The $10,000 You Don’t Want to Spend (If You’re a Struggling Writer)

Reading Susan Kushner Resnick’s “The Heartbreak of Publicity: A Cautionary Tale”, in the November/December 2013 Poets & Writers (Clearly, self is way behind in reading magazines she’s been subscribing to for years and years).

It’s an excellent article. Self posted excerpts:

I knew I’d lose that money. I knew, as I wrote checks to two independent publicists, that there was a good chance I’d get as much out of my purchase as I would have if I’d ground up the money in a garbage disposal. I knew that publicists, no matter how well considered and hardworking, couldn’t guarantee results. But it was a risk I was willing to take. Publishing with a small house whose publicity efforts essentially entailed mailing out galleys and review copies meant that I was pretty much in the same boat as a self-published author — rowing alone. Unless I won a big prize or lucked into a major review, the only way to get exposure for my book was to pay for it myself.

I’d set aside $10,000 — most of my advance, which is a life preserver not available not available to self-published authors, of course — for the project. This book was my third baby. The other two, despite good reviews and name-brand blurbers, had all but died in infancy. This time I was going to be a smart businesswoman instead of a dreamy artist and treat my creation like an asset worthy of investment. Even if I failed, I told myself, at least I’d know that I’d done the best I could.

I knew I’d lose that money, but I had no idea it would feel like it had been stolen from me.

The first publicist I hired took half the money before flaking out in a remarkable display of unprofessionalism that involved the following: asking for early payment so she could go on vacation without worrying about my check arriving in her Brooklyn mailbox, refusing to tell me specific publicity dates and targets, then accusing me of needing hand-holding for repeatedly asking for such details, forgetting the publication date of the book — possibly twice; declaring one month before the review-copy launch that she didn’t know if she wanted to work on the campaign anymore; and misplacing her child on a beach.

There’s lots more, but self has decided to spend the morning sending short stories out.

Stay tuned.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

John's Space .....

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost

nancy merrill photography

capturing memories one moment at a time

Asian Cultural Experience

Preserving the history and legacy of Salinas Chinatown

Rantings Of A Third Kind

The Blog about everything and nothing and it's all done in the best possible taste!

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

GK Dutta

Be One... Make One...

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

Fashion Not Fear

Fueling fearlessness through style and inspiration.

Wanderlust and Wonderment

My writing and photo journey of inspiration and discovery


Decades of her words.

John Oliver Mason

Observations about my life and the world around me.

Insanity at its best!

Yousuf Bawany's Blog


Any old world uncovered by new writing

unbolt me

the literary asylum

CSP Archives

Archive of the CSP

The 100 Greatest Books Challenge

A journey from one end of the bookshelf to the other

Random Storyteller

A crazy quilt of poems, stories, and humor by Catherine Hamrick

%d bloggers like this: