Occasionally I do some freelance work for authors who are self-publishing their book and not connected with a publishing house. Most of these folks are great and grateful to speak with someone who can help them get the word out about their books. Occasionally, however, there is someone who thinks that because they put pen to paper, they are the second coming or something along those lines. Such was the case this morning with someone who called me, essentially insinuated I was stupid and then insulted my social media accounts by saying “I don’t like what you post, I think you probably aren’t very good at what you do. Please call me.”

I love that. Insulting me always works out well. I can’t wait to talk to someone who, before I even start work for them, is already trying to run me ragged. Needless to say I lost his number. Which brings me to the point of this blog. I think I speak for every publicist, freelance or otherwise, when I offer the following tips that are sure to get your email deleted or your voicemail trashed. If you are a marketing person and have any you’d like to add to this list, feel free. If you are a masochist and want this guy’s phone number, email me. I’m sure Johnny-abusive-author would love to speak with someone who is willing to call him back so he can insult them in real-time.

Now, for the list:

  1. Tell me your book is written by Aliens. This has happened to me more than once believe it or not. My response? “Sorry, not taking alien books this week.” Makes me miss the X-Files though.
  2. Tell me I’m stupid before I even get on a call. ‘Nuf said.
  3. Tell me your mother thinks your book should be a movie. (insert eye-rolling)
  4. Tell me you have no budget but are hoping to pay me from your book sales. This also falls into the category of “What’s my ROI if I invest in you?” Sigh.
  5. Conversely… Tell me you saved money for your book publicity by not paying to have the book edited. I love that. Yes, please let me market this piece of unedited crap. That should go well. Not.
  6. Ask me if I can only guarantee good book reviews. Seriously.
  7. Tell me that you know Oprah directly. Or sort of. The connection is actually that you know a dry cleaner, who knows a dog walker, who went to the grocery store and ran into a cook who went to cooking school with a chef who worked in Oprah’s kitchen twenty years ago.
  8. Tell me that you have already cast the movie version of your book and wonder if I can send copies of your book to the stars you wish to cast for the various roles. Unless you have millions of dollars to fund this project on your own and your father is Steven Spielberg you should forget this. There isn’t a single fiction writer on the planet who hasn’t dreamt of their book becoming a movie. The difference between you and them is that they keep these wild thoughts to themselves.
  9.  Tell me that God told you to write this book. I’ve had dozens of people tell me this. Maybe some day the joke will be on me and I’ll find out in the afterlife that God is really a writer. Until that time, please go away.
  10. Tell me that your book doesn’t really have a genre. That for this masterful piece of work you created your own genre because it belongs someplace special. Yes, books that don’t fit in existing genre usually do go to a special place. But I can bet it’s not where you think.
There are more I’m sure but candidly sometimes the mind just blocks that stuff out. It’s the publicist survival mechanism. We only remember the really good stuff and for some of us, that’s a very short list. 🙂