Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"The Day in the Life of a Not-Yet-Best-Selling Author" by Mike DiCerto

It begins before I awaken. I'm drifting in a hypnogogic state and I decide to see if I can tap into the akashic records for the holy grail of author info. I set my intention and send out query: In my next dream please provide a sure fire promotional method to ensure major league book sales.

I drift into deeper sleep and somewhere in my nocturnal altered state a Samurai Warrior approaches me and offers small, round black box. Surely the answer lies within the ebony container. I try to open it but the world shimmies in a cliche manner and I awaken and cannot find the box anywhere in my sheets. Cosmo, our cat, plops on my chest and kisses me with a wet kitty kiss. I hear coffee beans being ground in the kitchen. As usual my wife, Suzy, is up first. I really need to get up an hour earlier I think to myself. I get up.

I turn on my Mac and go to the kitchen to get a glass of juice and a cup of coffee. I mumble to Suzy and kiss her and plop back down at my desk which sits beside a window overlooking a nice upper east side street.  A breeze blows in through the screen and I can feel the autumn chill in the air. Cosmo races by me to watch a black bird perched on the fire escape and comes inches from a coffee disaster.

I open Facebook. I used to to go to the Daily News first but I got so fed up with depressing news I decided getting a few free chickens from Farmville farmers was a nicer way to start the day. I am in the middle of my Virtual Tour with my middle grade fantasy THE DOOR TO FAR-MYST so I check the schedule to remind myself where on tour I am today. If its Tuesday it must be review day. I check the review and beam. Yes! They loved it. I post the link to my Facebook personal and book pages. Then I run over (relatively speaking) to Amazon to see if any sales came from this early morning good news.

Nope. Ranking is lower. Crapola. Back to Facebook. WHAT? No congratulatory comments yet! It's been a whole forty seconds what is wrong with people? "Friends" my butt. The black bird tweets and so do I. Frugal prose and tiny urls later my few hundred followers are privy to my amazing review. Back to Facebook. Back to Amazon. HEY - my ranking moved from 767,900 to 55,546! That must mean I sold at least a zillion books. Reality check. Nah - probably one or two. Sigh. Oh  well at least a five digit number looks better.

Maybe I should write? Cosmo jumps on my lap and nuzzles my neck. I reach around his feline form and I open the file for book three of the Rupert Starbright series. I am six chapters in and feel good this is going to be a nice change of adventures after the first two books in Far-Myst.

I can't resist. I go back and re-read the review. A thought hits me: BLURBS! I scan the review and grab a tasty fragment Engaging and fun. Mike DiCerto weaves a fun and... I add it to my web page. I make it my Facebook status. I tweet it. I send the link to the review to everyone I know via old school email.

I go back to Amazon. Back to six digits. I go back to the review. No comments or "likes". IS ANYONE READING THIS BUT ME??? Cosmo races off to an emergency meeting in the kitchen then plops on Suzy's lap. I go back to Facebook where I get into a brief political debate with a filmmaker friend then watch a cute kitten meets Louis CK video and go get a second cup of coffee. Imagine if Hemingway had internet access...

I go back to my manuscript and write a sentence. Ok, someone must have commented on my review. Nope. Check Facebook. Sure enough my good buddy Joel has shared the review link. So has Suzy. My actor friend Paul has liked it. As do my sisters. I go back to Amazon. Maybe the site is down? Hell- I know my ranking is.

Blog. I have to do my blog for this week. I have an hour before I have to leave for work so I figure I can get it done. I juggle some blog ideas in my head and get to work on that.

I get a sneaking suspicion that all this preaching to the same audience - Facebook and twitter - is growing pointless and my mind wanders to come up with a new effective promotional idea. I ponder getting up to go search the sheets of the Samurai black box but decide against it.

I get a nice chunk of my blog done while a tiny devil in the back of my mind taunts me with his ditty Only five people will read it and they are all re-lated! Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah! I ignore that damned devil. He has taunted me for years so I am used to him.

I go back to my manuscript. Poor Rupert Starbright is sitting on a log waiting for me to make him and his world of Graysland move. I am his god. I have to act! I look at the clock. I have to take a shower and get dressed and leave for work in fifteen minutes. Oy. I check FB, Twitter and Amazon again. I close down the manuscript and promise Rupert I will get his adventure moving next session.

And I will. Book Three will get done. After all, I am a disciplined author.

I have to go check Amazon.


  1. It's too good a book not to be discovered and loved by the world! Keep up the good work!

  2. Mike...I just read your post in a dream at about 3:30 on the west coast here. I realized then that I was awake but I pondered further and wondered, "am I really?" No black boxes here...your words did the trick. Make the Graysland move my friend. You are not god, you are me. Set the imaginary bird free. And as Anonymous up there said....Keep up the good work! Your's sincerely - Rupert Starbright :-)

  3. Funny post, Mike. Damn those Amazon rankings. And I want online coffee ...

  4. ah the daily journey of a writer, it is book unto itself

  5. The life of a writer. There's a story there somewhere.

    Enjoyed the post.

  6. Thanks for the comments! The devil was wrong! Way more than 5 read it. In fact- 5 commented on it!