Hi, there. Sugar here. The cat’s out the bag. Everybody that I work with knows that I’m a writer. Did I tell everybody? No. But you know how these things are. One person tells another and that person tells someone else and before you know it the whole building knows your dirty little secret.
Well in my case the secret is not so dirty. I wasn’t the one having an affair with a married coworker. But I do write romance novels and in my line of work I wasn’t sure how people would take that. They are surprisingly fine with it, very supportive even. But there are A LOT of misconceptions when it comes to writing and writers.
1. People think you’re swimming in cash. Far far from it. I’m still working my day job. Most of the writers I know are still working their day jobs. One of the perks of writing for a big 5/6 publisher is that you get an advance, but you have to earn that money back. So you may never see another dime from your publisher if you don’t earn out.
2. They think you lead a glamorous life. Big events, parties and signings are certainly not the norm. Most of the time we look like something a cat spit up, with food stains on our shirts and our hair sticking up all over our heads.
3. They think you’re going on a multi city book tour sponsored by your publisher. David Sedaris may get that kind of treatment but lowly debut romance authors do not. The truth is you have to do most of your promoting. You have to set up your own signings. Most of the promotional footwork falls on you as an author.
4. They think your book is going to be in Target and Walmart and everywhere books are sold. Not true, every store has a buyer. Someone who determines which products are going to be carried in their stores. Walmart , Target, Supermarkets and drugstores don’t have big book sections. Most books don’t end up there.
5. They think just because you write that your spelling and grammar are stellar. I’m a pretty sucky speller. I lost in the first round of my third grade spelling bee for spelling GYM wrong. “JYM,” I said proudly. All I have to say is thank GOD there are multiple sets of eyes proofing my work. I’m the queen of the typo and have a hard time finding them in my own work. So please don’t ask me to spell anything for you. It’ll probably be wrong.
What else am I forgetting? What don’t people know about writers?