Episode 332: Jeff Garlin on the Difference Between Selling a Book to a Publisher and Selling a Book to ReadersOct 14, 2020
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Do you really need me to tell you who Jeff Garlin is? Well, the simple way to handle that is to tell you that he stars on arguably the most adored show of all time (Curb Your Enthusiasm) as well as one of the most popular shows of all time (The Goldbergs).
But he does so much more than just come to you via your SmartTV. He's also a standup (um, obv), photographer and author. In this episode, he explains what happens when you sell a book to a big publisher but then it doesn't sell the number of copies anyone had hoped (and also has an odd name change somewhere between the hardcover and paperback).
This episode also has LOTS of digressions into random topics both because Jeff Garlin could be renamed Digression Garlin and also because we're pals who digress a lot. Listen and digress with us...
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Jeff Garlin: 00:00 The world of secrets and the world of, you know I sleep very well at night. I mean, I don't, but I do. I mean, every single night as I lay in bed. It takes work to not, as I was talking about when we were setting this up, technically you referred to yourself as an idiot. And I said, when people say, be kind, thank you very much, Holly, when people say, be kind to yourself it's often like, yeah, I will. Or yeah, I should. But the truth is even if you're remotely enlightened, it's incredibly difficult. It's a difficult, difficult. I'm good at it. You're good at it too,
Anna David: 00:52 Except for just now.
Jeff Garlin: 00:54 No, but I'm saying when I lay in bed at night, I have rapid thoughts of all the ways that I've disappointed myself during the day and all the things that I didn't get done and Ooh, who I have to talk tomorrow. Now, once I zoom off, once I take my weed and my Indica and I zoom off to sleep, I'm good until if I were to, not always, wake up at like two or three to go to the restroom, a bathroom in my house, there's a bath where I pee.
Anna David: 01:33 You pee in the bath. I know that's what you were saying. Go on.
Jeff Garlin: 01:36 Man. You know, by the way, whatever weird thing you ever think of, someone's doing it. There's somebody that totally digs peeing in the bath. I bet you there's someone in bag of pee with bubbles.
Anna David: 01:53 I mean, not to get sidetracked from the sidetrack, but I wrote a story for Vice about men who like getting peed on, pegged to that revelation about our president who allegedly enjoys that.
Jeff Garlin: 02:05 I would wager that he does. And I would wager that what's said about him in Russia, that they found him getting peed on is real. That's my gut feeling. It doesn't make sense. Well, nothing about our president makes sense, except that it all makes sense. If you understood what a TV personality, rich narcissist is. You know, I know people that are versions of him, not as I know, people that are versions of him, that their parents love them. You combine lack of love or acceptance by a father with that sort of narcissism. And you create something as insane as this, you know? And by the way, only recently have I become free with my political views, whatever I'm asked I talk about them now. I think I will not continue when he's no longer President, because I'm not one to bang my head against the wall. So when Biden's is President. I will have things that I don't like, things that I love, but it won't be like now where to me, this is the greatest embarrassment in the history of our country. I am Jeff Garlin. I hope you agree with me.
Anna David: 03:34 Hi, this is Jeff Garlin talking about book launches. I know that's confusing because.
Jeff Garlin: 03:39 No, I want to talk about that too. I have experience in that. I'm doing another book. I'm doing another couple books. Oh, my paperback. That's my paperback. And they hard cover is called. Did I, is that the one I gave you? Oh, I gave you that book. So I have, the first book, the same book was called my footprint, but it didn't sell well, and I did David Letterman, 2020. I did the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I did all of these and I think I may have sold the hard cover 10,000 which some people would be like doing cartwheels. You would?
Anna David: 04:30 Oh my god, yes.
Jeff Garlin: 04:30 Okay. But for the, I had a large publisher and for the amount of press that I did, I realized, and this is bad news for your podcast. People don't give a shit what I have to say. And I've jumped to terms with that.
Anna David: 04:47 Maybe they do for free.
Jeff Garlin: 04:50 Well, no, cause I don't give.
Anna David: 04:53 This is free. Nobody's paying for this podcast.
Jeff Garlin: 04:55 Okay. Yeah. But the point being is a book or seeing me do stand up, I put great work into it. I'm all I'm giving you is sincerity. I'm not giving you anything else. And I'm really me, but you know, that's a lot to give.
Anna David: 05:12 I think it's a lot more than most celebrities ever give.
Jeff Garlin: 05:17 Yeah. That's possible. You know.
Anna David: 05:19 The listeners should know that we have, I would say a close relationship.
Jeff Garlin: 05:27 Yeah. I wouldn't go very close yet, but no, no, no, no. Come on, man. We've been friends for what? Two months.
