10. What’s the title so I’ll be able to look for it when it comes out? [50% of the time, titles change before the book comes out. Plus, at least 50% of the people asking you this question won't remember you--let alone that you have a book--by the time it comes out]
9. Oooh, I wrote a novel. Maybe I should have it submitted, too!
8. Oooh, I always wanted to write a novel. Maybe I should, and then have it submitted, too!
7. On sub? Is that, like, when you go down in a submarine?
[Writers on sub are already tempted to sink their manuscripts if not themselves]
6. Did you ask me what I wanted on my sub? Lettuce, onions, extra mayo…
[Writers on sub don't need to be tempted to drown their stress in further administrations of food]
5. You know, if it doesn’t sell, you could always self-publish
[Believe me, by the time we've gotten to this point, we know]
4. Can you give me your agent’s name?
[We owe our agents the world at this point and would be loathe to ask them to spit on us if we were burning]
3. Did you hear about [insert famous person's name] who just got 68 gazillion dollars for her first novel?
2. How do you know when it’s time to, you know…give up?
And the #1 thing NEVER to say to a writer on submission is…
1. So, have you gotten any news yet?