Before you think the Negress has lost her cotton picking mind, she’s about to ask some hard questions of Samantha Irby, author of the blog Bitches Gotta Eat. Irby is not the only rotund Negress with Crohn’s on the North Side of Chicago, so as one Crohnie to another, the Negress has to say some things. Irby’s blog generated a book deal for a tome called “Meaty.” According to the Chicago Tribune, her publisher, Curbside wants her to tour, starting with the East Coast. She doesn’t want to do that. The same publisher is hinting that they want a second book, which Irby has said she doesn’t want to do.
“I don’t want every story about me to be how I am hobbling into every reading,” Irby told the Tribune. “The truth is, I have no aspirations for my writing! And I still don’t. I like that people can read this book but I have a job and I can’t leave for two weeks to tour. Plus, health issues. I would never have written a book if I knew I would have to take a box of books and sell them to people! ”
Miss Thing, the Negress has one question: Are you flat out of your mind? Getting a book published by an actual publisher who wants the author to support said book with a tour and is already talking about a follow up almost sounds like an Internet scam. You’ve worn diapers and you can’t walk so well? Have you ever had an ostomy bag blow off in a theater? Didn’t think so.
You have slain people at Paper Machete and other spots in Chicago where writers dazzle live audiences. So why are you so afraid of a book tour? Don’t say you can’t get time off work unless you’ve used up all your sick days with Crohn’s. Surely, the same skills that have made you a sought-after writer can be applied to negotiating with your day gig. Also, most book companies give you money against royalties, aka an advance. You don’t sell books, you owe them cash. Perhaps that happy fact will give you some incentive.
The Negress wants to root for you, Miss Irby. But you are making it damn hard.