Anna David: 05:36 Pandemic time is different from regular time.
Jeff Garlin: 05:38 By the way, I don't disagree with that, but I want to say when I meet someone and I really have a connection and we talk, I still refer to that as an acquaintance. You and I have become close fast. And I, my gut instinct tells me that we're friends for life because there's just a groove that you and I have. And I told you, it feels like we've known each other forever. Now I don't get that. That's something that happens to me once every two or three years where I meet someone like that. And so yes, you and I have that and it's a gift and I'm grateful and I'm grateful for our friendship and the idea that early on in a friendship, it's so delightful. I'm looking forward to watching it grow. And I won't, you know, as a comedian, you know, one might say, I hope I don't eventually disappoint or I hope I like something. But the truth is that's not the way I am. I don't think that way. I don't think negatively, I think positively not ignorantly. But I think positively ignorance is when you're just blindly positive, no matter what I can be, I'm never cynical, but I can be incredibly skeptical. Like I don't think that'll work. I don't like that. What is that? You know, so skepticism, skepticism is very healthy. I think cynicism is so unhealthy. That's like self hate too. You know, and I do my best to avoid anyone who's cynical, skeptical. I love friends who are, I have a couple of friends that always go opposite side of the coin. If I say it's blue, they go, no, it's more of a purple. Do you know what I mean? It's like they, and they do that as a matter of habit. Like, no matter what I say, they go that way.
Anna David: 07:47 Yeah. I don't know if I have contrarian friends.
Jeff Garlin: 07:51 Well, I've got a couple contrarian. But when you look, if they offer you something in their friendship, that's warm and wonderful. You put up with the contrariness’, but I'm amused by it and it makes for great dialogue, you know? Yeah.
Anna David: 08:16 So, let's talk books.
Jeff Garlin: 08:20 And by the way, be prepared for digressions. I'm Baron Von digression, but that's just the way I am. Go ahead.
Anna David: 08:30 Yeah. But what you pointed out to me, cause we are working on something, sorry, listener. Not going to tell you what it is. And you said, I go off on tangents, but the tangents become incredibly relevant because they contribute to the main thread. You said something like that.
Jeff Garlin: 08:47 Yes. Yes. You know, whose book is very much like that is Bob Dylan's. I forgot the name of the book. Is it Chronicles? Anyhow, Bob Dylan's autobiography is very much like that. It's all over. But at the end you get a complete feeling. It's delightful. It's one of my favorite books I've ever read.
Anna David: 09:10 I've never read it.
Jeff Garlin: 09:11 Oh, it depends. If you dig Dylan, if you dig Dylan, if you're level, you'd love it. If you dig him, you love it. And if you don't dig them, don't waste your time. Even though it's great.
Anna David: 09:25 I feel like that was true of the Patti Smith book. People just lost their minds and it was because they love her so much. Right.
Jeff Garlin: 09:36 No. Because she doesn't have that many fans in terms of selling records. She's never been a pop star, starts short for popular star. She's always been an artist of great respect and merit and all that. So I think when people heard that she wrote a book about her and a great artist, you know, pretty much as when they were teenagers becoming who they were. And it's, well-written, that's fascinating stuff for anyone. So I think that a lot of people read that book. Having never listened to her. I really dig that, I think that's probably, and I'm not completely sure, but I bet you that's the most successful thing she has ever done.
Anna David: 10:28 I think you're right. I think you're right, okay. Which brings me to an interesting point, because if you are a certain, we have talked about this when a famous person decides to do another form of creativity, sometimes they're just ridiculed and how dare Keanu Reeves try to be in a band. And sometimes it's like, wow, this is so amazing. Right?
Jeff Garlin: 10:52 I think that people are more accepting of people writing a book than they are of someone like me suddenly being in a band. You know what I mean? I think that a book translates better, but you know, it's interesting in terms of, who's got a story to tell, are you writing a book because there's something you want to express or you're writing a book because someone told you can make money. Like there's all, I think everything comes from motivations. Like for example, myself, in terms of art I never looked that because I write movies, I write television. So when I wrote my book by the way, having a new air conditioner put in and there's going to be no, but I'm saying there might be some noise. I heard some, but whatever. I just started to dribble and I was like, Oh, we can pause from it. They don't ever do anything that long, which is interesting for work. All right. Anyhow. Where was I?
Anna David: 11:56 Books are different when you sit down.
