…UPON THE SIGNING OF ANY BOOK CONTRACT, BEFORE TWO WITNESSES, AND A NOTARY PUBLIC
I understand that the people who publish my book will make some effort to sell it, at least some of the time, and I pledge never to hamper them when they do.
I understand that those people may publish other books, from time to time, and may try to make some efforts to sell those books as well; I shall not regard myself as their only author. I shall not take up, unsolicited, more than half an hour per day of their time.
I understand that if I am very lucky and some people read my book, some of them may quote it over the Internet, or make movies of their friends quoting it, or take pictures of their friends’ noses or feet with sentences from my book written on it. I understand that I can do almost nothing to stop them, and that only mean or out-of-it people would try.
I will not try to design my own book cover, nor to lay out and decide on the graphic elements in my own promotional material. Should I forget myself and try to do so, I will not snap at actual designers should they attempt a redesign.
I will not ask designers to make my book look exactly like some other book, no matter how much I like it.
If asked, I will submit a photograph of myself that actually depicts me. If I hate all the photographs of me that have ever been taken, I will ask a friend or pay a professional to take a new photograph. If I hate that one, I will send it anyway.
I understand that even though I know someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows Garrison Keillor, I should not expect Oprah Winfrey to share my book with Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert.
Should my publisher exist as a division of a larger publisher, itself a division of a still larger publisher, located in New York, itself owned by a still larger company whose other holdings include water and car companies, I will not expect more than one person involved with my book to recognize my name. After six months, I will not expect any person involved with my book to remember my name, and I will send flowers to anybody who does.
Should my publisher claim to be independent, I will not ask anyone what the word means. Moreover, I will use the word “independent” at least three times at any public event related in any way to my book that involves more than ten people, should any such events take place. I will not expect any such events.
I will never, ever, ever, check my Amazon ranking. By the way, what’s an “Amazon ranking”?