I recently finished writing my fourth novel. Amazing, I know. No, none of them have been published (trivial detail). But now I’ve reached a problem. How can I let everyone I meet know that I’m an author? I want to be delicate about it, of course, because I know how fragile other people’s egos are and I don’t want to make them feel bad because they’ve never written four novels. Egos are sensitive and must be tended to expertly.
So I can’t just be like, “Hi! I’m Ellie Ann Soderstrom and I’ve written four novels. But don’t feel bad about yourself.” It’s just too unmysterious, and if there’s anything I like to be as an author it’s mysterious.
(photo by Tai Segel from his awesome Everyday Ninja photoshoot)
So then how DO I let everyone know I’m a prolific and desperately brilliant author without coming straight out and saying it? No worries. I’ve been spending all my writing time lately developing strategies on how to do it:
Like all good scenes in books and movies, setting really matters. So your lines must be said in context. I cannot stress the importance of setting when you’re talking about your awesomeness.
This is actually the easiest place to inform others you’re a writer. However, their astonishment might not be as ecstatic as you wish, because around half of the people wandering around bookstores or typing on cheap laptops in the bookstore coffee shop have either written books or are currently writing a book. And some of those writers have probably written more books than you. Not better ones, of course, but simply more.
Personally, I like to go to the section that my books will one day grace (it’s not the paranormal romance fantasy section, that’s all I can say), and then say wryly to the next person who wanders by (or maybe yell across the row of I see someone across from me) “This is my real estate right here.” And they’ll probably ask me more about what I mean and then be amazed by all the books I’ve written. I’m sure it’ll go that way, however I’ve only met people in bookstores lately who are very very busy (they must be doctors rushing to a surgery) because they don’t meet eye contact with me and they walk away as quickly as they can.
Simply pick up a movie and explain to the person next to you that you’ve based one of your characters off of this actor or actress.
Dear Nathan Fillion,
I’m the most popular unpublished author you know, and I’ve based most of my characters after you. Yes, even the females. That’s how charismatic you are. So I just wanted to let you know that once I’m published I’ll give you a 25% discount on all my works, as long as you tweet about them. Now just give me your address and credit card number and I’ll have them shipped to you within 2-4 years. You’re welcome! Stay cool.
When you’re signing your name on the credit slip just say, “You might want to keep that for the future . . . it’s going to be worth a lot of money someday.” And then give the clerk a wink.
Your Favorite Clothing Store
Just ask to see the manager and explain that you’re the author of the best unpublished fiction you’ve ever written and then offer them a sponsorship space in your next NaNoWriMo writing marathon. Promise them that if they give you $50 of merchandise of their clothes every month you’ll wear a shirt with their logo on it on your NaNoWriMo profile. They won’t be able to resist.
Those are all the secrets I want to divulge with you at the moment. I need to keep my mystery, remember? And I have to save some for the next time we meet. Until then, enjoy your time of basking in the glow of everyone’s admiration. After all, there are only 100,000-250,000 books being published every year so authors must insist on being treated like the rare and valuable jewels that they are.
Stay cool, dudes and dames.