am hoping for another shot in the coming weeks). I never would have made it without Sisters In Crime.

Don't know about the Guppies? Check out their web site:

Rosemary Harris said...

I love Sheila's - "just write the best book you can!"

How about "we'll catch it in the page proofs."

Beth Groundwater said...

#7 We don't need agents because we can all figure out our own contracts.

Not! I recently signed three 20-page contracts for books. When I looked them over the first time I received them, I found three clauses I thought I wanted to change, but my agent found thirty! Thank God she understands contracts soooo much better than I do.

Marcia Talley said...

"I'm an attorney, so I don't need an agent to look over the contract, I can do it myself."

WRONG! Unless you're an attorney is fluent in contract law specific to publishing, you can get totally burned. And on the other hand, an agent knows ways to "sweeten" a contract that don't cost the publisher much, like extra author copies (my contract was increased from 10 - 40 free copies), and make sure your books in a series are separately accounted, rather than joint, etc.

dollycas aka Lori said...

I have learned so much from these 2 posts!! I appreciated all of you before but now it is ten thousand fold more!! If there is anymore I the lowly blogger can do, please let me know. I want to help you sell books, get on the bestseller lists and make what Janet Evanovich makes!!! I don't know what I would do without all your wonderful stories!!


Sarah G said...

We're all sweet little old ladies like J.B. Fletcher.

Call me 'old', and you'll get some VERY unladylike language!


Mary said...

"You have plenty of time for things -- you're just a writer."

That line or anything resembling will get you a "NO I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR YOUR ______. Sorry." so quick you'll think no one answered the phone.
Giggles and Gunsx

Marcia Talley said...

Oh, Mary, LOL! I have people calling me all the time asking me to collect for charities, plan a luncheon, manage a fund-raiser because I'm "at home now." I worship at the feet of the Do Not Call Register!

J D Webb said...

We all write what we know.
My professor would be aghast at what I'm writing these days.

Lev Raphael said...

6) We're all as glamorous as Linda Fairstein.

7) We summer in the Hamptons.

8) Writing mysteries is easy.

9) We're bloodthirsty.

10) We love crosswords and other kinds of puzzles.

Clea Simon said...

"We're not really working..."

This is usually the followup to what Mary said, about why we can 1) help out with whatever volunteer project and/or 2) take a long liquid lunch with whatever friend or relative is on vacation!

Ha! Great post, great comments.