I am considering lobbying publishers to provide a care package for their debut authors. Said package should arrive on publication day and consist of the following :
A thumb support/wrist brace to protect the carpal tunnel from the ill effects of constantly refreshing your books Amazon page in order to obsessively check rankings. This will also protect your Twitter fingers from repetitive strain injury as you try to brow beat innocent tweeple into buying your book.
A pair of pyjamas. This is the stock uniform for most of the writers I know, consider it PPE for the word afflicted. It is almost crucial that these should become stained very quickly and show evidence of sneaky snacks and indulgent beverages that were spilled when checking Novel rank and finding that someone on Amazon.Outer Mongolia bought your book. Pyjamas are essential garb for the creative soul, they are comfy, make you feel ever so slightly bohemian, give you a laissez faire persona and allow for more easy justification of duvet days when you are ‘plotting your next book’ ( translated as: being a lazy so and so while claiming creative licence). As a uniform they also provide the added bonus of unnerving delivery drivers and post men when they call after midday (though this effect is enhanced when you haven’t brushed your hair and look like Jedward after a sleepover where there was a food fight).
At least 42 Kilos of coffee/tea which is fully caffeinated – need I justify this? Nah, thought not. It’s a given.
Supply on demand chocolate biscuits – these help with sustaining energy levels for frenzied bouts of plotting book 2, comfort eating when constantly and obsessively checking rankings yields nothing but a vague sense of defeat and keeping your dentist/diabetes nurse in a job for life. The only downside of this is the impact of crumbs on a computer keyboard – you may find that certain letters of the alphabet become reluctant and a bit crunchy when pressed. The upside of this is that it will keep your local computer repair guy amused and employed for life too.
A supply of Kalms and a box of Kleenex – This will aid in times where a ‘bad’ review is posted. A bad review for an author is any review that does not come with 5* approval and does not declare you a literary genius of epic proportions ( the epic proportions may be a result of the chocolate biscuits – I may have to re-think this). The tissues are for the weeping, gnashing of teeth and over dramatic wafting about the room bemoaning your lot and wondering why, oh why. Marge from Iowa didn’t recognise that the bit in your book where blah says blah to blah was supposed to be wit and irony. Marge thinks you should be pilloried, shot and your head impaled on a spike atop the city gates – you just wanted to show off how blackly comic you could be…The Kalms are for the realisation that you can’t please everyone and that despite the bad hair, food stained pyjamas and ten ton hissy fits there are times when even writers need to be rational human beings and get a ruddy grip!
A small laminated card showing the 24 hour emergency phone number for your AA sponsor – AA in this instance refers to the clandestine and highly covert organisation known as Authors Abominous. On induction into the organisation you are paired with a ‘buddy’ – this person must be of a like ego, write books and have developed an instinctive sense of empathy for your every meltdown, crisis of confidence and moments of “Oh God, why did I do this…I just can’t even…” They should also have read your book and think you’re awesome. I have one, I’ve read her book and I think she’s awesome, aren’t you Lynsey James? ( Author of Just The Way You Are and all round lovely person) Sorry to have blown your cover bud 😉
Finally we should get quarterly ‘write your own royalty cheques’…though on reflection this may be a bad idea as we could collectively move the entire publishing industry into liquidation within a week. Nice idea though…