Author Problems

When I was a kid I always dreamed of being a Major League Baseball player. I’d go out to the backyard and envision myself a member of the Detroit Tigers, smacking game-winning home runs in the World Series and winning MVP awards.

Never once did I see myself as a role player. No one goes out to their yard and pretends they’re a career .220 hitter who occasionally is inserted into a game late as a defensive replacement.

When it became clear that my baseball career wasn’t going to pan out, I turned my attention to being an author. Again, I envisioned writing New York Times Best Sellers or at the very least writing books that were sort of popular but then when they made a movie about them became really popular. Like Jurassic Park. I probably would have a cameo appearance in the movie, too. I could have played a Brontosaurus.

But now that I’m technically an author, I have to deal with an entire set of problems that comes about from being a mediocre one. Like having to talk to people about how many books I’ve sold.

At first I tried lying, but I figured that would eventually come back to haunt me. You can only tell someone you’ve sold a million books so many times before they start asking why you’re still working your daily middle management job.

Then I tried telling the truth, but that was equally depressing.

“So, I see your book has been on sale for a week. How many copies have you sold?”

“Well, if you count the four I sold today….21.”

And then you always get that same, pity-filled response:

“Oh. I see.”

So now I split the difference. If someone asks me how many I’ve sold, I respond by asking them if they’ve bought a copy. If they say no, I tell them I refuse to answer the question until they’ve bought one. That leads to me either getting an extra sale (cha-ching) or them leaving me alone about it.

The real problem comes if they tell me they already have purchased a copy. At that point I answer the question the best way I can think:

By running away and faking a heart attack.

Jason Wolverton is the author of the new book “You’ve Got to Be Shitting Me: One Man’s Nine Funniest Poop Stories.” You can also find him at