Move Over, Grisham — The Upstart Gruen Has Arrived By Judy Gruen

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Now that my new book, Till We Eat Again: Confessions of a Diet Dropout, is alive and in the marketplace, competing with 13 billion other new book titles, my thoughts have naturally turned to how I can catapult myself from total literary obscurity to only partial literary obscurity. On mornings when I have drunk entirely too much coffee, I start to hallucinate that I will become like other megastars of the literary world, so famous they only need to be called by last name: Grisham, Grimes, Grafton, and Gruen! I imagine my books being delivered by the truckload at Sam’s Club and Costco, where the only books they sell are those by authors already rich and famous and about to become even more rich and famous.

But the book industry is, like old age, no place for sissies. Even The Great Grisham himself recently acknowledged that his new novel may not sell as many millions of copies as his previous books. Grisham ‘fessed to a reporter that he understood that this was natural, since nobody can stay at the top forever.

I think that’s mighty mature of Mr. Grisham. And since I read his comments, I’ve been busy mapping out my strategy of how to tactfully push John, Martha, Sue and other literary overachievers aside so that another “Big G” can find her rightful place on the New York Times bestseller list.

Of course, though it is unseemly, sometimes one must resort to cheap PR tricks to capture attention. I’ve been following carefully what some others have done to keep their names in the public eye. This is the list I’ve come up with so far:

1. Pretending I hate publicity. The more some authors tell the public, “I only have contempt for the crass marketing machine creating this annoying buzz all around me. I also hate reading in front of ignoramuses who will never understand the deeper implications of the social novel,” the more the fans adore them! One of these authors was invited on Oprah