Worry Wart

I can’t help that I worry about things.  The stuff that I can’t control, or the stuff that I shouldn’t even be worrying about at all.  I just can’t seem to help it though and here’s an example…

I just visited the website of Ken Foster, author of several good dog books: http://www.kenfoster.blogspot.com

In one post was his take on book tours.  It was called “Book Tour Financing 101”, http://www.kenfoster.blogspot.com/2012/07/book-tour-financing-101.html

What I got from browsing around and reading some of his posts, 1) he’s a successful published author with several books under his belt, 2) i.e. he’s successful enough to have a publicist, and 3) his latest book is in it’s second printing.  BUT, what I also picked up on from his Book Tour Finance 101 post is that most publishers do not pay for book tours, or at least not large ones, as he said.  Instead, they prefer the author to use online tools to promote their books.  Most writers, including me, know all this, so what’s to worry about?

He’s successful, yet he has a full time job.  Why, I wondered, (worried).  Now I’ve heard all along that if you think you’re going to get rich writing, you’ve been either 1) blissfully ignoring the facts, 2) on Mars, or 3) delusional.  I worry, what does this mean for me?  It’s not like I need a six figure deal (although that would be nice), I just need enough to help with monthly bills.   Thus, I’m totally thrown by the fact of knowing this SUCCESSFUL writer still works full time.  I don’t know, maybe he likes expensive wines or gourmet food, or some other extravagance that means he has to work.

Then, he said he has to kennel his dogs.  That won’t be the case for our new addition since my husband will be here, but I started worrying over the fact that “little one” has decided he can’t eat unless I feed him BY HAND.  So, on the basis of having “some” success at a book contract that MIGHT entail a very small tour, what if my little one starves?  What if I go on a book tour and he just WON’T EAT?   Now, I’ve started worrying over how he developed this strange eating behavior, and how will I prepare him for if/when I’m gone…wherever?

Next, I looked at Mr. Foster’s tour schedule.  Then, I went out to another bestselling author’s website and looked at her previous touring schedule.  One month on the road – for him, but it was different for her.  Her book launched in October 2010 and she said she’d be touring the Mid-West and South until March.  WHAT?   A tour that lasted months?   My little one wouldn’t know me anymore, hell, might not even last that long without me!  Or he’d sink into a depressed state again.  He had a hard beginning as it was.   What if he thinks I’ve abandoned him, when, in his short three year life, he’s been bounced around more than an NC State basketball?   What will happen to the progress we’ve made if I’m gone weeks on end?  Or even with a small tour, for a month?  Would it be possible for him to go too?  Couldn’t I just drive and take him with me?

Here I am.  Worrying over things that will likely not happen, yet my brain can’t seem to shut this kind of stuff off.   I want to be a successful author.  And yes, I want to be successful enough to go on a book tour.  I try to tell myself little one would probably be just fine because even if all that did happen, it wouldn’t be for another year or two.  And in the next breath, I worry as if I haven’t worried enough without reason…, wouldn’t he?



Even many of the authors who land on the NYT bestsellers list still need to work to make ends meet. The rare exception seems to be the authors who get massive and highly publicized book deals…and the distance between those deals and the mid-list author seems to be growing bigger and bigger.

Sorry, I’m not trying to be a downer. This issue is something I think about a lot, too. It’s like if I just puzzle it out long enough, I could find the magical solution to writing without also working full time. I’ll let you know if I figure it out.


    No, it’s not being a downer, just realistic. I mean geez, as if writing isn’t hard enough, if/when anyone does finally get something for it, the chance it will be enough is a more of a pipe dream than we know. Occasionally one might run across some of the real facts (like this author I mentioned) and it’s a real eye opener.


Wow J.D.! You never said! Congratulations on being pub’ed…I mean geez, last I heard you sounded like you had despaired of ever meeting that goal… perseverance obviously paid off and you should be very proud. So, what’s the title and who’s the publisher?

Your fear is valid whereas mine is ridiculous really. The thing about your particular worry is…once you’ve “made” it, then you have yourself to compete with along with ALL the others who have done the same. There will always be better writers out there, and they will be discovered, pub’ed and we can’t do anything about that. All you can do is think about John Grisham peddling his self pub’ed “Time To Kill…” and look what happened to him. Keep the faith, you never know. Your book could be the next breakout novel.


    I guess i want to be published the old way, in the local bookstore, which we no longer have, and the library. Title is “Doll Face.” Publisher Ardent Writer. I’m thinking April, May, or June. A lot of effort between now and then toj make it significant.


      Yeah, I know. I was at Square Books in Oxford MS back in October and I had a “moment.” I stood there just dreaming, you know? I am going to absolutely HATE it if independent book stores disappear. I checked out your publisher and my thought is… they could like Algonquin is to NC…all that’s needed is a breakout novel. HINT HINT.

      Coincidentally, there’s another book that will be coming out with a similar name as yours… (Dollbaby) unless it gets changed. I think it’s coming out this year…. That book was acquired by Pamela Dorman. I only remember it b/c Pam Dorman had JUST read my ms about a week or so before she acquired this book. (I guess she read it, who knows) but she passed on mine and instead, less than a week later – poof, I saw that she’d made a significant offer for Dollbaby. I was like, “well sheeyat,” and then, “double sheeyat.

      In all seriousness J.D., this is so great and I’m so glad. I’d love to read it.


Your worries are so interesting. My book, published by a small independent publisher, comes out in late spring or early summer. While print will be available, it will be marketed as an ebook. If i do a book tour and spend the night in a hotel, I will have to sell at least 100 copies to break even for that day. I would do as well to buy them, give them away, and stay home. The market I expect to penetrate I can reach by car. My biggest worry is not that I will have to eat Dairy Queen on the book tour circuit. My big fear is that my book will drop like a stone into that dark, bottomless pit of Kindle hell. But … so what.


LOL! You and me, peas in a pod.


Isn’t it crazy how our minds run? I know I’ve started worrying at one point and by the time my mind stops I’m so far down a line of zig zagged thoughts it’s hard to remember where I started.


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