Congratulations, mister nationally published author, I hope you’re ready to be a star! Finally getting your first humor compilation book published after 13 years has got to be exciting – perhaps even emotionally disorienting; imagine, your book will be on shelf at Barnes & Noble locations and other bookstores all through summer! As a first-timer, I’m sure you’re very excited to hear the details surrounding what must sound like life-changing news, but I wouldn’t be doing my job as your literary agent if I didn’t just go ahead and inflate your expectations about your place in the entertainment industry as a book author in 2014.
First off, let me just assure you that your days of working for a living are fucking over. This is it, man – the hard job is done; you’ve hit the jackpot with your compilation book, “Recoil: News Satire You Can Trust – Volume One.” It’s okay that your writing is virtually unknown outside of Michigan; every book in the world doesn’t necessarily have to be written by a celebrity or bestselling novelist in order to move copies in today’s bookselling climate – theoretically, at least. There have been literally tens of bestselling books to have come out of nowhere with zero marketing budget but gone on to sell millions of copies. I can’t think of any offhand except for “50 Shades of Gray,” but they do exist, trust me.
We’ve already got signed contracts with the world’s largest book wholesaler, Baker & Taylor, and Barnes and Noble has ordered 100 copies of your debut compilation for on-shelf sale at locations throughout your home state of Michigan. Quality Books Inc. has also signed up to wholesale your book to more than 16,000 libraries nationwide. Yes, there’s still such a thing as libraries, and occasionally they even have the budget to order new inventory. And after being spotlighted in Forecast magazine – a quarterly trade magazine that I actually can’t remember ever seeing a physical copy of – copies of “Recoil: News Satire You Can Trust” will surely be among American libraries’ limited, government-funded orders.
Oh yeah, “Chicken Soup for the Soul“ – I just remembered that one! That’s another of at least a dozen books that just took off out of nowhere after initially being rejected by a ton of publishers. Technically, sure, about 90 percent of books written by authors who aren’t already famous typically only sell about 500 copies these days, with only about five percent of books going on to reach the next sales plateau: 10, 000 copies. In truth, only one out of every 5,000 books or so that gets published go on to make the best-seller list – unless you already have a TV show or were in a platinum-selling musical act or something.
But enough about the boring inner-workings of the publishing industry, let’s talk about how getting your book on shelves through a major retailer is going to catapult you into immediate stardom. After the release of your book, interest in your work is going to go nuts. People are going to want to get to know you. Everyone is going to want to be your friend. People will want to be seen with you. Your autograph will essential become gold, and you’re never going to have to pay for a meal ever again for the rest of your life.
“John Dies In The End“ – there’s another book to make the leap from obscurity into mainstream popularity. So there are just three examples of how your book is poised to finally ignite your career as an entertainer, despite the fact that nobody buys books anymore, and that Barnes & Noble can “return” all the copies of your book that don’t sell. But don’t let the fact that the booksellers have been reduced to little more than an international consignment shop get you down, because you’re book’s going to sell, despite the publisher’s obscene price point of $14.95 on a 108-page soft-cover.
Now that I’ve inflated your expectations to an unrealistic level, I feel like I’ve done my job and can go home and sleep well at night, and I’d advise you to do the same in getting some rest, because once your book gets released next month, life is going to be a non-stop whirlwind of glamour and excitement. Let’s hope you can handle it.