Jeff Garlin: 11:59 Because I write movies. I write television. I write, I write my stand up, even though improvise a lot of it. I turn that into this story sometimes. So for me writing, didn't feel like, Oh, here's something else. Like, I feel like a outsider, an outsider, or a fake or not worthy. I'm a photographer. I collect photography, Neil Preston, David Bowie behind me. I yeah, I just was seeing something with their working. That's the problem when I'm not in a studio with you at your house, you know? What's that
Anna David: 12:45 And the pink pad. That's what the studio. Yeah. You'll see it. It's pretty awesome.
Jeff Garlin: 12:51 Right? When you get tested. Yeah. I'm see the pink pad. So you get tested.
Anna David: 12:55 No, fair enough.
Jeff Garlin: 12:56 That's it? No. So I'm a photographer. I just had my first show at the beginning of the year. Right before it ended, it closed like a week before the pandemic of my photography. I shot photography for before I did the show, 13, 14 years, never showed anybody. Then the woman who was in charge of the gallery there saw my work and said, we have to put this up. And then I sold a lot of prints and it's not based on, I'm not Selena Gomez. I know Selena Gomez she's lovely, but I'm not a star. So people aren't buying it because, Oh, he's a star. Like they're not buying. That's the one thing I never worry about is like, people digging me or liking something because of fame or because I'm a celebrity, which is worthless. I have built up everything in my life slowly because I hope it has value. And the people who dig me, I hope they did get what I'm doing. So I put up the show, it was accepted. I felt, this is exactly what we're talking about. Opening night of my show. I could have been in another room throwing up the whole night because I felt like I don't deserve to be here. Why am I here? And my whole approach putting up the show was, I don't want to be a celebrity you know, type photographer. Yeah, so that night I was so well received by photographers, by critics, by people like the whole shebang that I was like, Oh, I guess I'm a photographer. You know? And by, you know, for me with all the press I did on my book and my book not selling, it occurred to me. Well I have amongst my fans at that time, 10,000 people who want to hear what I have to say in book form. I bet you now, if I did a book, actually, I couldn't guess I know it would be more, I could guess. I actually don't guess what do you have a one you put up your finger.
Anna David: 15:12 Because the problem with your book, I can tell you is
Jeff Garlin: 15:23 Well this is great, Oh, you mean talking about the airport type thing?
Anna David: 15:25 No, I'm talking about, okay, let's talk about your book. So first of all, to change the title between hardcover and paperback is so rare, I've almost never heard.
Jeff Garlin: 15:36 Well, do you know why they did it?
Anna David: 15:38 Because it didn't sell?
Jeff Garlin: 15:39 Yes, but do you know the, the original title was My Footprint and they wanted to Curb Your Enthusiasm in the title, Amy Sedaris. I wasn't going to do it. I was like, no, I'm not interested, until they agreed to my, I came up with a title, which was Curbing It because I got the curb in there. And that is what it's about. And Amy said, you worked hard on this book. You got to get the paper back out. By the way. I don't know how many I sold of the paperback. I have no clue. I have no clue
Anna David: 16:16 I did look on Amazon this morning. And they're on two different pages on Amazon. This is all crazy.
Jeff Garlin: 16:23 Comedy and autobiography.
Anna David: 16:23 No, it's not that your paperback and your hard cover are not available on the same page. That's madness. Madness I tell you.
Jeff Garlin: 16:33 Well, you know what's madness. And I feel bad. If anyone bought two copies thinking they were two books. I don't like that. Can you do me a favor, would you just grab me a mask? You know, the workers are walking around doing things and they're wearing masks. I need, yeah, that one's fine. But how am I going to hear? Gimme, gimme, gimme the pinkish looking one. Yes, that's perfect. I just want to make, cause that one. Yeah, this one's easier to talk through.
Anna David: 17:02 Okay. I like that it's pink.
Jeff Garlin: 17:04 Yeah. It's sort of red, reddish with pink and orange, but here's the thing. I can talk through this and you can hear me as if I'm not wearing anything. So even though this, you can completely understand me. It only be for a couple more minutes while they're doing this stuff.
Anna David: 17:20 You were wearing that the first time I met you.
Jeff Garlin: 17:22 Oh really? Oh, look at me and my bikini. Let me turn off. Let me turn off my mail as well.
Anna David: 17:29 No, it's as if they're just as important as this conversation, I turned mine off.
Jeff Garlin: 17:34 No, the ding, I, by the way, I I'm trying to figure out, you know, how to turn the sound off the ding. I somehow can't figure it out and I'm not alone.
Anna David: 17:50 I can tell you. Go to your right corner. Do you see those three little lines? Click on that? And it should say night shift and do not disturb, scroll up.
Jeff Garlin: 18:03 Yeah. I am, weather stock. Three new. Oh, here, hold on. Boom. Here we go. Do not disturb. Yes. Yes. I'm going to do that from well, okay.
