Saturday, January 14, 2006

Wishing

The Publishing Fairy Godfather has just materialized in your writing space. He is a nearsighted bald fat man in a powder blue tux with a yellow sequined cummerbund that is one size too small. He smells of old money (reserves against returns) and old slush pile manuscripts (pages of which are stuck to the back of his heels.)

"I'm going to make you an offer you can't refuse." He sets down his martini glass, refills it with straight gin, and regards you over a toothpick adorned with two green olives and a former literary agent's pickled testicle. "You get one wish."

You immediately say, "I wish for--"

The Publishing Fairy Godfather wags his hairy finger at you. "No can do. My powers only extend to your writing and the publishing industry."

You then say, "I wish for--"

"Only Cinderella's Fairy Godmother can grant that, and she's tied up in Vegas outfitting Wayne Newton for his next show," the Publishing Fairy Godfather informs you. "Pick something else."

You think.

The Publishing Fairy Godfather lights up a Havana cigar with a flaming midlist author's last contract. "Did I mention after you that I've got to go and visit a plague of toads and cockroaches on that Frey guy for abusing the wish I granted him?"

Now post your answer to the Publishing Fairy Godfather in comments.

25 comments:

  1. I wish for the ability to always write good, solid, entertaining books.

    Then I can work on greatness myself. ;-) Ha!

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  2. zornhau4:11 AM

    A large but still realistic advance for my trilogy.
    (Since money = time to write)

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  3. Anonymous8:20 AM

    "I wish for a long, successful career in publishing"

    But that would probably backfire somehow...

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  4. I wish for sufficient talent. Enough to write well enough to make a decent living. That's it. I figure the rest is up to me.

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  5. I wish for the ability to look objectively at my writing and figure out what's wrong with it.

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  6. My wish would be that everyone in the publishing industry get paid back in kind for everything they've done while they've been a pro.

    Then I'd like a ring side seat to watch.

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  7. I'd like to finish and get contracted for my book at such a time when all the stars are aligned just right, such that I'll get a hefty advance and hopefully, plenty of publisher support as well.

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  8. One month completely alone, in a small, isolated cabin, stocked with sufficient supplies (food, drink, books), a computer with internet access for research purposes, and a good word processing program. Printer not required. Daily telephone access to my husband and children would be essential, as would the knowledge that they were safe, healthy, and being well-tended by some maternal-type individual. Perhaps my mother-in-law, if she were available.

    The rest? I swear, you give me this, and I can take it from there.

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  9. I wish to hold my first book in my hands.

    The rest...well if I have the talent the rest will come on its own.

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  10. I wish Nameless Huge Distributor (NHD) to become my bitch. I could make them play fair. I could make them release smaller presses from their always-changing contract with NHD's little pit bull POD printer, and in fact, they'd have to sell that printer off to someone who has nothing to do with publishing. Then their CEO would have to write on a blackboard 10,000 times "Only Microsoft can have a monopoly." And he has to start over if I don't like the penmanship.

    They would have to pay me $10,000 a book for every shipment they missed. Not just my books. Anyone's books. And given how sloppy they are, I'd be a wealthy man in two days. They would have to pass discounts along to their competitor, whom I'll call "Bob & Tony" so independent stores can carry independent presses.

    Oh, and they'll have to buy all of Laura Lippman's drinks for free at the BEA. Yeah. A little something for my friends in that.

    So please, Fairy Godfather, make NHD my bitch so that I might visit upon them all the torment and grief they have visited upon everyone else from the lowliest small press writer to the chains to Random House. Grant me the power to put right what they put wrong, and to add "Mows Jim Winter's 6-acre lawn in a tutu every Saturday" to their CEO's list of duties.

    There's a shot of Jameson in it for you if you make it happen.

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  11. I wish that my friends and colleagues reach their publication goals, whatever they may be.

    There is nothing more I want for myself. Not that I would ask for.

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  12. I wish for a long and happy career, writing and publishing books I love that other people read and enjoy and keep and read again.

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  13. I wish for...

    persistance - to write every day and complete the manuscripts and editing.

    a kind ear - from an agent. (I want it an honest mouth too. If it stinks, I want to know.)

    and last, I wish for the understanding of what readers want to hear, so I can produce that.

    Oh. One wish? How about a whip wielding sexy guy in leather to hover over me in torture until I actually polish and complete the next manuscript? Hmmm...

    Wishes could be dangerous.

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  14. Oh, dear lord, aren't you all NICE!

    I'm been writing for long enough to wish for a six figure publishing contract. I wouldn't actually care if the book earned out it's advance!

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  15. Dude, I wish you'd gather together a whole committee of fairies, all of whom would obey me.

    Okay, now take off and inform the Liz's Six-Figure Fairy and the Massive Publicity and Distribution fairies of our first meeting next week--oh wait, first stop by and and tell the Editing Fairy to visit me for a while first and to bring her friend, the Childcare Fairy.

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  16. My totally selfish wish -- that each book I write be even better than the ones before; that I write a breakout book that achieves a 300k print run with media tours, advertising and promo support; barring the non-occurence of part two, I'd be happy with a huge amount of positive Internet, reader board, and blog buzz.

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  17. Anonymous2:11 PM

    I wish that my books will always sell enough copies and get enough attention that I will be able to make a decent living from writing while I'm alive, and that my books will continue to be read and enjoyed long after I am gone (one wish - that counts as one!).

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  18. ONE wish? Just ONE?!

    Okay...to make more than enough to quit the sucky day job by doing what I love--writing.

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  19. I wish I could find my keys...

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  20. I wish time spent on any phase of my writing (outlining, writing, editing) didn't count against the 24 hours in a day.

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  21. I would wish that readers enjoy my work as much as I enjoy creating it. It's not much, but from small things, big things grow.

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  22. Anonymous7:07 PM

    I would wish to learn how to use my abundant rage as fuel for my writing instead of turning it against myself and against my writing.

    Not that I'm against money. I'm more in favor of sanity, though, since without that I don't get as much work done as I'd like.

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  23. Good health for me and my family. The rest I can manage.

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  24. I wish I could have just one month where I wasn't harrassed by the noise of evil upstairs neighbors, where I didn't need to go to work, and where the weather/universe/pure bad luck wouldn't prevent me from writing.

    I'll take it from there.

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  25. To make enough from my writing that money is no longer an issue in my life. I don't have to be impossibly rich. I just want enough to do what I need to do--pay rent, bills, have some fun, help my kids get their educations, that ordinary life stuff. Basically, I want to earn enough to not need a day job.

    I suppose I could wish for a winning mega millions ticket, but I'd really prefer to earn it. :)

    Linda

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