Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Ahhh, the glamorous, lucrative world of publishing. The six-figure advance checks, the film deals, the Oprah circuit—so glam, so lofty, so not the way it is.

I think I told you guys that my story, Benzos and Breast Cancer, will be included in a Heeb anthology called Sex, Drugs and Gefilte Fish. It's being published by one of the big houses. A few weeks ago I learned I'd be getting "an advance." Andy Borowitz—whose story is also in the book—told me typically anthologies don't pay much. But what's much? I was speculating anywhere from $50 to several hundred, who knew. Sometimes I get $60 for a story; sometimes $800 (though not in a couple years thanks to my non-pitching stance).

I got the check today. My first advance! Proof that I'm a published author. Happy, happy, joy, joy. Then I opened the envelope.

$50. I was kidding when I threw that number out there. Shit, that's not even enough money to buy a bag. How ironic, given the illustration on the Heeb story.

This really depressed me and just think that two hours earlier I'd had a good session with Dr. L wherein she commended me on my progress in the area of finances. This check triggered some things in me—the bad things. The self-sabotaging, self-critical things. Authors make most of their money from advances, if they're lucky. Book sales are great, but the author isn't taking home much from the actual book sales, unless it's a crazy phenomenon like Harry Potter or James Patterson or some shit. WTF. I'm discouraged again. $50—I make more doing nothing. I'm taking Laura to Neiman's outlet now to look for wedding shoes for her. Neiman's with no money, not exactly the best way for this bitch to cheer up.