Finally, a Book Deal…oh Hell Yeah!

Last week, I was sitting in Dr. Steve’s office while he was at lunch, wondering how someone with so much money could have such disgusting, tacky furniture on which to sit. I had my phone next to me on one of the cushion and it started ringing. Ideally the vibration would have scratched a hole into the couch’s fabric and pissed off Steve to high Hell, but no luck.

I looked at the screen. Jon Sternfeld, Secret Agent. He’s actually just my literary agent but I give him a cool title and a picture of masked man stabbing a Cyclops in the heart to make him seem more badass.

Jon and I communicate almost exclusively by email, so this call was unexpected. As I picked up the phone, it hit me:

He did it, he sold my book. That’s why he’s calling and not emailing. I’m going to be a published author. I’m going to be a published author!

Sure enough, the good, almost Cherub-like people at Lyons Press had made an offer to purchase and publish CRAZY (although they weren’t all that happy with the title and asked me to consider alternatives) and, a few days of negotiations later, the deal was done.

So that’s it. Four years of writing, nearly three on this site, hundreds of blog entries, countless essays and posts that were an abomination, literally hundreds of rejections from agents and publishing houses, interviews and conversations with anyone who would listen, all leading up to this moment:

I’m going to be a published author!

I finally caught the White Whale. Granted, one could argue – very cogently, no less – that publishing houses are purely about business and not art, that there is fantastic material on the internet versus a lot of shit in the bookstores, that some pathetic celebrity who is solely famous for her implants or for coming out of the closet is pushed to the front of the line while some talented yet unknown artist is shoved aside. And that sucks, there’s no doubt it’s true. But the reality is that everyone who has ever picked up a pen, or stroked the keys of Microsoft Word, or started a blog or journal, has secretly hoped and wanted for a book deal. That’s the landscape, it’s a validation – albeit a bogus one – from people in the industry that says “your work has merit.” Being on a book shelf isn’t real validation, but it does give people who might not stumble upon your website the opportunity to see what you bring to the table. And today, I thankfully, gratefully and humbly join those ranks.

Now, thank you thank you thank you (note the James Frey mimicry there):

Lyons Press, Jon, Mom, Dad, Jack, Ben, Tucker, PJ, Donika, Mark (the first person I went to when I wanted to start writing), Jenna, Gina, Becky, everyone at Rudius, Lidia, my “reading group,” Kevin, Paul, Chater, Christopher, the Writing Group, every professor who taught me anything, every client that has walked through the door, all of my friends who read countless blog posts and drafts that were so awful they will never be seen again, every reader who reached out to say hi, every colleague who told me that I would fail and had no business writing about our work, Dr. Gail for making me choose between my job and writing and, of course, you. Getting a non-fiction book published is a business that is based on “is there an established audience?,” so if you’ve read anything on this site (and hopefully wanted to read more), I can’t thank you enough.

For now, smoke ‘em if you got ‘em, and stayed tuned for plenty more, including more posts, sample pieces from the book, material that didn’t make the ‘final cut,’ and lots more. I’m going to get drunk now, so have a nice day.

By the way, does anyone know how to write a book?

P.S. Thank you, Robin. I would have quit years ago if you hadn’t said two very insightful words: don’t quit.

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93 Responses to “Finally, a Book Deal…oh Hell Yeah!”

  1. Celestine says:

    I will be buying it the day it comes out and pimping to anyone who will listen. Congrats.

  2. Tania says:

    Congratulations! Can’t wait to own it!

  3. BL1Y says:

    Congrats, you beautiful bastard.

  4. Adam says:

    Congrats Dr. Rob! I’ll be buying 7 copies…you know, in case I lose the first six.

  5. Sacha says:

    Congratulations! You deserve it. I’m not surprised in the least. I can’t wait to finally be allowed to read it!! I’ll buy copies for all my friends and family. Enjoy your success!

  6. Zelda says:

    Great work!

  7. Aunt Fifi says:

    So looking forward to reading your book! Thanks for hanging in there!! If there is a book signing event, I want to be there. Perhaps they’ll have one in Seattle!

  8. Tracie says:

    That’s awesome Rob, I am so excited for you and so proud! This is such an amazing step and I can’t wait to read the book when it comes out.

  9. Toni says:

    Congratulations Rob! I knew it would happen for you sooner than later! Any word on a release date? I need to know when I can go buy it! 🙂

  10. […] Congratulations to Dr. Rob for landing a book deal with Lyons Press. […]

  11. Mark Quick says:

    Way to go!

  12. Deborah Szanto says:

    I am so happy for you Rob … can’t wait to buy my copy and have it signed!!!

  13. I’m really proud of you and so happy for you! I hope you do a book signing in AZ! 😀

  14. Mark E. says:

    Dr. Rob,

    A big congrats – well deserved! You’ll remember that I described your writing as a cross between Augusten Burroughs and Irvin Yalom. I’m counting on you to use this quotation on your book jacket, as it may be the closest I get to being published. 😉


    Dr. Mark

  15. Jodi says:

    So proud of you!! Awesome.

