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. Drasko says:

    Well deserved for sure! Im glad you stuck through as I (and Im sure many more) cant wait to read it!

  2. […] Lately, I’ve been obsessed with this website called Shrink Talk, a blog written by Dr. Rob Dobrenski, using sometimes humorous, sometimes frustrating, and sometimes thought-provoking anecdotes about clients he or his colleagues have worked with. (Also, congrats on the book deal, Dr. Rob!) […]

  3. Martha says:

    Rob Bob – who ever thought? You came a long way baby – congrats on this accomplishment! Would love an autographed copy – Remember – I knew you when……

  4. Josh says:

    Congrats dr. rob! I’m sure it will be incredible if it’s up to par with this blog. You’ve hit the big-time (sort of) and all your readers are proud of you.

  5. Claire says:

    Rob,

    I am so happy for you! I will be one of the first ones to buy the book when it came out. Be sure to let me know. (Now I have to use you as my inspiration so that one day I will publish a book of my own. 🙂

    Claire

  6. Celestine says:

    Also, if there is a book tour at some point, I’m going to have to state that my partner in crime Katie and I want you to know that Atlanta better be on the tour list.

  7. Paul says:

    Great job, Dr. Rob. Hopefully that doesn’t mean you’re going to post any less frequently! Don’t forget about the readers who made you the success story that you are.

  8. Wayland says:

    Sooo…you’re going to be published eh? It’s final? They can’t back out yet?! *shakes head* Haha. Congratulations Rob. It took you long enough heh heh. Seriously though, this is really awesome.

  9. An_Irish_Brit says:

    Fuck yeah!

  10. cristy says:

    cant wait to read your book,hope your goig to keep writing shink talk.you really make my day your mom must be proud of you christy

  11. cristy says:

    good job rob or bob

  12. Marc says:

    Congrats, dude. Long overdue. I expect a free copy, by the way.

  13. Judy says:

    Yay! Congratulations!!!

  14. Angelo says:

    Congratulations, Rob. This is wonderful. Got into post-grad writing program and still plugging away at my own work, making good progress. Look forward to seeing your book.

  15. VWoodard says:

    I look forward to buying/reading your book! As a longtime reader of your site, I know you have considerable talent and considerable insight. 🙂

  16. Jenny says:

    Congrats, Dr. Rob! You’re right, it’s such an amazing thought to know that you are now “officially” contributing to the world! Library of Congress, here you come! Looking forward to seeing the final product. Yay, you!

  17. notafan says:

    Good luck Dr. Dick! I’m sure you’ll fail.

  18. daniela says:

    congrats =)

  19. Jenna says:

    Congratulations! Couldn’t be happier for you- NOW we just need to get the book on GMA when it’s published. Oh and I hope there will be a really good book party when it’s published too… Really proud of you! Now… stop looking at these comments and go write!!! xo

  20. *pokes*

    Where am I in all of that?!

    😀

  21. Julene says:

    It’s about time! Not like you’re surprised, you knew deep down it was only a matter of time until a suitable offer was made. Congrats!

  22. d.r.e.a.m.s. says:

    Well, ain’t that special. Dreams *do* come true. Congratulations, Dr. Rob Dobrenski!

  23. Elliott says:

    Congratulations Dr. Rob! I hope there is a lot of original content so I have a reason to buy the book. I’m pretty sure I have everything you posted on this site read…good stuff!

  24. Amber says:

    Well I for one, must say, it’s about time! Congrats Doc!

  25. Rachel says:

    Congratulations!

  26. Sarah P says:

    I’m so very excited and proud of your accomplishment. Now, do you plan on celebrating with more than cheap champagne and RB? 😉

    Also – requesting a book tour stop in the D! haha

  27. Lou says:

    Dr. Rob – Congratulations! I can’t wait to read it.

  28. Chater says:

    Congratulations, Doc. I’m finally going to be able to read the book I’ve been waiting for. Of course, it’s probably going to be a while before it’s published, but I’m sure you’ll keep us posted about it enthusiastically. I already look forward to it.

  29. ELAINE says:

    congratulations Dr. Rob! I am so excited for you and can not wait to read your book! Love ya!

  30. arny stankus says:

    Those who eat poo long enough win the contest…

    -Some Salty Navy Chief

    Congratulations!

  31. Rob, congratulations. I’ve got one piece of advice for you: put down the Scotch when you proofread your manuscript. That skill is the one in life that Scotch does not improve.

    -Dick

  32. escaperoad says:

    Oh, congratulations! Looking forward to reading it!

  33. LC says:

    CONGRATULATIONS!! That is awesome news.

  34. Joy says:

    smoke em if you’ve got em haha. Congrats!

  35. Nadia says:

    Saweet! I knew you could do it!

    I’ll even pay for the hardcover.

  36. Craig says:

    Cool. Excited for you. Just wait till you hold a fresh copy of it in your hands–few feelings like it in the world!

  37. Jeff says:

    Congrats on the book, I’m looking forward to reading it.

  38. Genna says:

    Congrats! That’s awesome. I knew there was a reason I was friends with you.

  39. Danny says:

    Never posted (permanent lurker) but I wanted to say congratulations. I read your blog from time to time and this is an awesome achievement.

  40. Brian says:

    Dr. Robrenski Dobrenski, Congrats! hopefully you will include a few pages on your crazy days in Pell!

  41. Nastia says:

    What can I say, congratulations! I have totally missed this particular entry when it came out, but better late than never 🙂

  42. Pangi says:

    Congrats, Dr. Rob. That’s great stuff, looking forward to reading it.

  43. jsteve says:

    Rumor has it you’ve worked hard to finally become a decent writer- it’s about time, Rob! What took you so long?