A novelist of your acquaintance, an affable fellow named Roger Gale, has written a second novel, a follow-up to his highly unsuccessful debut, The Lap of Uxory. This sophomore effort, which concerns a stay-at-pyramid father who raises a young Egyptian prince, is called Pharaohmaker, and the “pub date” is fast approaching.

You’re fond of Roger. He writes funny pieces on this literature and culture blog you sometimes read, his tweets are generally amusing, and he always “LIKES” your Facebook status updates, even when they involve something silly, like how your boss sort of looks like Newt Gingrich.

And you happened to read this second novel, and you think it’s the cat’s pajamas. You think it’s the bee’s knees. You think it’s all manner of nonsensical clichéd euphemisms for goodness. Or maybe you didn’t read it, but you’ve seen the reviews, and you know that anything blessed by Vanity Fair is worth throwing your weight behind.

The point is, you’d like to support Roger. But you’re not sure how to go about doing so.

Well, you’ve come to the right place, Dear Reader.  Here are some ways—all but one of which are absolutely free!—you might help Roger make Pharaohmaker a rousing success:


1. Pre-order a copy.

If you’re planning on purchasing a copy of the book, it’s a swell idea, I’m reliably informed, to do so before the pub date, for a variety of reasons involving the metrics of best-seller lists and sales rankings that remain, like the logic of Rick Perry’s political positions and the popularity of Twilight, beyond my reckoning. Plus, sometimes the publisher offers inducements to order ahead of time.


2. Talk it up to your local bookseller.

No one will buy Roger’s book at your local independent bookstore if your local independent bookstore does not stock it.  It’s up to you to hip your friendly neighborhood bookseller to its awesomeness. (Note: a great way to accomplish both No. 1 and No. 2 in one fell swoop is to pre-order the book at your local independent bookstore).


3. Write a review.

There are any number of websites that allow you to submit book reviews, the biggest—and most important—being Amazon, Goodreads, and Barnes & Noble. Take advantage of the democracy of the web!  Write up a few lines on why you like the book; post your review at the Big Three (Amazon isn’t active until pub date, but the others are live now). Roger will love you forever for having done so.  And he needs your help, because there do exist  haters who seemingly get off on giving one-star reviews to books they have not even read.


4. Attend an author event.

Roger Gale most likely has a book tour. Perhaps he’s even coming to a bookstore near you. If it’s in any way convenient to do so, go see him read. He’s funny in person. Usually. Plus, he’ll inscribe your copy of Pharaohmaker.


5. Make him a Knight of the Realm (Queen Elizabeth II only).

He wants to meet Kate, is the word on the street. Fergie, too.


6. “LIKE” his Facebook fan page. Then, share it.

Change the world with three clicks of your mouse! It’s that simple!


7. #Fridayreads and #followfriday him @pharaohmaker.

Give your myriad Twitter followers the tweet and lowdown.


8. Demand that the Powers That Be book him on the Colbert Report.

You know how, in the opening credits, when Stephen drops down from the sky, and all those words flash by, and there’s the one word that changes every so often? (This week, it’s From C to silent T). How awesome would it be if that word were changed to pharaohmaker? Let Stephen know you’d like this to happen.


9. Suggest it to your book club.

It’s a helluva book club book. Library Journal says so. There’s a reading guide and everything. And if asked, Roger will probably show up at the meeting to talk about the book. There’s nothing a writer enjoys more than talking about his work, except maybe drinking—and at book clubs, he’d be doing both! It’s a win-win!


10. Endow Mr. Gale with a “Genius Grant” (MacArthur Foundation selection committee only).

Daddy needs a new pair of spats.


11. Cash out your 401(k); invest the money in first edition copies of Pharaohmaker.

I’m only half joking here.  Standard & Poor’s won’t be downgrading Pharaohmaker first editions anytime soon, unlike T-bills issued by certain governments I can think of.  First editions, meanwhile, are worth their weight in gold, if the ad that’s always on the back page of the New York Times Book Review is a reliable economic indicator.

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GREG OLEAR is the Los Angeles Times bestselling author of the novels Totally Killer and Fathermucker and founding editor of The Weeklings.

36 responses to “Pharaohmaker”

  1. James D. Irwin says:

    I’ll get on to number 5 for the old chap and see what I can do…

  2. Quenby Moone says:

    I like the cut of this Roger Gale’s jib! I think Roger Gale deserves to be on the Colbert Report, and the Daily Show, and the Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Channel!

    I’m not sure who this Roger Gale fellow is, but I LIKE HIM.

  3. Gloria says:

    Gloria Harrison liked this post.

