Marni Advice Monday: Humble-bragging and Jealousy

Hey everyone!

People seem to like it when I give advice. And well…I’ve never exactly suffered from a shortage of opinions. Just ask my (long-suffering) family members.

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Elementary School Marni considers what advice to give…

So feel free to ask questions! About writing. About life. About anything you want to discuss.

Today I thought I’d tackle professional jealousy.

This topic has been on my mind a lot recently. See, this post about writers on social media started making the rounds on my Facebook feed. I read it, laughed, then stared a bit guiltily at the keyboard.

Because I’ve definitely humble-bragged about meeting my favorite authors before!

In fact, I’ve not-so-humble bragged about meeting people!

Case in point:

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Marni plus Laurie Halse Anderson.

Oh and…

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Marni plus Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

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Marni plus Nora Roberts.

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Marni plus Ally Carter.

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Marni plus Jay Asher.

And my personal favorite…

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Marni plus Ellen DeGeneres!

Are you getting the picture? I’ve posted ALL of these online. Why?

Because. I. Totally. Geeked. Out.

And, yes, because it feels really good to look all smart and professional and…fancy online. These pictures were taken during some of the most wonderful moments of my life. But they are snapshots in time. They don’t tell the real story.

The real story is never as glamorous. The real story is that after a night of dancing with authors at the RWA in Atlanta, I spent the next six hours vomiting in a toilet. My friends think it must have been an allergic reaction to my TWO SIPS of Long Island Iced Tea.

I kid you not. Two sips.

Did I share that with the world? Um, no. I didn’t.

I conveniently left that part out.

So should I feel guilty about my not-so-humble bragging? Am one of those authors that people want to punch in the face(book)?!

Here’s what my friend and fellow KTeen author, Brigid Kemmerer, has to say:

I hate articles that seem to imply that we should shut up about our successes because we might make other people feel bad. It’s ridiculous. There’s no need to police social media to protect anyone’s feelings. Yes, non-stop promotion gets tiresomeBut so does non-stop complaining or non-stop anything.

If people are allowing social media to make them feel inferior, then they need to step away from the computer and get back in the real world. What people post on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram is such a narrow slice of their world — and it’s only what they WANT you to see. Further, if someone IS offended or overwhelmed by what one person is posting, then they can block that person or hide them from their feed. There are a few people I’ve unfollowed on Twitter because all they tweet are promo feeds for themselves and others. That’s IT. Who wants to read a non-stop stream of that? I like social media for one reason: the social aspect.

That’s when it kind of hit me. It’s not the bragging that bothers most people. I mean, yes, sometimes it can be grating, but that’s not at the heart of this issue. I suspect that the real problem is that the publishing world is a really murky place. To the best of my knowledge, there is no way to look at a book deal and say, “Oh okay. This is standard.”

I have a friend whose debut YA advance was 5x more than mine. Another friend was paid 40x less. It was only after a three-hour long conversation that any of us were brave enough to broach the subject of advances, even though we all depend on them to keep the bills paid.

It’s impossible to know if I should commit to using Instagram/Tumblr/Goodreads, etc., or even if these social media platforms translate into book sales! Do blog tours actually help reach new readers? Or would that time be better spent, y’know…writing?

These are all unavoidable questions for everyone within the industry and the fact that NOBODY appears to have the answers makes it even harder to reach any satisfying kind of conclusion. In the wake of all that uncertainty, we all seem to scrutinize each other’s Facebook feeds to see if we’ve been left in the dust.

This is where the real professional jealousy kicks in.

So how do we fight it?

I think Brigid’s advice is spot on. Step away from the laptop. Stop comparing yourself to others. Do not check out someone’s Wikipedia page to determine if they were younger than you when they got their first book published. Guess what? It’s not a competition!

But let’s say that isn’t working for you. Let’s say you’re feeling jealous and petty and irrational, oh, and annoyed because even though you know you’re being irrational you can’t seem to logic your way out of the situation.

Maybe…give yourself a little room to be bad?

Not terrible. It’s not like you’re going to say and/or do anything mean. Are we clear? That’s not going to happen, because you are not a bully.

But sometimes it feels really good to read terrible reviews of famous books. When I was in high school, I was obsessed with a book of quotations called, Writers on Writing. My favorite section was the one where all these iconic authors trash-talked each other. There was something oddly liberating about watching them trip over the pedestal my English teachers had reserved for them. The Germans have a word for this: Schadenfreude. It means, “happiness at the misfortune of others.” I like to look at it a slightly different way though…

Sometimes it’s good to remind yourself that you’re not the only flawed person around.

