Dear Author...

Hi there. We need to talk. I’ve been thinking about this for a while now (the last two weeks, to be exact), and…

Oh my God, this is really hard… Let me start again.

I like you, I really do. The past four months we’ve worked together on publicity for your book have been truly amazing for me. For both of us, I hope. But it’s time to go our separate ways. I’m sorry, but we need to break up. I’m sorry, but I need to see other authors.

Actually, I’ve sort of met someone else. His book is about to publish and the press release isn’t even done yet. He needs me. Remember how much time you and I spent on that? You were so meticulous in your revisions, sending me four different drafts in the span of two days. I accepted all your changes, even if I didn’t agree with them. Now I have to start all over again with someone new. It pains me too, you know.

Of course you can still call me, but let’s cool it for a bit. Maybe try emailing me instead every couple of months or around the holidays (?) It’s not that I didn’t enjoy our long talks every week, it’s just that there’s only so much to talk about once the initial fascination associated with the pub date and media frenzy has died down. No, I can’t write another press release for you – that’ll just throw us back together in a dysfunctional relationship. Ok, maybe I’ll make this one exception to send out a media copy, but it doesn’t mean that we’re back together, okay?

Look, I want us to be friends. I’ll always be happy to hear about big media for your book, in fact, it’s imperative for both of us to keep each other in the loop. Just keep in mind that big media, by definition, is BIG, as in, national, as in, the Birmingham County Times is not big news. NPR is big news. The New Yorker is big news. But Silent Bob’s Career Podcast is not big news. Yes, I will call you if Oprah calls.

I’ll confess that despite me saying it’s not you, it is a little bit you – kind of. I mean the under-appreciation thing. Not even a thank-you card for all the hours I spent researching, compiling, pitching, organizing, reporting, staring at the computer and developing carpal tunnel in my wrist? It’s not like I expected to be mentioned in the dedication of your book like all your exes, since our relationship started only after you had submitted that part, but you could have shown some sign of appreciation. Chocolates would have been nice. Even a cheap-o Whitman’s Sampler. Oh well.

We did our best to make it work – and it certainly had its moments, didn’t it? But now it’s ending, and we both need to move on. Please know that I’ll always fondly remember you and our frenzied conversations and urgent emails in the dead of night, but I have a new author in my life now.



  1. Cute, but also an appropriate heads-up to authors: treat your publicist with TLC.

  2. Great letter, Cynthia! Author obsession. . .gotta love it.

  3. I knew there was a gracious way to say these things, I just hadn't figured out how. This will be a model for generations of publicists.

  4. Note to self: Put Vosges Chocolate in the publicity budget next time we publish a book.

  5. That was spectacular. Very clever. And gives us other publicists a diplomatic post to share with our authors. Merci, Caroline

  6. I'm going to hold on to this one for my next client breakup. I won't send it, of course, but I'll read it again and know 'it's not me...'