A Moment of Jen
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Wednesday, February 23, 2005
posted by Jen at 2/23/2005 08:38:00 AM

So Nanna called yesterday. "When are you going to be on that Jane Pauley?"

"Today!" I said, while trying to eradicate the image of me actually, you know, on Jane Pauley.

"Well," said Nanna. "I looked in the book and I can't find the show on anywhere here."

Can I just say how much I love that there is still a book, and people (presumably many of them of Nanna's generation) still using it to find out what's on TV?

A little investigation revealed that The Jane Pauley Show is indeed on in Nanna's market. At two in the morning. I told her I'd send her a tape.

Meanwhile, Dave Eggers' interview over at The Onion is nothing less than a cry for help. He became popular in spite of himself! And he doesn't like it! It's very uncomfortable!

Jonathan Franzen had a similar complaint back in those heady post-Oprah days -- he wanted people to read THE CORRECTIONS, he just didn't want the majority of them to be daytime TV-watching women. Popularity is hard!

It seems like there's an obvious solution for writers who don't want their books to become bestsellers: just don't publish them. Email chapters to your friends, or self-publish a bunch and send them only to would-be readers whose resumes you've vetted.

Eggers is already part of the way there -- he'll only sell his post Heartbreaking books at independent booksellers, not Borders or Barnes & Noble (or, God forbid, Costco or Target) where any yahoo with twenty-five bucks could buy a copy.

But that doesn't go far enough! Those same undesirables could manage to find the non-chain bookstores and get their grubby proletarian paws on a copy in spite of the author's best intentions.

The Internet is full of resources for writers who want to get published and have their books do well. Where are the websites for writers who don't?

Come on, people. Dave Eggers needs your help!
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