Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Hey, is anybody actually buying your shitty book?


Look, I know that when people ask "How's your book doing?", it's because they care. They're trying to show an interest in what I'm doing, or whatever. But can I just say, this is kind of an irritating and offensive thing to ask?

Because it's akin to, "So, is anybody actually buying that piece of shit thing you wrote?" Or, "So, how much money are you making now?"

Seriously, guys. Asking if I've gotten any new reviews is fine, if your interest is actually in how the book is being received. But I get all tense and weird and it hurts my Private Bone (which is a part of me that gets creeped out when I'm expected to share things with other people, and not, as it sounds, a dirty new body part. Get your mind out of the gutter, pervert) when I'm asked how the book is doing, or if I've gotten a royalty statement lately, or whatever.

(Although I must admit, I am now enamored of the phrase "Private Bone" and want to use it as much as possible. So look for that to turn up somewhere in my work. I swear it. I'll give a prize to the first person who finds it.)

Is that odd of me? Am I really so private as to be a cypher, or am I justified in thinking this is a bit rude for someone to ask?


Bernita said...

Knowing how these things proliferate, I shall expect to see "private bone" used as an euphemism in a whole wad of romances.

Why can't they just state "I'm sure it's doing well" and leave it at that?

Faltenin said...

Heh - Private Bone... now you go and write a story about a soldier who goes by that name!

December Quinn said...

LOL guys! You know faltenin, I actually had that thought. How funny would it be if you were actually named "Private Bone"?

But no...I'll find clever ways to work it in there...:-)

Bernita, I think I should trademark it right away. Because otherwise nobody will ever know it was me who started it.


S. W. Vaughn said...

Well now, it depends on who's the one saying it. If it's writer friends, then it's definitely the epitome of rude. But if it's family or friends who have no clue what goes on in the literary trenches and don't understand "I'm writing a book" or "I've written a book" unless you place said book in their hands or walk them to the local BN and point to your book on the shelf (sigh...if only my book was on a shelf...) -- well, they just don't understand, the poor things. :-)

For family and friends, short of saying "Don't talk to me about my fucking book, okay, I'd rather talk about the weather or Aunt Margie's new 20-year-old boyfriend," I found there isn't much I can do besides grin and bear it. But it absolutely does sting in a way that's hard to describe.

I think "Private Bone" covers it nicely, though. :-)

(BTW, December, I love your philosophy on series. Series are totally the way to go. I like the way they usually get progressively better as the writer goes along -- it's fascinating to watch a style develop through a series!)

Jenna Howard said...

Private bone. Hee-hee. How does that differ from a public bone?

I've been known to answer to your question "Well, it will do better when you plunk your money down to buy it." or "Haven't you heard? Damn. I'm on Forbes, baby, Forbes!" Then when their backs are turned I stick out my tongue and flip the middle finger.

Oh. Is that a public bone?

Sam said...

I hate that question - it usually comes with 'So how many copies did you sell?'

And about Sergeant Walker - heads he's yours, tails I get to take him home...


December Quinn said...

That's exactly what I mean, Sam. It's just...urgh. And they all think you should know, right away, how many copies have sold.

And I called Sgt. Walker first! :-)

Jenna, I'm pretty sure that is indeed a public bone.

And sw, as always, we think alike. And one of these days I probably will snap and say, "Don't talk to me about my fucking book, okay." I don't even like discussing the ones that aren't released yet. How weird is that?

Erich Haught said...

I wish I could hate that question, but I haven't published anything yet so I haven't even gotten that question. I'm sure I'll hate it soon enough -- boy, what fun!

"How's your book doing?"
"You have no right to ask me that."
"Why don't I have a right to ask that?"
"You don't have a wrong to ask me that either, now scram."

I've been watching a lot of Marx Bros. movies lately.

December Quinn said...

"How's your book doing?"
"You have no right to ask me that."
"Why don't I have a right to ask that?"
"You don't have a wrong to ask me that either, now scram."


"What's your name?"
"Fuck you, that's my name."

Jenna Howard said...

Snicker...that was funny, Eric.

Ooh I liked that one too December.

S. W. Vaughn said...

I especially don't like discussing the ones that aren't released. Cause then I get stuff like:

"Can I read it?" (NO!)
"Am I in it?" (It's FICTION you idiot!)
"What's it about?" (Got a few hours? Don't get me started)

Or the worst...

"Why are you writing that? I have a much better idea. Here's what you should write a book about: [insert incredibly stupid idea here]. We can split the profits!"


:-) We do think alike, December. I like that.