I’ve written loads of parole reports, listing licence conditions for prisoners about to be released on parole, and realise I need one for my own release. (The Donor, coming out July 21):

1.       Do not loiter around bookshops.

2.       Do not ask booksellers questions such as “Do you have The Donor by Helen FitzGerald?” and “So, how is it selling?”

3.       Do not self-google, particularly images and reviews.

4.       Do not google-translate everything written about you in other languages. The only phrases likely to translate clearly are ones like “this is atrocious” and “do not buy this book.”

5.       Any attempt to check Amazon rankings will cause an automatic revocation of your licence.

6.       You do not need to contact your publisher in the weeks after release. If they haven’t contacted you, that is all you need to know.

7.       Excessive  drinking at your book launch is prohibited and will be blogged.

8.       If someone asks you to say something rude when you sign a book, never write “Fuck you” … again.

9.       Suggesting to friends that they write a review on Amazon is not right, and is always obvious.

10.   Avoid very successful writers, especially ones with a book coming out at the same time. It will cause depression.

11.   Do not read your freshly-printed book. You will find mistakes. It will be shite. You could have done better.

12.   Don’t overshare in interviews. No-one cares about your sex life except your husband, and he already knows about it.

13.   Never respond to bad reviews, ever. You will look pathetic.

14.   Write at least 1000 words a day. Your next book  is the one that matters.


Anyone got any others?


~ by helenfitzgerald on June 5, 2011.


  1. I’m sure he will be glad to hear #12 🙂


  2. Should really write rules for standup comedy too. My set for terrifying gig next week begins with "My mid-life crisis started with a grey pube" and gets more gross and more intimate each (long) minute.


  3. Ahem, so how are rules 3 and 4 working out for ya? 🙂


  4. Yeah, not so well Helena! I’m not great with rules!


  5. Spot-on rules, every last one of ’em. But 3 and 4 really are hard not to break…


  6. I know Heath – I’ve broken every one of them this week!


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