Anna David: 18:16 No, just do it. And then you can manually turn it off. It's the best thing I've ever learned.
Jeff Garlin: 18:21 Oh, no, it's off. But hold on. Hold on. I bet this is exciting for your listeners.
Anna David: 18:30 By the way. I don't really edit these. So they're listening. Please, don't give up. You guys. It's just, it's been so delightful so far and it's going to continue to be just so delightful. Now, okay. But let's go back to, okay.
Jeff Garlin: 18:45 No, go ahead.
Anna David: 18:49 Your publishers start coming to you and say, Hey Jeff Garland, we want to give you a book deal. How does that happen?
Jeff Garlin: 18:55 Literally, like you say, well also I have a business I have not a business. I have a manager and my manager and their company, Three Arts Entertainment. They have a book, he was my book agent. Then he moved to my management agent and he's still to my knowledge, my book agent, I haven't done anything in a while. But I, it came up, he was like, there was interest in me. I actually sold that. I tell you this. I sold the first book I went out with. And then I changed my mind. I have a piece that I do in my standup is actually people love this piece. I stopped it. I'm going to start doing it again. I decided it's about children, this is true. Children laugh average of 400 times a day. Adults laugh an average of eight times a day. How was it we lose 392 Laughs? I sold that book for a good prep. Good money.
Anna David: 19:57 Is it called 392 Laughs?
Jeff Garlin: 19:59 No I didn't. I never titled it. I never wrote it. I didn't even know, by the way I just pitched it. I didn't even write a thing. And they were all in and then I thought, no, this is about, this is, I mean, it's a really good standup piece. I don't think it's what I want as a book.
Anna David: 20:18 Yeah, how do you write three hundred pages on that?
Jeff Garlin: 20:21 Well that, or even what happened. Oh, they're out. Okay. So Hey, I feel that I feel about anything, but I especially feel about a book that it's got to be something that means something to you. Otherwise I think that reading a book is the quickest way to find out if like you watch a movie, see someone do stand up, whatever you got to know from the inside. Sort of like, I know that comedian, I know he's just doing this because Netflix offered him this. None of this material has any weight or any interest or is even all that funny. With a book though, but someone watching may not realize that they're not educated in stand-up comedy or myself. I'll watch a movie and I'll know when a movie is full of crap. I know it for whatever reason, but it's hard work, but still I know the motivations of why people do it. Because I know, but a book, I think everyone knows. You start reading a book and really within 10 pages, you just know this is worthless or this is something that's well worth my time. I think it's no more than 10 pages. And you know, I think that in a, with a comedian or a movie or a record album that someone puts out, I think a little ways in everybody realizes for the most part. But I think a book, boom right then and there, man. Cause it is too nuanced and too difficult to do the right way. You know?
Anna David: 22:06 How do you know when it's not something that means something to you? So you sell that book on a pitch and then how long did you think about it before going? No. Did they pay you?
Jeff Garlin: 22:16 No, no. They offered me, I think it was, it was my first book thing and they offered me $200,000 for that idea. I'm just saying, and I said, no, it just sounds crazy but the work that I would have to put in would not be worth $200,000 because it would be to do a, I'm at the point now in my career period, I can't do anything that's even very good. Everything I do has to be great. And the first project that I put up under that guys is my recent stand-up special on Netflix Our Man in Chicago. It's the first thing that I've done that's mine, that I think was worthy of that's worthy of people watching and worthy of my time doing, I of course do Goldberg’s and Curb Your Enthusiasm. But those are other people's visions and other people's things. I'm part of the storytelling on that when I'm, when I act in a movie or a television show that I have not written it or directing it is thoroughly, I'm part of a storytelling thing.
Anna David: 23:30 Well, and the other thing, here's the lesson you've really taught me. I knew it, but until you said it, I have completely started embracing it, which is you won't do anything that isn't joyful.
Jeff Garlin: 23:41 Oh, Oh, well that goes with, by the way, I didn't that perspective in terms of really in my consciousness. Like, I mean my external consciousness, you know, but internally I probably did when I turned down that book because I knew it would be dread, if I did that book and it's funny, I could really read a one page version of that book, which is, how is it we lose 392 Laughs? We accept a book, deal for money. And then because I would have woken up with dread every day, how do I do this? You know, because even the piece that I do for up on that, I haven't done it in years, but the piece is there's a half a dozen examples, that's it? So I'd have to write 392 examples, which look, in that book I would have looked at that. And I think the last chapter would have been the best chapter because I would have talked about how we get those laughs back. But if I [inaudible] saying how we lose 392 laughs, then I'm focusing, focusing on the negative. I never liked doing that. So my gut popped in and said, no, and you can bet my book agent was not pleased with me, but within six months I had another book that meant something to me that was that was how I stopped eating sugar. And also stopped, was contributing to the world ecologically, like it's, you know, lowering my footprint if you will.
