I was distraught to see in the NYTimes Home section yesterday a story about a writer who got a book contract based on his vow not to use toilet paper for a year.

That's right. He got a book deal with FSG based on a proposal about "living green" in Manhattan: no using subways, trains, buses or any other sort of transportation save a Razor scooter; no toilet paper; no TV; no lightbulbs; no eating anything that hasn't come from within 250 miles of NYC; no olive oil, coffee or spices; no disposable diapers for his child. They have even got a composter in their apartment with worms.

But, the kicker is: he is still using a computer (there's a blog at www.noimpactman.com); they are still using a washing machine; there may be no toilet paper but there is a "dryer"; they have a maid; and they still use the stove.

Would you go that far? Would you eschew toilet paper to get a book deal?

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About the only thing green that I'm aware that I use of is green tea--- delicious
I wouldn't blame the publisher too much. Blame the public. They are idiots. Just watch TV and you'll see what your'e dealing with.

And considering that public, there's hardly anything I would do to please it. I work strictly with a small group of smart people who know a good thing when they see it. :) And a larger group of smart people who use libraries, alas.
I applaud you. I'm relatively new to big publishers (I've mostly published with poetry presses -- good ones but marginal compared to the publisher of my memoir). I believe that publishers used to go to bat for books they believed in. Now, they seem to be struggling in the same corporate culture that sells beanie babies. In fact, the stuffed animal and general kitsch section of borders and barnes and ignoble are increasing in size as we speak.

Your novels look really intriguing. I'll put one on my to-read mountain.
Do you mean quit smoking completely, or just while you slept with him? :-)
I'm too old to dance naked. Seriously, authors are expected to do everything these days, promote as well as write the book. I have a publicist who does the routine things, but the publisher doesn't spend a lot of money or time on promotion. Fortunately, my publisher has not yet completely adopted the corporate model so I do get some support. What do they expect us to do? Isn't writing enough? It ought to be: it's harder than being a corporate executive.

I think the corporate model is wrong for publishing.
Absolutely agree. It's also discriminatory in that heavily promoted authors in the same company compete with un-promoted authors in the same company, taking away potential sales.
How far would I go for publicity? Not THIS far.

I would, however, kiss a camel (no tongue) or wear a funny hat.


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