So that’s my Marni Advice for the week!

Awkwardly yours,

Marni

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I’ve Got a Movie Deal!

Hey everyone!

It’s true!

Disney has optioned Awkward for a made-for-TV movie!

Here’s the fancy press release with all the details:

For Immediate Release                   

Disney Channel Options Awkward by Kensington Author Marni Bates

Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY – October 23, 2012 – The Gersh Agency in Los Angeles today announced that The Disney Channel has optioned the teen novelAwkward by Marni Bates to be made into a television movie. Awkward is published by Kensington Books’ KTeen imprint in New York.

Awkward is a romantic teen comedy featuring a girl whose embarrassing moment is captured by her high school classmates and goes viral on YouTube. Suddenly dubbed “America’s Most Awkward Girl”, Mackenzie Wellesley soon finds herself dodging both the paparazzi and the popular girls at school, even as America’s hottest boy rock band, ReadySet, transforms her moment of humiliation into a hit music video! But when Mackenzie’s rise in notoriety only pushes her farther away from the guy she’s falling for, she’ll find out just how steep the price of fame can be…

“Marni Bates brings a youthful breath of fresh air to young adult novels with her delightfully humorous, yet authentic portrait of high school life. We know Disney viewers will be as charmed as her legions of readers,” said Alicia Condon, Editorial Director, Kensington Publishing.

Marni Bates recently graduated from Lewis & Clark College and has four YA novels under contract with Kensington Books’ KTeen imprint: Awkward and Decked with Holly are currently available, with Invisible and Notable coming in 2013. She also has penned a nonfiction teen book with HCI called Marni.

Brandy Rivers of The Gersh Agency in Los Angeles who brokered the deal said, “Marni is hands down one the greatest new voices in YA and we are thrilled that this is going to be a fabulous new movie for the Disney Channel!”

###

About Marni Bates
Marni Bates is the author of four young adult books for Kensington Books KTeen line of teen novels. She also penned an autobiography entitled Marni. She grew up in Ashland, Oregon and currently lives in Los Angeles. When not writing, she can be found rollerblading, drinking frappuccinos with extra whip, reading romance novels, and watching copious amounts of TV—strictly for artistic inspiration, of course.

About The Disney Channel
The Disney Channel is a cable and satellite television network owned by the Disney-ABC Television Group division of the Walt Disney Company headquartered in Burbank, California. The channel specializes in television programming for children through original children’s television series and movies, as well as third-party programming.

About Kensington Books
Kensington Publishing Corporation is the last remaining independent U.S. publisher of hardcover, trade and mass market paperback books. Headquartered in New York, NY, KTeen is their young adult imprint.
 
For more information contact:

Brandy Rivers
The Gersh Agency
310-205-5818
brivers@gershla.com

Karen Auerbach
Director of Publicity Kensington Books
(212) 407-1551
kauerbach@kensingtonbooks.com

Laurie McLean
Larsen Pomada Literary Agents
650-747-0796
laurie@agentsavant.com

So as you may be able to guess I’m completely geeking out right now. I mean, this is kind of…well, one of the biggest things that has ever happened to me.
Which is why yesterday I pulled on my Disney boxers and marched right over to the Hollywood sign.
I needed to remove myself from temptation because it’s hard keeping secrets from you!
I can’t express how excited I am about this movie deal. And how grateful I am to have so many wonderful people cheering me on through this process. I need to give one ridiculously large thank you to my agents, Laurie McLean and Brandy Rivers, who made this happen. They’re both completely composed of awesome!
I also need to thank, well, you!
Thank you for enjoying my books! Thank you for wanting me to write more of them! Thank you for telling me that you think it would make a great movie! (Fun fact: whenever I received that comment I would happy dance and consider trying to forward it to a Hollywood executive. Probably a good thing that I didn’t…)
Thank you for all of your wonderful words of encouragement!
I can’t properly express just how much it means to me. I’m at a complete loss for words.
So how do I plan on celebrating this awesome news?
With massive quantities of Starbucks and a new YouTube book trailer for Decked with Holly, of course! And this one will also be a stop-motion animation completely created by yours truly. To see the book trailer I recently edited click:
So keep checking in to see the final project! I’m hoping to have it finished soon.
Thanks again, everyone!
Sincerely,
Marni