Anna David: 25:25 And so you call up. So when you have that idea, you call up that book agent, you go, I got a new idea. Will you go pitch it? How does that work?
Jeff Garlin: 25:32 I got a new idea will you go pitch it? It's really that simple.
Anna David: 25:36 I hate you. I don't, I love you, but that's okay.
Jeff Garlin: 25:39 No, no, I know. Right, right. So yeah. I yeah, and then I go pitch it and.
Anna David: 25:47 Oh, so you at least have to go pitch it yourself.
Jeff Garlin: 25:49 Oh, I do. Well, no, no, no. Yes. He will talk to them first. And then it was gallery books, which is part of, or was part of Simon and Schuster. And I met with a few, I got a few offers. I think I got three offers, but I liked their offer the best. And I w I loved working with them. Trish Bukowski was the person she was lovely.
Anna David: 26:30 You sell, you sell the book and we're not going to talk about money cause that's tacky or are you?
Jeff Garlin: 26:34 No, no, no, no. I don't want to talk about money on that because that's something I did, you know, if I turned down something and I know by the way, I'm not ignorant to the value of $200,000 and how wonderful it is, but I could have done for $200 menial work. Like if someone said, would you clean out my garage for $200,000? Yes I would. Because even though I wouldn't want to clean out a garage, I'm getting $200,000, I'm going to do it. But I was well aware of what I said I was going to do and what I was agreeing to do, it would not, it would be the bane of my existence. And I can tell you, and I want to tell anyone who doesn't have money. And by the way, I grew up sort of like this with having my father earn and not ever my father earn, we were never poor, but we were not even, we were lower middle class to upper middle class, which by the way, is a blessed childhood, very happy childhood. But I can say that every time in my life that I've taken something for the money, it is never been as easy as I thought, it's always much more difficult, much more stress. And like I said, I don't do anything now, unless it's filled with joy. So you can do anything except what I do for money. What I mean is being a comedian, you know, the stuff that makes me laugh, what I find interesting in a book, like all those things they're joyful.
28:16 And like I said, I could work at Walmart for whatever amount of money, if I didn't have my skills, thank you. Whoever placed them in me. But that's a way, and you may hate that job. That's why you should move on or figure something else on whatever. But I also know that I would've had more joy working at a Walmart than writing a book about losing 392 laughs. I was well aware. And like I said, if Walmart offered me a really good deal for a lot of money, I would have, at that time, I needed the money too, let me also add. But I, as a stand up during the course of a 38 year career, I spent many years, dirt broke. I remember my dad having to wire me money, and my dad didn't have money, but I was dirt broke. His son was there, broke. And he wired me. I think $75. I had to walk. It's like, almost like a joke, like to school, I walked, but I had to walk five miles in zero degrees, in snow, in Chicago to pick up the money that was wired to me. So I remember being poor, very vividly, but I also learned with what I do. You can't, I'm a professional. I need money. I get money, but I don't base my decisions on money. I don't.
Anna David: 29:42 Yeah. Yeah. I mean, there's nothing wrong with getting paid well for what you do well.
Jeff Garlin: 29:49 Nothing, and I have worked hard and made many a sacrifice. I became, because of the career path I took. I developed diabetes because the road is really hard. And a lot of addiction, my addiction wasn't alcohol, wasn't drugs. It was sugar. I take my pudding pops and my pop tarts and my fruity pebbles, and you go back to, they call it a condo. You know what? Like it's a cheap apartment that they rent that they put the comedians up in. And I go back there and I would eat like a pig all night. Well, I developed diabetes. Sure, I took years off my life. I have problems in life now because of it. And that's because of the road, you know, of which I want to write a bit a bit. My next book is going to be about, it's not going to be an autobiography, although but autobiographical. But I want to write a book about comedy, the state of comedy, why I got into comedy, my thoughts on comedy, just a book and a book that a young comedian that I would hope that anyone that digs me would find interesting, but also any comedian would get something out of my book. That's the next book I write. In addition to, as I mentioned, my photography, I'm doing a photography book, but my photography books speaking up for the money. If you will, I'm doing a limited run. I'm doing like a thousand, maybe 1200. A thousand of them will be regular. I mean, there's still going to be nice and limited. And then like 200 of them, I might include a print and I'll sign it. Not that I wouldn't sign the other ones if someone asked me to, because then it's a money thing. Well, you're going to have to pay the difference point being is I do everything out of what makes me feel good and proud and not pride. Pride gets in the way, Oh my God is pride.
