How To Let Everyone Know You’ve Written A Book

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.

A nameless mysterious author enjoying her cuppa. 

(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.

Bookstores

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.

Movie Stores

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I’m the most popular unpublished author you know, and I’ve based most of my characters after you.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.

Love,

Ellie Ann

Grocery Store

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.

And then–

Oh wait.

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.

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31 Comments

  1. Ellie, I’m so glad you told me that you’ve written 4 books. You’re ahead of me…I’ve only completed two.
    Just sent out the second and I’m waiting to hear from a bevy of talented agents. Fingers are very tightly crossed :)
    I loved your selection about the grocery store. I’ll have to remember that the next time I write a check.
    Great post!!
    Best wishes on many more novels to come and the best of luck to you in getting each one published.
    Have a productive day!!
    Tamara

    Reply
    • EllieAnn

       /  August 9, 2012

      Good luck with the agents, Tamara! I loved your first book, you have such a fun writing style. I can’t wait to read more.

      Reply
  2. Larry Enright

     /  August 9, 2012

    Personally, I just take my books to the bookstore and jam them into the shelves and leave. That ninja approach gets the buzz going, but it’s mostly talk about how much to charge for that book that’s not in their computer system.

    Reply
  3. This post was so, so funny. I really loved it a lot. I canmt believe youmve written four novels, that’s so amazing. Can’t wait until you finally get published. I’ll will be the first to preorder your book on Amazon. Whoop!

    Reply
    • EllieAnn

       /  August 9, 2012

      Thanks, Blaria! It really helps hearing that because now I know that if I ever get a book on the shelf I’ll sell at least two books–one to you and one to my mother. =)

      Reply
      • Oh, hush! Haha. You have tons of fans on WordPress, so you’ll at least sell 200 books. :P

        Sidenote, sorry about the typos. The shift button on my phone acts up and I need it to help me type apostrophes, which is on the “m” button. So that’s why all those words have random “m”s in them. Ha.

        Reply
        • EllieAnn

           /  August 9, 2012

          I’m the Queen, THE QUEEN of typos. I’m collecting them like notches on my saber or something. I just hope nobody reads my internet comments very carefully. Especially not literary agents.

          Reply
  4. Congrats on finishing your 4th! I like the grocery store line a lot. I may give that a shot.

    Reply
  5. #4? Nicely done!

    Now I’ve got to go hang around “my real estate.”

    Reply
    • EllieAnn

       /  August 9, 2012

      Location is EVERYTHING. Don’t worry, with a name like Skinner you’ll do great.

      Reply
  6. This is so funny! You meant to be funny, right??? I am always amazed at people’s reactions. I think we need press agents. My husband must be the best. Very few of my friends ever ask, but when I went to my husband’s company picnic last night, everyone I ran into wanted to know about my blog and my book! I think he is having new cards printed up.
    Congrats on your fourth!

    Reply
  7. Thanks for this, Ellie Ann! I’ve been looking for some good tips, and now I know exactly what to do! :-D

    Reply
  8. Ellie, you always know just what to say and how to say it. I love your personality so very much!! Congrats on completing #4!! I can’t wait to read ALL of them. <3

    Reply
  9. daezarkian

     /  August 9, 2012

    Nate would be a fool to turn down that offer! =D

    I thoroughly enjoyed this, Ellie! =D

    Reply
  10. Teehee, great tips. I’ll kick start that next time I head to town; I’m always in the local Waterstones. :p

    Reply
  11. I like to go to Starbucks and leave a copy of my book on the table when I leave. So far it has been used as a doorstop and a coaster. I may have revise my strategy and use some of your suggestions. Out of curiosity, is there a particular aisle in the grocery store that works best. Maybe it is based on genre, like horror is the deli, romance is cereal, or something like that.

    I love this post. You have such a bright and incisive wit. Besides, you run barefoot so you won me over a long time ago!

    jlg

    Reply
  12. Elena Aitken

     /  August 9, 2012

    Congrats on the fourth!! LOVE this post. ha ha

    Reply
  13. Loved your post. What a hoot! I have written four also..but one is out and the second will be out in a couple of weeks. I think we should have tea..at least virtual tea.

    Reply
  14. Great stuff Ellie!! Very well written…like your novels are I’m quite sure! ;)

    Reply
  15. You are so freaking awesome. Ellie Ann, ninja marketing pro. Get those darn books published, then we can hang out with Nathan Fillion!

    Reply
  16. Has Nathan answered yet?

    Reply
  17. I love this post. it was really funny . Looking forward to read your novel. :)

    Reply
  18. Well done! Loved it! In fact, I’m stealing some of these ideas when your back is turned. Do ninjas turn their back or let their guard down ever? No? *snaps fingers in disgust* Dang!

    -Jimmy

    Reply
  19. ROFL. I plan to go to a sporting goods store and fondle the crossbows…then tell people how I need to fondle them because I’m writing a book where several characters use them to take down zombies. I thought about doing the same thing in the liquor store while making an impromptu molotov cocktail…but that might be frowned upon.

    Reply
  20. I find a great way to spread the word is to tell your kids- but tell them it`s a secret. They`ll spread the work like wild fire. Congratulations! I want an autographed set.

    Reply
  21. I wrote a novella for National Novel Writing Month several years ago. Nothing happened after that.

    Reply
  22. Congratulations!!! You’re such a hoot!

    Let me know if that Nathan Fillion letter works out. I’d love to meet him. And I actually DO base ALL of my characters of of Mal in Firefly. Even the infants.

    Reply
  23. Jason Darrick

     /  August 21, 2012

    Congrats on completion! You’re far ahead of me, and I know writing one novel is an insane task.

    Reply

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