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My Co-worker Just Published a Book

January 11, 2017
(image via wikimedia)

The cover kind of looks like this a little bit. (image via wikimedia)

“This is it,” a female coworker said as I passed her cubicle.  She was reading a paperback novel with a weird alien and an attractive woman on the cover.  My coworker probably should have been on the computer doing actual work, but I didn’t mention that.

“This is what?” I asked.

“The book,” she said.

“Your book?” I said.  She didn’t strike me as the science fiction type.

“No, it’s ________ book.”  I didn’t recognize the name she’d said.

“Whose book?” I said, still confused.

“You know, from the ____________ department.”

I still didn’t know who she was talking about, but when she showed me the author’s photo on the back cover, I said, “Oh, THAT guy.”

I recognized the author as a guy who works at our company.  I see the guy a lot at work, but I’ve never talked to him.  He doesn’t talk to me either.  That made me feel like I wasn’t obligated to read his novel.  If he had been within my small circle of acquaintances at work, I would have felt obligated.

Out of curiosity, I bought the book on Amazon anyway and began reading it.  As far as science fiction goes, it’s okay.  It doesn’t do anything I haven’t seen or read about before.  I mean, that’s not what I’m going to say to anybody who asks.  I have a few complimentary comments ready which will show everybody at work that I’ve actually read the entire book.

The coworker author set the book up as a series, so there’s a cliffhanger at the end of the book, and I might give the coworker grief if he takes too long to finish the second book.  He doesn’t know me well, so if I start calling him George RR Martin for taking too long, he might not understand where I’m coming from, and that could cause friction at work, even though we don’t really have anything to do with each other.  My sense of humor doesn’t go over well with people who don’t know me.

The paperback sells for just under $15.00 and the Kindle is $3.99.  It’s kind of overpriced for its size, but I don’t think the coworker author has much control over that.  I would put it up on this blog, but I’m trying to sell my own ebooks (like this one right here!!  If you like this blog, you’ll probably like this too!).

It would hurt my feelings if somebody else’s book got more attention on my blog than my own ebooks.  Plus, the coworker author has already gotten a lot of people from work to buy his book.  To be fair, I don’t know how hard he pitched his book to everybody in his department.  He’s not a boss, so he can’t threaten anybody.  But it seems like he needs friends and coworkers to keep his sales rank up.  He has a few Amazon reviews (all 5-stars), but I recognize the names of a couple reviewers (coworkers), so I’m curious how this book will do once the friends/family/coworkers are done buying it.

I would ask the coworker some questions about his publishing experience (and how it’s going), but it would be awkward.  Again, he doesn’t know me, so there would be no reason for me to come up to him out of nowhere and pester him about his book, especially since I’m not ready to tell people (coworkers and friends) about my blog and ebooks just yet.

I’m curious how successful this author will be in the long run.  He’s going about things in a different way than I am.  I’m going the indie route and using my blog, and in a few years when my kids don’t need me watching over them/driving them around all the time, I can devote more time to writing and trying new social media strategies.  In the meantime, I hope he’s successful, and I’ll probably buy his second book.

But I hope he can drop the price a little next time.

  1. 1. good for you for buying his overpriced book
    2. better for you for reading it
    3. why not swap reviews and see if he’ll give you his next title
    4. i splurged and grabbed a copy of your book; looking forward to reading and reviewing. need some humor in these gloomy times.

    • Thanks for buying my book!

      I ran into the coworker author in the elevator today and talked to him about his book (the book itself, NOT the publishing process). We had a good conversation about it (and he even knows my name now).

      I didn’t tell him any of my James Patterson jokes. It’s a little early in the relationship for that.

      • it could be a good test of character to open with the JP jokes.

  2. I would point out I read your book asked you to do an author interview to go with my review….

  3. Jorge Jaramillo Villarruel permalink

    You are damn right! I was more interested in reading his book than yours. Now I feel guilty. It has to do with some neurosis issues I haven’t deal with.

    Anyway, I will buy your and also I will ask some blogger friend to write an article similar to this one but that he has to write also that if someone is interested in knowing the book he is ranting about, ask for it…perhaps I will sell a couple books cheating a little.

    • You don’t have to feel guilty (at least, not for that).

      If you want to keep the book-buying chain going, buy the book of the person who bought mine, and then somebody else will buy yours, and then next somebody will buy that person’s book, and then…

      Maybe next time we can devise a book-buying pyramid scheme.

      • Jorge Jaramillo Villarruel permalink

        Damn! Your book is not available in my country (Mexico).

  4. Just go ahead and take the plunge! “You too can publish the book”, or so I am told by Amazon. I know the mixed feeling that you are talking about, but it’s only human.

  5. Why would he drop the price, now that he’s got you hooked? 🙂

  6. He may not be publishing the book for the sales. I don’t care about sales but I will definitely publish my book. It gives the project a sense of finality that otherwise is difficult to find. It is polished, edited and finally done. I’ll be proud of it and promote it, if the opportunity arises, but the number of sales matters very little to me. He may just have the same perspective and so is quite low key about promoting it.

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