Anna David: 31:47 Satisfied.
Jeff Garlin: 31:48 Yeah. Satisfying, and joyful.
Anna David: 31:51 So, okay, so back to my footprint. So you sell it to Gallery and then, and then you sit down to write it. What did you, how did you know how to do that? You've never written a book.
Jeff Garlin: 32:04 Well, can you hold on one second? I needed, well, I know you're recording, but I need to check something right now. I'm going to check something. Well hold on. Book agent very, very smart man. Gave me notes, you know, like what I should do. And then he gave me the best suggestion ever, which was hold on one second. I apologize. I'm so funny right now because, I hold on, I had it. Give me one second. I'm so sorry. Have I mentioned that to you before, I had a stroke in 2000 and I don't remember names, like I'd love to say my agent's name. That's what I was looking for. I can't find, I can't get it off hand it, will you do me a favor on, it's not going to work anyhow. Cause she can't find it. It won't be, I'd have to, but you suggested I hire my own editor. Cause book publishing companies, they edit, they give you an editor, but that person is looking out for Gallery books. And by the way, they were a joy, but I hired my, I gave a third of my earnings to this woman to edit. No, no, no, it's a guy. But no, Julian Blank is who I hired, who went on to be a top editor, who's running. I think she works for Random House Now. I can't remember. She's a big muckety muck in the book.
Anna David: 34:09 She edited Michelle Obama's book. Didn't you tell me that?
Jeff Garlin: 34:12 Yes. And also Tom Petty, Billy Crystal, but I mean, she, when she worked, but, but I hired her before she did any of this to be my own editor at his suggestion. And it's one of the great friendships of my life. It was the best experience. And so she beat the crap out of me before I ever turned anything in. So when I turned in the book and I got minimal notes from Gallery, because I'd already been through it with someone wickedly smart and yeah.
Anna David: 34:48 And so really what it is, you know, it's almost like a year in the life book which became really big with Eat, Pray, Love. And Julian and Julia, I mean I kind of read, I read it and I, first of all, it's a wonderful book, but second of all, I was like, that sounds so fun. You're going to Predican. It's like, you're going to a spa and working out and you've got these friends there and then you're going to Ed Begley Junior's house. Like it was, it was enjoyable vicariously.
Jeff Garlin: 35:16 I mean, I want the, I mean, I don't want to tell a journey that's not interesting and or enjoyable. There's some dark stuff in the book. I talk about the stroke in my book.
Anna David: 35:27 You do talk about the stroke? I'm a horrible person, but I've now had so many experiences.
Jeff Garlin: 35:31 Back to being kind to yourself. It's so hard on a daily basis, not to call yourself an idiot, not to say things like I'm a horrible person. I struggle with it. We all do, but that's a fight. You've got to fight more.
Anna David: 35:46 I don't really believe it though. It's more like I say it as an excuse. If I'm embarrassed.
Jeff Garlin: 35:51 Then your Full of shit.
Anna David: 35:53 And way more full of shit than I am self hating. Trust me.
Jeff Garlin: 35:57 Well, that's I am not full of shit. And I have my share of self loving. I'm not remotely full of shit. I don't have any bullshit in me, which gets me into trouble.
Anna David: 36:10 I could see that. I could see that I'm not really full of shit. Just sometimes. I mean, just in things that don't matter, doesn't matter, this is not about me. This is about your book.
Jeff Garlin: 36:20 It should be a conversation and not about a book. If we, us having a conversation is a lot more interesting to your listeners than you staying on point with the book. Now I know there's people listening right now, going he's wrong. I like the format. I'm not trying to change your format, but don't get caught up in it.
Anna David: 36:39 Hey guys, if you want to do a review and just comment on, I even like a negative review, I do.
Jeff Garlin: 36:45 That's why I'm sitting here. I want to know what was wrong with the book. So I know from not only a marketing point of view, but from a writing point of view. So I know for my next book.
Anna David: 36:56 There was nothing wrong with the writing. The problem is the problem is people.
Jeff Garlin: 37:03 I thought the hole green area of the book was boring.
Anna David: 37:05 It wasn't, people don't want to read Jeff Garlin. I did Jeff Garlin's experience going to predict kin and doing these things. They, they want to read Jeff Garlin's story about becoming a famous comedian or they want to read a how to book about how to lose weight, or they want to read a book about how to go green. They do not want all three because you're targeting three different readers.
Jeff Garlin: 37:34 That's fascinating.
Anna David: 37:35 And it was a poor decision on your publisher's part.
