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Book Business May/June 2013 : Page 21

selling business, the most important thing is how many books have you sold. When [my agent] goes to a meet-ing, that’s going to play a huge role. How much they’re going to give you, how much they’re going to advertise. I’ve come to look at it as the stock market. It’s not how much something is worth, but the perception of what it’s worth. Silver Linings is a book I wrote in 2006, and not a word has changed since 2008. They’re selling it in countries that had rejected it for five years, who didn’t want to translate it. But now they want my next book, too. It creates name recognition. Silver Linings was hover-ing around No. 7 on Kindle last week; when you turn on your Kindle, the top 10 books come up. When people see it come up again and again, they’re more likely to read it. … What I’ve learned is that no matter how awesome your book is, there are going to be people who like it, and people who don’t like it. So get it into your target market to as many people who are going to like it, so they’ll generate discussion. Granted, that’s immensely easier to do that when you have Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in TV ads and the Weinstein Company putting a lot of advertising into it. Ten years ago in my 20s I would have taken a cynical or dim view of that. Now I look at it and say, “I believe in my work, in my story. I believe it’s going to help people, and I want to get it out as widely as possible.” People who want it, and maybe need it, get it. That’s really the game. … The Good Luck of Right Now is a different kind of story, but it still deals with mental health. The main character has a delusional philosophy. Because of the success of Silver Linings , it now has a built-in audi-ence. It’s a great gift. I intend to use it to hopefully put some good work out. BB: How was the red carpet treatment in Hollywood? MQ: T he Oscars were surreal. I flew Then I’m at this party and Tarantino’s like 2 feet away from me. I didn’t talk to Tarantino, but I had dinner with [ Silver Linings co-star] Julia Stiles, who was at my table. I had written a piece about the Oscars for Huffington Post . Julia came up to me and said, “I read your piece in Huffington Post . Thanks for mentioning me.” And I’m, like, “Wow, Julia Stiles is reading what I’m writing online!” … The most interest-ing part about the Oscars was the little off-camera moments. When you leave the Oscars, you go out and walk the red carpet in reverse. [Then] you have to find your limo company, check in and get a tag with a number. At the end of the red carpet there are four lanes of limos. Fans are screaming and every-one has to wait for their limo. Right in front of us is Joaquin Phoenix, Jennifer Aniston, Philip Seymour Hoffman. … It’s one of those human moments that you don’t see on screen. Jennifer Anis-ton has to wait a half hour for a limo, just like I did. Those are the details that I was fascinated by. BB: You’d always been pretty interactive with your fans, but in the run-up to the Oscars you had to disengage a bit from the Internet, notably removing your email address from your blog and making your Twitter a one-way channel. MQ : I started to get too many emails, Between Twitter and Facebook and email, I have so many voices in my head, I can’t tap back into me. out to Los Angeles Friday night. Sat-urday night we went to the Weinstein pre-Oscar party with everyone asso-ciated with Silver Linings and Django Unchained . I remember watching Res-ervoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction ad nauseam . and a lot of offers for speaking events. A year ago I had the time to [answer them], but now I don’t. … When I’m talking with somebody, I want to be present 100 percent. I’m not good at having clipped, business-like conver-sations. That’s a good quality overall, and I think people respond to that. But I couldn’t be me with everybody who contacted me, and that was very hard for me. I didn’t just want to write “Thank you” like a robot 100 times a day. That didn’t feel right to me, so we got a booking agent to handle my booking. It was hard, too, on Twitter; I just went one-way. Unfollowed every-(continued on page 32) | JUNE 2013 21

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