Dr. Helen

How to Become a Professional Author


Dave Barry has a funny new book coming out called You Can Date Boys When You’re Forty: Dave Barry on Parenting and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About that I have been reading this week. The parenting parts are kind of humorous, I guess, but I skipped over them to the chapter on “How to be Become a Professional Author” which was hilarious and gives readers the “inside story” on how to become a professional top author.

Barry gives the reader some fun “facts” on the “success” of writers such as “Eighty-six percent of all private jets are owned by poets.” If you write poetry for a living (and who does?) you will find this section pretty funny. He also tells you about how, as a bestselling author, you will be sent out on a book tour–which is a “multi-city trip starting out in NYC and ending in death.” Barry even tells you how to get on a major TV show to promote your book. “So you don’t need an appointment or anything. Simply show up at the TV studio about fifteen minutes before the show stars and let the security people know you are available to be a guest. They will take it from there.” Yeah, right, and so will the police…

Barry even tells you how to improve your book’s Amazon ranking. “As a professional author, you need to check this ranking a minimum of two hundred times per day so you can monitor exactly how your book is doing and respond accordingly…….you boldly take action in the form of calling your mom and asking her to go on Amazon and purchase one or more copies of your book. If–and this can happen to you, as a professional author–your mom is no longer accepting your phone calls, you may have to purchase a copy of the book yourself.”

Sadly, the public at large often buys into the false notion that authors make lots of money and it’s as easy as Barry jokingly says it is. I guess if most people knew the truth, that there is little money for most authors, most do not get published and it’s hard work, the fantasy would be gone and reality would set in. Luckily, we have Dave Barry to keep the fantasy alive! Read the book, it’s funny.