I have the flu. It started on friday with severe body aches. Saturday I got a cough and started to feel a bit hot. My neck hurt. My head hurt to cough. It hurt to move my eyes. By Sunday it was a full-blown fever and chills. My blanket was on. Then off. Then on. Then off. AAA!!! I couldn't get up off the couch. Monday was no better. For the past few days when I've gotten up in the morning my clothes were soaked. Today I had to go to physical therapy and on the way I started to feel really sick... started to excessively sweat everywhere... I thought I was going to pass out on the train tracks. When I got home I got more emails about my book that's due. Anyone with a 9-5 job gets to call out sick. I work at B&N on Monday and I called out. When you call out you don't have to worry about the job! You're home. Safe and sound. In your bed. With your box of tissues. When you're self-employed you're expected to continue working with a 100-degree temperature.
Excuse me for whining! But really. Without authors THERE WOULD BE NO PUBLISHING. And there would certainly BE NO AGENTS. Give me a break. An agent should allow an author to whine all he or she wants. Otherwise what are they good for? My agent said I could whine to her and I appreciate it.
What infuriates me more than anything is that there are so many people in publishing who just DON'T GET IT.
1) we never get a break. We work at home which means we are surrounded by our work 24/7.
2) What Linda said - when you break down the hours per check we make almost nothing per hour.
3) no health benefits
4) publishers notoriously don't pay on time. good luck with the rent because you might get that check in a month... two? three? I can't even count the number of times that I've run out of money and had to put the rent on a credit card.
So you might spend a year... or two... or three on a book and finally it gets published! Yay! Oh, but wait, it isn't in stores. It hasn't been publicized. It isn't going to sell. How can an author possibly get his or her book out there compared to what a giant business comprised of thousands of people can do to publicize a book? I'm sure there are arguments that an author can do a lot but I think unless you're independently wealthy or making books is a hobby for you then you won't have the time or money or energy to publicize.
Why don't we self publish? Oh gee, I don't know why. Let me think. Because self-published books don't get anywhere! Maybe some friends and family will buy it but that's about it. Book chains won't buy it. Reviewers won't review it. Even asking that question is silly in my opinion.
In all honesty I love what I do but it's also complete misery. Why do I do it? Because I don't know what else I'd do. I'm in some sort of awful trap and there's no way out. Yes, I may be extra whiny because I've got the flu and have a book due which = STRESS but that's the way it is. I'm not going to apologize for whining and any agent who expects an author to PRETEND like everything is okay is crazy.
p.s - this is obviously in response to Alvina's post but I'm glad she posted it and I don't blame her and since the agent in question isn't available to respond I know it's not entirely fair to rant... but I have the flu. that's my excuse.