Jeff Garlin: 37:39 Yeah, but they were, if I may, that one, unlike Leica, Paris Chong, who's the, has the gallery at like at Los Angeles. I got that on merit because I was obsessed with getting on merit. Okay. And her approach was, yes, I'm a known person that will help. But she was really into is the work good? She was very critical. She was tough. And I love that. My editor was that. I think that Gallery books, their motivation was, this is Jeff Garlin from Curb your Enthusiasm. And we can sell a lot of books based on that. Oh, did they learn their lesson? That is, I am not look, I was just on the Emmys. I was representing Curb your Enthusiasm for best show. And prior to being on the air, I didn't like this. I'm actually using the equipment they gave me, I got a light up here. I've got a better camera. That's on, that's on my computer. Cause most notebooks have 720 P, which is really good regular. It's not, I'm on a four K camera right now. So I'm there and I realize that they say we're coming back. You know? Cause if we're doing it through zoom, we're coming back in 30 seconds and you're all going to be live. Well, I look, and my shirt has spots of sweat. Now I'm not nervous. But I realized, I was like, Oh yeah, my air conditioning's not working. It's being replaced. It's hot. So I had a decision. 15 seconds, I don't have time to get a shirt. Well do I do this?
39:35 And I decided comedically and overall what's better for everyone is, you know, I take off my shirt. So I was shirtless on the Emmy's. Okay. Not a shirt to be found. I, the next day, Google now, by the way people wrote me, told me how hard they laughed. Friends wrote, people like people did notice it, but like a lot of people didn't notice it. But the next day in the press, I think one London paper. I forget which one. And I'll put it this way. One legit, legit source talked about it. Everybody else was some sort of web things, pages I'd never heard of. I didn't get any coverage. And do you know, why I didn't get me coverage? Not because it's not funny. Not cause shirtless, not cause anything it's because people don't give a shit about me. You know, it gives a shit about me. People were Curb fans, people who are fans of me, but in terms of the media, it's really, I have accepted the fact that I'm not remotely titillating to the media. I am more so by the way, ironically, I get a lot of attention in New York, a lot of attention in London. Attention, Los Angeles, a big thing. No, no. So I did that. You know, like I would go on in a given week. I swear I would go on Conan and I would do some things and say some things. A week later, friend of mine, this happened twice, who was much more popular than me.
41:24 He would, we have very similar sensibilities that he did not steal from me. Talked about the same thing, said the same things I did, the next day was in Rolling Stone online. So I'm well aware. And by the way, it's not that I haven't been in Rolling Stone. I was recently doing a video thing for them, but I'm sure they got a surprise by the lack of traffic. And by the way, this is not being mean to me. This is the reality I deal with. I consider myself very successful. But you realize that here at Gallery Books, I want to write the best book I can. And I want people to hear about it and go, I want to read that book and Gallery Books is thinking he's a famous comedian, we're going to sell a ton of books,
Anna David: 42:09 Right. Yeah. Well, I would also say how lucky are you? You get all the benefits of fame of success and people leave you alone. Nobody's going to cancel you because they just, you got to be like, you got to be built up so far to be torn down.
Jeff Garlin: 42:32 I would say that I have not been built up high enough that people tear me down, but everyone is susceptible to that now. And I told you that in my comedy, especially my stand-up, I improvise a lot. I know I will say something stupid because I'm a man, but I'm not remotely scared of saying anything ignorant because that's not who I am. I will not say something racist that doesn't, that's not who I am. I will not say something sexist. That's not who I am. I'm full of positivity and love. I am skeptical. I am, I will point out noble targets. I don't talk about politics on stage, but if there's something to attack, that's noble. That's about the human condition. Boom, I'm in. So it's not like I'm soft, but I'll never, I mean, I hope, but I'm not, I don't think I'll ever say anything ignorant, but stupid, yes. I probably already have said many stupid things today.
Anna David: 43:39 Scary as a man out there.
Jeff Garlin: 43:41 Yeah. By the way, it is scary times to be a man. But if I might, if I have to say it's a lot scarier to be a black man, it's a lot scarier to be a woman. All the things that women have dealt with and are dealing with, all the women that, what basically has happened is really the whole world was swimming in shit. And then they said, Hey, white guy, get in the pool. You need to swim and shit too. So we're all in a big pool of shit. That's negative. But I'm laughing at it.
Anna David: 44:16 It's one of the eight laughs today. Cause you've given me like three, which is frankly a lot. I don't think I laugh eight times a day.
Jeff Garlin: 44:23 You don't? By the way, want me to be honest with you, you do, when you hang with me. Yeah. And by the way you told how much, and it's not a challenge ego thing for me. You told me that you don't laugh and then I'll go. You laughed again. You laughed again, you laughed again, hanging out with me. I make you laugh.
