Columns > Published on December 17th, 2016

Fuck Apologies: A Guide for Writers

You're an author, a novelist, a wordsmith. You possess a gifted mind that allows you to create narratives out of thin air. You are the proud owner of a truly unique set of skills that let you create amazing stories and give voice to nonexistent characters. The world should read and appreciate your work. Social media should pay attention to everything you say and do. Sure, things don't always go that way, but don't fret; here are some pointers to help you achieve and maintain a special status as a publsihed author and media personality: 

1. Never apologize. Listen, fuck apologies. Apologies are for cowards and idiots. Have you ever heard Trump apologize? That's right, and that's why he's the next POTUS. You have a mind of your own, a wealth of experience, and an education. This means you know what you're talking about. If someone disagrees with you, they're idiots. If someone says you've offended them, they're too sensitive. The quickest way to international stardom is having a strong voice, so make sure you never censor yourself and constantly post your opinions on absolutely everything on social media. If it works for Stephen King, it will work for you. If someone says something negative about it, screw them; haters gonna hate. Remember: fuck apologies. 

2. Always call your readers "friends." Your readers love you. Treat them with care. Make them feel special by referring to them as friends. They'll love you for it and will tell their friends to buy your books. If one of them drops a 1-star review, they're no longer your friend, so proceed to shame them publicly and repeatedly explain why they didn't understand your book. Show them the light and they might come back to you asking for forgiveness. You must always remember that there is no dividing line between you and your work. If someone hates your book, they hate you and must be destroyed.

3. Marketing is essential. You have to ensure that people know about your books. Here's the rule of thumb: marketing is a constant. Find ways to turn every single conversation into a conversation in which you can mention your book. Also, remember that the link to Amazon is your best friend. Someone talks about you online? Drop an Amazon link to your latest book. Someone asks for book recommendations? You know your stuff is great, so drop a link to your book. Someone just accepted your friend request? Maybe they don't know you're a writer, so make it easy for them and say hi with a message that includes a link to your book. Something horrible happened that has nothing to do with your book? Well, people need an escape, and there's no better escape than into a superb coming-of-age narrative, so drop a link to your book. People are always looking to buy stuff, so make sure that you stay on top of your marketing game and constantly refer to your books and drop links on every thread you participate in. Facebook is wonly and won't show your posts to all your friends, but if you post the link to your book ten times a day, then the odds of more people seeing it increase exponentially. Same goes for Twitter, but that platform moves even faster, so share that link 20 times per day. Also, feel free to put words in quotations so that people think they're blurbs. Try it out and add things likes "Best book I read this year!" and "Fantastic!" to your book posts. Folks love that.

4. What you think should always be shared. You know who acts like an asshole sometimes? The great James Ellroy. He even calls himself the "slick trick with the donkey dick." Do you sell as many books as Ellroy does? No, because you're too humble and boring. Tell people how great you are. Constantly brag about your word counts and the possibility of future masterpieces. Share yourself with your readers and destroy your enemies in the same post. People like you for who you are, so don't hesitate to let them know that sports suck or that you don't find certain kind of people attractive or that a book by a certain author was utter garbage. Don't be afraid to be shocking and vulgar. Do whatever it takes to shine the spotlight on the most deserving person out there: you. 

5. Every other author is your enemy. Unless they're giving you a blurb, insult all other authors. Every time they sell a book, you don't sell a book. Talk smack about everyone in order to establish your superiority. Keep in mind that you are smarter and have the higher moral ground, so constantly engage in online battles to prove it to everyone else. Oh, and make sure you get into some beef with authors who sell more books than you. That's a great way to futher your career. Forget the nobodies and insult people like Nick Mamatas, Brian Keene, and Ann and Jeff VanderMeer on Twitter. Every time you get them to interact with you, hundreds of eyeballs will see your name. They'll know you're in the same room as they great ones and will buy your books because of it.

6. Make sure editors remember you. I've said this in other articles: if an editor turns you down, write back and let them know they're idiots for not seeing your greatness. Insult them. Tell them they'll never work with you and thus their career will suck. Anyone who fails to see your brilliance is an idiot and deserves ro be treated like so. Badmouth dumb editors on social media and all other editors will take notice and read very carefully every time you send them something. Plus, remember the #1 rule of writing: those who can't write, edit.

7. IF YOU'RE A SELF-PUBLISHED AUTHOR, JUMP TO #8. Still here? That means you know that self-piblished authors are to writing what the homeless dude in the corner screaming about the end times is to philosophy. Anyone who takes the traditional route to getting published is a warrior and deserves attention. Anyone who publishes their own work is a narcissitic douche who can't cut it in the real world. Make sure you put self-published authors down every chance you get. Such losers, right? Hahaha.

8. IF YOU'RE A TRADITIONALLY PUBLISHED AUTHOR, JUMP TO #9. If you're still here, you know that self-publishing is the way to go. Why let some editor mess with your work? You know what you're doing and no one can tell your story better than you can, so why submit yourself to all the heartbreak and rejection involved in traditional publishing? Plus, look at the stuff the Big Five and the indies are putting out. Your stuff is much, much better, and just because 300 dumbass editors failed to see it doesn't mean that it shouldn't see the ligh of day. Screw them all. Do your thing and keep letting your 9-year-old niece design your covers. They're really not that bad and you can't beat free, right? High five!

9. Learn the tricks of the trade. The system is rigged, my friends, and you should use every tool in that rigged box. For example, you should get a few fake email accounts and use them to drop 5-star reviews of your books. That's an easy way to convince people to buy your book. Also, reach out to magazine editors and pitch stories about something and then write about yourself. You are a brand, and you should act like one. Another great trick is to leave negative reviews of books you haven't read so that people won't buy them. No one has given you anything, right? Right, so play dirty and hurt as many people as you can. If they write, they are your enemy and deserve whatever they get. Constantly thinking that you have throngs of haters will keep you on your toes and sharp as a scalpel, so do it.

10. In order to move forward with your career, keep this five bullet points in mind at all times:

  • Every morning, look at yourself in the mirror and repeat Staurt Smalley's words: "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me."
  • You give the world amazing stories, so everyone in the world owes you.
  • Everything you write, post, and say comes from a gifted mind so, again, fuck apologies.
  • No one should affect your writing except you, so stay away from editors.
  • All critiques come from haters. Only positive feedback should be taken into account.

Now you're ready to ascend to the next level! The world is your oyster, dear authors, and your craft is the most important element of our culture. Go fill the world with your amazingness.


About the author

Gabino Iglesias is a writer, journalist, and book reviewer living in Austin, TX. He’s the author of ZERO SAINTS, HUNGRY DARKNESS, and GUTMOUTH. His reviews have appeared in Electric Literature, The Rumpus, 3AM Magazine, Marginalia, The Collagist, Heavy Feather Review, Crimespree, Out of the Gutter, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, HorrorTalk, Verbicide, and many other print and online venues. Y

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