So tonight, I'm pleased to roll out the designs and requirements for the first several badges in the Author Merit Badge Program (tm). Authors, if you have ideas for additional badges, please submit them to me.
The One-Star Badge
- Receive a one-star review on any website, including Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, etc.
- Review must come from an actual reviewer, not a sock puppet that you created just to earn your badge. Sock puppet one-star fraud will result in forfeiture of all badges and people will throw marshmallows at you.
The Rejection Badge
- Receive a rejection from a publisher, agent, or publication for a piece of writing.
- Can be for a short story, flash fiction, novel, novella, Readers' Digest joke, etc.
- No fair sending something in that doesn't meet submission requirements just so you can earn the badge. Rejection encouragement will result in forfeiture of all merit badges, and a crow will take a dump in your left shoe.
The Pre-Release Queasy Badge
- Spend at least one day prior to a release feeling like you're going to get sick.
- No food poisoning, motion sickness, decompression sickness, air sickness, or anything of the like. Feeling sick from drinking too much is okay if the drinking was a means of silencing pre-release butterflies. Pretending you're queasy just to get the badge when you're really cool as a cucumber (jerk) will earn you the unrelenting scorn of your peers and a piece of brown, slimy lettuce buried within your next salad.
The Ball Kick Badge
- Receive a writing-related metaphorical kick in the metaphorical testicles. Can include a one-star review, a piece of hate mail, a rejection letter for what you thought was a sure thing, or really anything that makes you feel like someone just kicked you in the ego balls.
- Also counts if someone actually comes up and kicks you, as long as the kick was somehow related to your book.
- No kicking yourself in the (metaphorical or literal) balls in order to receive the badge, or every emdash in your next manuscript will be replaced by a poorly kerned ellipsis the moment you submit it to the market of your dreams.
The Ball Kick Hat Trick Badge
- Receive three Ball Kick Badges for the same book or on the same day for three separate, unrelated incidents.
- Orchestrating a Ball Kick Hat Trick will earn you the scorn of your peers, a shoe full of crow dung, flaming marshmallows hurled at your person, badly spaced ellipses for eternity, rotten lettuce in your salad, and an itch in the middle of your back that won't go away. Ever.