Friday, August 10, 2012

You don't know P. Diddy!?

Publishing Misconception #4,080 - You've got a book deal so you're rich,  famous, and have an "in" with all sorts of famous people from all sorts of industries that have NOTHING to do with publishing.

Whew! That was a mouthful. A painfully true mouthful. At least for me. I'd like to think that other writers aren't subjected to the awkward, 'Huh?-Face' conversations I've endured since announcing I signed a deal with HarperCollins to publish my debut YA Mystery WHISPERTOWN (working title), but I can't be the only one who goes through this. Can I? [crickets chirp]

I know a lot of people who don't necessarily enjoy reading. That's saying it kindly. To them, books were those rectangular things that made their backpacks heavy in high school and nothing else. Occasionally, the topic of my profession comes up, and it's met with a great deal of confusion because the details of publishing are only important to those who work in publishing. Still, most people are happy for me when they hear I'm doing....something. It's a rough, rough world, and telling someone I have a job that not only pays, but is enjoyable, is an unbelievable blessing.  Even if they don't get it, most are encouraging and congratulatory.

Then there's the other people...

The ones who hear the words "book deal" and run them through some complex, internal algorithm that turns my hard work into a wagon they can hitch to. Because if I've "made it", so have they. Here are a few choice examples (notice how they tactically deploy the word 'we' in each instance):

"You're in publishing? We should get together and put out some music. That's how Diddy made his money, because he keeps all the publishing. What do you mean that's not the same kind of publishing? You do know Diddy, right?"

"We should call up Will Smith and get him to make that movie. We gotta use your phone, though. Mine's cut off."

This next one doesn't feature a celebrity I don't know, but it's my favorite because it's actually publishing related...

"Man, we should do like a Lord of the Rings kind of book. I'll quarterback it, you know, tell you what to write, then we sit back and split the dough. I've already done most of the work. I drew a map."

So it goes...

You might think I'm exaggerating. You'd be wrong. Honestly, conversations like these aren't horrible. More amusing than annoying. And who knows what I'll do next? Writing a 'Lord of the Rings kind of book' would be kind of awesome.

I've already got the map.


Lamar "L. R." Giles writes for adults and teens. Penning everything from epic fantasy to noir thrillers, he's never met a genre he didn't like. His debut YA mystery WHISPERTOWN is about a teen in witness protection who investigates his best friend's murder and stumbles on a dark conspiracy that leads back to his own father. It will be published in Summer, 2013 by HarperCollins. He resides in Virginia with his wife and is represented by Jamie Weiss Chilton of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Find out more on his website, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


  1. I don't know, Lamar--you & PD look pretty chummy in that photo :) Very funny post.

  2. So, Lamar. I have some pictures of me, and I have some pictures of Hugh Jackman. I'm going to go ahead and forward those to you so you can work your Photoshop magic. When the tabloids come calling, we'll split the profits, kay? (This post was a hoot, btw).

  3. @ Claire - well, things change, and these days do I occasionally pop bottles with the rich and famous. What can I say, I'm living the dream.

    @Nicole - I can have you chillin' on a beach with Hugh in no time. ;)

  4. This is hilarious, L.R.

    I eagerly await your "LOTR kind of book."