  16. Rob Dobrenski says:

    @Toni: I’m guessing about 12 months. I’ll make sure there are updates and links for those who want to read it.

  17. Carolyn says:

    Rob, this is amazing news. ‘proud of you!

  18. karen says:

    Congratulations. So proud of you, can’t wait to see it.

  19. Lisa says:

    sooooooo Awesome!

  20. Pete says:

    Well done! I’ll buy a copy, but could you sign it
    “I better not see this on e-bay, -Rob”

  21. Not Watching Lost says:

    Unlike Lost, you do not suck, and I will be anxiously awaiting your publication date. Then I can introduce some of my less internet-oriented friends to your funny and insightful voice. Congrats!

  22. CampMom says:

    Can’t wait to read it! I have enjoyed reading your blogs and learning about you, your philosophy and how your personal life have developed your thoughts on your life and others.

    Dr. Rob, I look forward to being entertained and enlightened!


  23. Donika says:

    Yay! So very happy for you and looking forward to reading this mysterious little book of yours. Congratulations.

  24. Jonathan says:

    There’s always a place to express your own unique perspective in this world…the trick is finding it. Congrat’s Rob on finding your way.

  25. Michelle says:

    Yay, congratulations! All your whoring paid off! 🙂

  26. Ian says:

    Congrats – can’t wait to see the book in print!

  27. Alma Federer says:

    Congratulations, Dr. Rob. I found your site through bitterlawyer, and immediately idenified you as a man whose intelligence and integrity are equal to mine. I will be honored to buy your little book. Any bit of continuing education I can get is worth it. You might have something to teach me yet.

  28. Nora says:

    Two words: Awe Some. You were always valid in my eyes, but this really is huge, so congrats! Hope you get to keep the title. And quit your day job.

  29. Troll Bait says:

    Dr. Rob is a charlatan and a hack. Boycott this shit.


    Been reading the site for years and am pumped to read this news. Congrats, man. Smoke one for me.

  30. Congrats Dr. Rob!

    Good for you, leveraging your audience into a book deal!

    What has me most excited is that has brought a consistent level of quality over the years, and I know that will translate well in your book. I can finally buy a piece of media and KNOW about its quality, rather than guessing.

    Congratulations again sir!

  31. shadow_hand says:

    First, congratulations! but also does this mean you’ll be moving to Paris now and spending your days drinking absinthe cocktails?

  32. Kaitilulu says:

    Book signing??? Will I get to meet dr. Rob in person finally? *swoons* Congratularions! I’ll be getting copies for all my friends so they can have some Dr. Rob I’m their lives too. Come to Phoenix!

  33. Paul says:

    That’s great – will there be a braille edition?

  34. Dorothy says:

    That is super awesome and so are you!
    Come do a book signing in SF so I can say I met a famous person.

  35. jared says:

    Was hoping it would be out before the end of the summer, as I’m shopping for my beach reading now… guess I’ll have to settle for holiday gifts… but hopfully not wait as long as next summer. Nice work bro. Excellent news.

  36. BrickBreaker says:

    Been waiting on this announcement for a while, so good on ya! Any word on distribution in the UK? Tipping one to your future success!

  37. Sartre Was Right... says:

    @ Alma, what is wrong with you? First of all, you sound completely full of yourself, yet somehow believe you can learn something from this quack? Either you’re not at bright as you think, have very bad taste in literature, or both. I’m betting the latter.

    All this book will do is bring to sharper relief how shallow the material is. Congrats on the beginning of the end of this abominable concept, “Dr.” Rob.

  38. Maureen says:

    This is long overdue! Congratulations!!!! I totally agree that you are the “new” Yalom 🙂

  39. RI_Guy says:

    Woo-hoo! Can’t wait to pick it up. Have you ever considered turning any of this into a movie? Could be hilarious and educational. Congrats on your deal!

  40. Laurie says:

    You are one of the smartest men I know…so excited for you!!

  41. Chris says:

    Congrats! I’ll definitely get one. Maybe you could autograph it too?

  42. Marie says:

    YAY YOU!!!! 🙂

  43. nikolina says:


  44. Gina says:

    Congrats Dr Robbie! yippeeeee!

  45. Lidia says:

    Just wanted to add my voice to the chorus of (well-deserved) congratulations…
    I am so happy for you, and incredibly proud, if anybody deserves a book deal, it’s you. You work so hard, and your writing is so well-done, it’s wonderful to see your talent recognized. I’m thrilled for you and can’t wait to see your work in-print!!! I knew it would happen sooner or later!

  46. Kyle Fleming says:

    Can’t wait! It’ll be probably one of the more entertaining books I’ll have read in a while.

  47. Mike says:

    Rock on and congrats. Look 4ward to soaking up the insights from Sir Shrink. Next on the agenda: getting the J-E-T-S a Superbowl deal! Or a therapy clinic exclusively devoted to long suffering fans of Gang Green.

  48. Shay says:

    Congrats Dr. Rob! You deserve it.

  49. Lurker says:

    Make sure it has lots of pictures, that will open it up to a wider market b/c not everyone knows how to read.