I have a friend that does freelance publicity work, in addition to book editing and web design, she’s an excellent go-to for new authors because she can really help someone get from 0-60 in a relatively short amount of time. Sometimes I think she’s magic.

But, of course, working with new authors means she’s often working with people that are very “green” to this industry, in fact, she spends a lot of time reminding prospective clients that being an author is in fact a business, and not a hobby. If you really want to be successful you have to invest the money, and the time, required to launch a new product – like anything else competing for consumer spending dollars.

Why this is still a shock to people is beyond me…

Anyhow, last week was really rough for her, which isn’t totally unusual, people are frantic to get things in order so they can sit back and zone out for the holidays and assume everything is taken care of. Like bestsellers are born from hour-long phone calls.

In her “crazy haze”, my term for wading through other peoples’ neuroses, she sent me an email venting about all the virtual video consultations she’d had that week, saying she desperately wanted to make the below her post-consultation follow-up:


I’m sorry to report that you come across as too unstable to work with our company.

Perhaps we can revisit your project in another 6 months, but in the meantime we would like you to consider addressing the following issues that could have affected your consultation (and likely your existence):

– Take a shower and comb your hair, I bother to.
– Take down the paint-by-numbers portrait, it does not say “creative”, it says “mental institution”.
– If you don’t have an office at least do your dishes and clear off your coffee table.
– Eat beforehand, I shouldn’t have to see, or hear, your lunch unless we’re out together and you’re buying.
– Neon pink, be-dazzled, velour tracksuits are not considered “business casual” in any industry.
– Put on pants. Yes, I could tell, and if you stood up I was ready to report you for sexual harassment.
– Lock your kids, pets, etc. in the bathroom. Unless they wrote the book they will not affect our work.
– Remove shiny objects from the room. It’s boring enough listening to your life story, I can’t be distracted.
– If you wrote your book instead of going to therapy, I can tell you now that no one will buy it.
– If you wrote your book to be famous, I can tell you now that no one will buy it.
– Pay attention. After an hour-long conversation all emails I receive for someone with a similar name will be deleted.


Another Publicity Firm That Turned You Down