In fact, those of us who go into writing books as a profession are, quite frankly, fools who don't mind keeping a steady supply of Hamburger Helper in the cupboard, or have been left a great deal of money by a rich maiden aunt.

  It's difficult enough to get a book published, but once done, there are all kinds of obstacles to overcome. For one thing, there's the fear that once the book is published it will unceremoniously disappear without anyone the wiser save some relatives and a few close friends. But even more dreaded is the fear that your publisher will abandon you, letting you, or rather your book (which, let's face it, is tantamount to the same thing), twist agonizingly in the wind.
"...there are plenty of things for writers to bitch about."
Trust me, there are plenty of things for writers to bitch about. No reviews. Bad reviews. Not enough books printed. Books that may be printed, but aren't in the stores (and if they aren't there, where, one might reasonably ask, are they?) No ads. No hype. Editors who don't return phone calls. Agents who don't return phone calls. Friends who don't return phone calls. Relatives who suddenly deny knowing you. The list goes on.

One sure sign that your publisher is not tossing you out with yesterday's trash is "the book party." Most of us brought up on a fantasy diet of TV and movies, believe all writers are feted with sparkling literary soirees by their publishers in posh places like The "21" Club or The Four Seasons, or trendy watering holes like Bowery Bar, with enough celebrity drop-in guests like Bianca Jagger, Cindy Crawford and Hugh Grant to fill Liz Smith's column for a week.

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