Thursday, September 3, 2009

how to get a book deal in 27 days

Sounds like advice from your spam filter, doesn't it?

Be a writer! Move back home with your folks! Write down stuff your dad says! Post it on twitter! Soon book agents will be hounding you and you'll be inundated with offers from publishers!

Yet, it's proved to be the real deal for Justin Halpern who publishes Shit My Dad Says, a "column" on twitter that has been exploded in popularity since his first post on August 3. Why? The content is great dialogue. It's like Justin is repackaging Archie Bunker (remember him?) updated and delivered to a post-millennial audience.

Here's the concept: I'm 28. I live with my 73-year-old dad. He is awesome. I just write down shit that he says. Like:
I didn't live to be 73 years old so I could eat kale. Don't fix me your breakfast and pretend you're fixing mine.

When I used to live in Los Angeles, I used to step in human feces a lot.

My flight lands at 9:30 on Sunday...You want to watch what? What the fuck is mad men? I'm a mad man if you don't pick me the hell up.

On twitter, a quick indication of the quality of your content is a glance at your follow/following ratio. You hope the number of people who follow you is greater than the number of people you follow. Over 225,000 people follow Justin. Justin follows only 1 person. (@LevarBurton) (?) Impressive metric that says yes, quality of creative content still matters.

Now the LA Times reports he's got a book agent and several publishing offers. But it's a family newspaper. In their report, the site is, um, Stuff My Dad Says.

Congratulations to Justin and, of course, to his dad. Who doesn't read the site. He's not on the internet. He does have a cell phone, however. But no voicemail.
Why would i want to check a voicemail on my cell phone? People want to talk to me, call again. If i want to talk to you, I'll answer.


Teenie said...

I'm with Dad on the cell phone thing! It all sounds brilliant--wisdom from a cranky, old man. It rings a bell for a reason.

Alina said...

Holy Crap! Well, when you Turn 73 you can say whatever you want. I love it.

Anonymous said...

funniest twitter page of my life!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I just found out about Dad this it! A blog I follow is A similar idea and very entertaining. My 94 year old Grandmother doesn't swear, but she does get sassy! She's earned the right!

California Girl said...

you've got me reading this. it's hilarious as was Archie. My parents were appalled by AITF but us kids knew it was real. My father was a white collar ARchie, in the ad biz. He tempered his comments a bit...but not much. Hence, not so funny.

Ad Broad, oldest working writer in advertising said...

@Teenie Yes, lucky is the man who doesn't have to check voicemail!

@Alina Somehow, I imagine he was quotable even in younger years... ;)

@W_Page We're in complete agreement there!

@adchick Love Although have to admit I was reluctant to show the site to my kids...

@California Girl I think what made Archie B so popular in his day was that he represented many men, not just blue collar. Your father was hardly unique in that era. Poor Ediths.