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Low Bullshit Tolerance.

Friday, March 16, 2007 by Michael Reynolds

Okay. The deal is done.

Deep sigh of relief.

I was too poor for too many years (the 70's . . . 80's . . early 90's) to be sanguine about the notion of running out of money. I hate not having money. I know, I know, it's superficial, it's boring, but there it is: I fear poverty. I don't fear death, or damnation but I fear poverty. I am invulnerable on many fronts, but I have an Achilles wallet.

As a bonus, I love my new editor. I have a low tolerance for bullshit and the lovely "EH" negotiated openly and honestly and never tried to hide her enthusiasm for the books. This means a lot to me. Maybe more than it should. But I deliberately sidestepped other offers to take hers because she was straight with me. I kept telling my rep: I want it to be EH. Make it be EH. Don't piss off EH.

It is exceedingly rare in the publishing world that someone will say, "I love this book, I want it, it's in great shape," as opposed to, "I think I might just be able to make something out of your half-baked effort." Either way I'm going to try and get a nice paycheck out of the deal (see opening paragraphs above) but I will stretch a point to do business with the first type of person.

Quick publishing story. Back at a point when K and I were sitting atop bestseller lists with the "A" series, we conceived of a series I'll call, "E." We knew "E" was not as good an idea as "A." We knew it wasn't worth as much, but we knew it'd do okay. So we presented it to our publisher, "S." They came back with an offer that was a jaw-dropping insult and added some sneers and condescension for effect.

Now, all we had wanted was a reasonable deal, because that's about what the concept was worth. But because "S" deliberately treated us with disrespect, we we went to publisher "G" and used them to push up the price. "S" eventually had to give us twice what we wanted per book, and four times what the overall deal was worth. All because they couldn't be straight and treat us with respect.

Now, because she wasn't insulting or arrogant or condescending, and because she was straightforward with me, I will sweat blood to make sure EH never regrets this deal. Sign books in Equatorial Guinea in August? Absolutely, EH. Give a talk at the Young Cannibals Society? No prob, EH. Tattoo the series name on my giant bald head? You got it, hon.

There's almost nothing I won't do for a person who will just not bullshit me. It doesn't seem like that much to ask but man, that simple request is very rarely honored.

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The Sound Of Fingers Drumming.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007 by Michael Reynolds

I'm still up in the air at the moment. The book deal is pending. The documentary starts filming in five weeks. The Malibu Kids are going to pitch our old book series to Major Studio as soon as they get their nerve up. Life is hanging fire and I don't have enough attention span to spare for politics.

Working out. Checking my email compulsively. Reading a lot in prep for the documentary. Leaping to grab the phone. Smoking cigars. Considering the Mercedes diesel, the E-320 because it delivers torque without guilt. Drinking. Plotting. Trying to focus on the next book project and failing. Shaving my head. Reading Amba and Cal and Reader and Dave and Joe and Alan and thinking, "You know, I should blog something."

Feeling kind of good, actually. But with my giant bald head in something else, not so much in this.

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Yul, Marlon and Now, Me.

by Michael Reynolds

I have decided to embrace the inevitable. Hair? I don't need no stinkin' hair.

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