Anna David: 44:40 Well, yes. I mean, you're paid very well to make the world laugh.
Jeff Garlin: 44:46 The only thing that I have, that the gifts I've been given, I think are being sensitive, being charming and being funny. Those are my gifts. I don't know what other gifts I've been given. I'm remotely athletic. I'm terribly handsome.
Anna David: 45:07 Great at giving notes on a script. I'll tell you that.
Jeff Garlin: 45:10 Well, thank you. Thank you. Yeah.
Anna David: 45:14 Okay. But I think we've accomplished some great things here in addition to some laughs. And so we have to wrap up.
Jeff Garlin: 45:20 I want to wrap up. I didn't even want to do this.
Anna David: 45:23 You're done. You were done.
Jeff Garlin: 45:25 No, no. I wanted to do it because it's you I'm. I make, I don't do anything out of guilt. I make all my choices at this point in my life as an old man. I'm not that old yet, but I'm 58. I'm getting up there. I make all my choices. Whether the money's there or not. Will this be joyful if it's not going to be joyful? How do I adjust it to be joyful? So I don't want to, I'd rather, I'd always rather be napping, but I dig you, I did what you do. And so this is joke. This has been joyful. And if we accomplish it and did you finish any thoughts that you want? Is there anything we're leaving on the table that you wanted to get out of me? Cause I went on many a tangent.
Anna David: 46:12 Well, I'd like the listener to understand that getting the big advance from the big publishing company is not the road to your dream publishing experience.
Jeff Garlin: 46:23 Can I also tell you this deal? And by the way, what you just said is a hundred percent true, but I want to tell you this, getting any advance in anything is not the path to great success. I mean, you certainly are getting whatever advance you get, but it's about the work that you do. And you hope that on the other end of the work that you've done, that the acceptance, the joy, whatever you bring out of people with it will lead to more work and you haven't got a great sense of accomplishment with what you've done.
Anna David: 47:03 Yes. And success can have all sorts of measures. I had a book that didn't sell much. Didn't get me any business. Oh, was it a success. Because I felt really successful with it.
Jeff Garlin: 47:14 Oh, by the way, I don't audition very much anymore. I meet Directors for parts, you know, cause they know my work. I have enough work that some of them, you know, there are people in the regular world. There's plenty of people that don't know who I am, but in show business, most people, I am famous in show business, truly famous. And most people know my work in show business. So I don't have to audition. But when I did audition, when I started getting auditions was when I took this approach, I made my choice. I did what I wanted to do. And when I left either they want me or they don't want me. To write a book, see we could talk a whole segment on this because I find, we have to discuss is the writing of a book of your thought process of the audience, thinking about the audience. I never think about the audience in any work that I do, the audience is not a consideration. I respect them. And that is all I owe them. I put out what I think is funny. What I think is interesting and they have the opportunity to embrace it or not embrace it, but I don't do it. I do it for them and for me, I'm not like on a, like, it's not an ego thing. I really do want people to dig what I do, but I don't control them. So I don't worry about that. That's out of my hands.
Anna David: 48:44 But I think it's a fine line because one cannot do creative work that they think will be successful because they think they can predict the masses. But for me, I do, I like to picture one person because if there's one person, then there's many, many more and know that I'm creating something they will value.
Jeff Garlin: 49:08 Okay. So I am the one person when I create something, does it make me laugh. Do I find it interesting because I'm, I'm a tough, not critic, but I'm tough on the work I do, see that's why I didn't write the 408 book because I knew I couldn't deliver something that someone would want to read. That would be that someone being me. I wouldn't want to read it. And it would give me, and when I would see it on the shelf, I would get nauseous. My book that I wrote, I feel a sense of accomplishment, not sales wise, but personally, you know.
Anna David: 49:53 But I would also say to the listener, you are in a privileged position where you can do that. I don't think most of us can.
Jeff Garlin: 50:00 I disagree. I think everyone can. I think you approach decisions based on how much money you have. Pretending. I always tell young comedians and young actors make your choices. Pretend you have a million dollars in the bank, sell out on your day job. Don't sell out on what you really care about. That's my feeling. And not that what you're saying is a sellout, the one person that's not a sellout, but you really got to be true to what you value. And look, I built up everything slowly, my Instagram, everything. It's not like I feel blessed by the way that nothing comes easy to me, except napping.
Anna David: 50:49 I'm the same and napping doesn't come easy at all, either. Okay. Such a delight. I'm going to stop recording. Thank you.
Jeff Garlin: 50:55 Great. Thank you, Anna David, for all you do.
Anna David: 51:00 Thanks guys for listening. I will see you next time.
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