Sunday, February 26, 2012

Message to Authors: Be Nice

I was at a Romance Readers convention a few years ago, and a voracious reader said there were a few authors whose books she’d absolutely loved, but because of their behavior she never bought their books anymore.
She’d gone to a book signing on the other side of town, travelling by bus with two little kids, because she loved this author’s books so much. With her she took a cherished hardback copy of the author’s book to get it signed.
Money was tight and the reader couldn’t afford to buy the author’s new book after paying bus fares etc, but she was happy just to see the author in person, exchange a few words with her, and have this favorite book signed. It was worth the long trip and the hassle with little kids, she thought.
When she finally got to the head of the line, the author sneered at her not-new book and refused to sign it. She would only sign a book bought new from this store this day.
That author saw only dollar signs, not a reader who loved her books and had made the effort to meet her idol in person. An idol with clay feet apparently.
It would have taken the author one minute to sign the book, and she would have kept a loyal reader who would still be buying her books today.
Helen Woodall


Amarinda Jones said...

Not surprised. There's some pretty snotty authors out there who forget they are just a person who can write a bit and got lucky.

Helen Woodall: Freelance Editing said...

Exactly. People skills are as important as writing skills.

anny cook said...

Perhaps more so. Readers will buy a book from someone they find interesting and friendly...just because.

Helen Woodall: Freelance Editing said...

Building relationships can be very important.