  4. Art Edwards says:

    You’re a good man, Olear. You will be blessed with long life, happiness and success that can only be described as Franzenesque.

  5. I was mightily impressed by Mr Gale’s first novel, The Lap of Uxory and will certainly be purchasing his second novel. I will also put in a call to my best friend, Mr Colbert.

  6. Mr. Oh says:

    Looking forward to amazon prime delivery Oct 3 ish. Dispatching some heartland goons to pummel that “Shaun” dunce..

  7. Dan Silimniest says:

    Darn pleased to see Mr. Gale popping up again. Will spread news of this page-turner far and wide.

    I’m assuming the book will eventually be bundled with Lorrie Moore’s Anagrams.

    Genius grants all around.

    • Greg Olear says:

      Thanks, Dan. Yes, we should all get genius grants. Otherwise we’d have a genius grant gap.

      The best literary anagram, incidentally, belonged to Nabokov’s Vivian Darkbloom. That’s untouchable.

  8. My thoroughly-enjoyed ARC of Pharoahmucker has been passed through several sets of hands so far, or so I’m told. How that will translate to book sales, who can say, but I promise I to bend the power of my near 1000 Twitter followers towards it as much as I am able.

    • Greg Olear says:

      Thanks, man. Much appreciated.

      In an unrelated story, I will miss you on FB. Although I find I go to it less and less, now that it looks like a screenshot from Mario Party.

      • Gloria says:

        Matt’s not on Facebook anymore? What the what?

        • Matt says:

          I’m deactivating my account at the end of the week. I really dislike the new format, and some of the upcoming new features are pushing the privacy issue a little to far for even my admittedly TMI-oriented mindset.

          But! I do have a Google+ account (for now – we’ll see how long that lasts) and am a frenetic twitterer. Oh, and I’ve go an occasionally NSFW Tumblr account, too.

  9. jmblaine says:


    I’ve not heard of Gale until now
    but will seek him out.
    that you are willing to help out an author
    you believe in
    says much about you
    & that’s the story here I love

  10. I would suggest to Roger Gale, whose first novel I read and enjoyed immensely, that the success of his second book will lead to curiosity about his debut. He is fortunate to have a backlist, though at the moment with one item.

    What an outstanding guest he would be on The Colbert Report. The banter! The astute cultural criticism! The laughs!

    I promise to do my bit.

    • Greg Olear says:

      From your lips to God’s ears, Roger says. I’ve heard that it does tend to bump backlist sales a bit when a new book comes out. We’ll see if the theory holds…

      Mostly, Colbert would just scream the word over and over. It’s fun to say.

  11. Jeffro says:

    While waiting in line at the grocery store, I flipped open Vanity Fair and showed my daughter the Fathermucker blurb. She smiled, which means she is proud of Roger Gale’s latest effort in the novel writing biz. Then she made a pooting noise with her mouth, which means she is really proud of Roger Gale’s latest effort. Not just anybody gets the pooting noise with the mouth. That’s reserved for the special.

    • Greg Olear says:

      The pooting mouth, it must be said, is more of an honor than a Pulitzer would be. Little kids don’t play politics; if they don’t like something, by God, they let you know.

      The day Prue, about a year old, crawled out of the Dan Zanes concert was one of the proudest moments of my life.

  12. I would totally read The Lap of Uxory and Pharaohmaker. Seriously. They could be like that book in the first Sex and the City movie, Love Letters of Great Men, that wasn’t a book but then became one because people were rabidly looking for it. Though I would think there’s more sex in Fathermucker than the others, but they could surprise me. I believe the more pre-orders means the more copies Amazon buys at a time.

    • Greg Olear says:

      Well, I do have a whole plot worked out for “Lap of Uxory.” Stranger things have happened…

      There would be lots of sex in “Pharaohmaker”…those ancient Egyptians were crazy about asp play.

      [groans at his own terrible pun]

      I’m sure you’re right about Amazon. I was serious about not understanding the metrics of all this stuff. I just know that pre-orders are good.

  13. Almost go time! I’ll have most of these covered if Irwin can take care of the knighthood business. Best of luck to Roger Gale. May his Pharaohmaker rule the world.

  14. Joe Daly says:

    Well done, Greg. Not just helpful tips for helping others, but a nice turn on to an interesting new author. Sounds like one debonair bastard, if you ask me.

    It’s one thing to like a book, but it’s a privilege to promote one that you really enjoyed. I still call up author friends to ask, “Should I buy it from Amazon or your site? Does it matter?” This is enormously helpful.

    Here’s wishing this brave new scribe loads of good fortune with his new endeavor.

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