From “Bosom Buddies” to Best Seller in 10 Easy Steps

Let’s say you’re engaged in a creative effort – dancing, singing, writing, sculpting, Paperworkpainting, any creative effort.

Let’s go with writing.

Now let’s say you’ve written a short story, and wonder if it’s good enough to be published.  As in, not self-published.  As in, published in a print, not online, format.  As in, you get paid for it.

Steve-martin arrow_01What do you do?

Well, if you’re Tom Hanks, you just send the short story to your pal Steve Martin (left), who says, “Yeah, I’ll send it to my agent.”

Hanks’ short story was published in The New Yorker, a highly respected magazine that’s been around forever, has a million+ circulation, and no doubt paid Hanks enough so he could stop worrying about his electricity being shut off.  That month.New Yorker Oct 27 2014

“Within weeks,” according to The Washington Post, Hanks “was signed to write a collection of short stories” by Alfred A. Knopf, a highly respected publishing house that’s also been around forever, has won about a million Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes, and no doubt paid Hanks enough so he could stop worrying…

NY-Times-best-seller_01Well, you get the idea.

Hanks’ book, Uncommon Type, was published October 17, 2017 and hit The New York Times best seller list at #3 on November 5.  It’s garnering a fair amount of praise, and some not-so-flattering reviews as well.

Praise:

“Uncommon Type offers heartfelt charm along with nostalgia for sweeter, simpler times – even if they never really were quite so sweet or simple… Even when Hanks writes about thumbs_01somber subjects like the durable distress of combat or the high stakes for immigrants fleeing persecution, he finds a sweet spot.”
– NPR

Not-so:

“It’s rare that a book is actually painful to read, but getting through Tom Hanks short story collection, Uncommon Type, was like pulling teeth… We have 17 stories, ranging from downright terrible to decidedly mediocre.  I’m just going to come out and say it:  Written by anyone else, I don’t see how this collection would have been published.”
– Independent

What’s it all mean?

Well, for better or for worse, if you’re engaged in a creative effort like writing, for example, and want your effort recognized, just follow these 10 easy steps:

  1. Become as famous as Tom Hanks, and
  2. Write something that you’ll

    hanks scolari_01
    Hanks (right) and Peter Scolari in the TV sitcom “Bosom Buddies,” which aired 1980-1982 and launched Hanks’ career.
  3. Send it to your pal Steve Martin, who will
  4. Send it to his agent, who will,
  5. Get you published in The New Yorker, which will
  6. Lead to a contract with a major publishing house, which will
  7. Publish your book, which will
  8. Hit The New York Times best seller list, and will
  9. Cost $26.95, which will
  10. Mean you don’t have to worry about your electricity being turned off…

This month.

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