Why is that the title of the book?
Wearing shorts on stage is one of the rookie mistakes that most people would never think of. Wardrobe is not a dominating topic of the book but it is covered. It's also a small tribute to one of the firm rules at the St. Louis Funnybone open mic. It was at a preshow meeting with over 40 people signed up when I realized that this book needed to be written.
How do I get an autographed copy?
Please feel free to order through this website instead of Amazon.com (who skims my profit 40%). I will also deliver much faster than Amazon.com and will sign all copies before I send them. All online purchases use Paypal or a major credit card.
Are those your legs on the cover?
Actually those belong to my brother. He designed and shot the entire front and back to the book's cover. His stems are already getting positive feedback from the ladies over at writers.net. Dave also designs any of the other RobDurhamComedy.com graphics you've seen over the years including my t-shirts.
How is this book different than the other dozen or so comedy books?
This book is different because it includes tips on so much more about what happens off stage other than "how to market." It actually tells you why to hold off on marketing for awhile. There is plenty about what goes on while on stage as well, but it doesn't try to tell you how to write jokes. Instead, it shows you how to gain the respect of other comics and club managers. I see too many new comics making the same mistakes and being written off before they even have a chance. There's plenty on what not to do which is just as important in this business.
How did you go about publishing it?
I used a company owned by Amazon called CreateSpace. I also hired a local editor to put it in the proper format and help with proofreading. It's been a long process.
Is this book only for beginners?
Though it starts for beginners who are ready to start performing, it will also be helpful for those who have been doing open mics for years and haven't progressed to the professional aspect of it. It also reveals certain reasons why some comics' careers hit a ceiling at either MC or low-paying road gigs. The last part of the book gives some inside of what it's like on the road. Some readers may even change their mind about their goals after reading what the business is really like.
How long is the book?
It's around 71,500 words, and including all of the spacing for chapters and such comes out to a pretty solid 156 pages. There are no pages wasted for pictures, charts or fancy graphics.
Is it funny?
Overall it's not a funny book from page to page. There are some funny stories and I tend to have a humorous tone in some of the explanations but the ultimate goal of the writing was to instruct.
If I'm not a comic will I still enjoy the book?
I think you will. Based on the questions that even some of my close friends have asked over the years, there's a lot of interesting things about the art of stand-up that you will find interesting. Plus you can learn things like why never to tell us comics, "You can use this in your act!" See, you didn't know that was wrong did you? Buy my book!
Will there be an ebook version?
Go to Smashwords.com and search for Don't Wear Shorts on Stage and you'll be given some options of which format you would like to download it. If you have a Kindle, go to that site from your Kindle. It's now available on iTunes as well.
How did you come up with a price?
I looked at other comedy instructional books and set mine to be more affordable. I also reflected on the amount of hours I spent writing, editing, and promoting. Next, I consulted with my credit card bill and bank statements which reflect the fact that even though I worked my ass off last year, I was laid off as a teacher on the last day of school and had to resort back to subbing. Then Amazon.com also threw in the fact that they take 40% of my royalties if you order through them.
Will it be sold after shows? Is there an index?
Yes and yes.
I'm a comic who disagrees with some of your advice. Do you care?
Where were you when I was begging people to read the rough draft for money? I understand that there are exceptions to many rules. I based my advice on what worked for me and the many comic friends I have in the business. The bottom line to my concepts is whether it will help you make money performing while keeping your dignity.
What about editing errors?
Even the most popular published books have errors. If you find joy in pointing those out just to be a downer I suggest you get over yourself and schedule some therapy.
I'm sick of your Facebook promotion. When is that going to tone down?
When you tone down the pictures of your casseroles.
Are there other comics mentioned in your book?
Yes, there are many instances where I talk about other comics, even some pretty famous ones. If we've worked together a lot over the years there's a good chance I mention your name and some of the advice you gave me. I also included as many supportive friends as I could in the acknowledgements.