I don’t know how much more can be said on this subject. Readers are our life blood. Without them, who would we share our stories with? It’s a huge world out there and the amount of books I have on my TBR pile far exceeds what I might possibly read in my lifetime but it doesn’t stop me from buying more. I like to support my favorite authors.
I myself follow several authors. Some aligned with big wig publishers like David Morrell and Brent Weeks. Others are up and coming like Jocelyn Adams. Each is very approachable. I mean I geeked out on Mr. Morrell and he was so gracious.
This is how I want to be as a writer.
I can’t say I get tons of fan mail or anything. Maybe some day when I achieve that plateau but for now it’s me blogging and getting books published.
So I get a little miffed when I see authors who have a broad audience and a shoe in at one of the big 5/6 publishers acting ungrateful.
Let me be perfectly clear at this isn’t a call to arms or to boycott the latest author to suffer from foot in mouth disease. Trolling in the any form is not cool. It makes you just as much of an ass. This includes one star reviews to flail about their behavior. If you feel compelled to say anything, there are better avenues such as blogging, as I am doing, or your personal social media page. Don’t hide behind a mask. Just like authors need to own up to what they say, so do the town criers.
The latest author to suckle on their toes–with no remorse I might add–is Chelsea Cain. Look, I get it. I work in retail because I’m not privileged enough to be able to afford to live on writing alone. Some of the questions make me want to bang my head repeatedly on the counter but I have to smile and answer that unbelievably head scratching question. It’s part of the territory.
The most egregious of this author faux pas is the wonderful thing about the internet is you can walk away and think on a reply. My retail world, not so much. Style and aplomb. Graciousness to those who spend their money on your latest novel. Who want to know more. Publicity isn’t just handled by the publishers. The author has to pitch in.
What’s so hard about that? I’ve started an FAQ page to cover frequent questions. If someone asks, I point there. All my books are laid out, by series if I have them, and in order.
Readers are important to me. Isn’t that how it should be? On that same vein, authors also have more than writing on their plate. Be patient. I’ve had good luck in getting responses from my favorite authors. I don’t hound them if they don’t reply. Of course I can find just about anything on Google. Not everyone is as savvy. Something to keep in mind.
So buck up but remember we’re human. In that vein, learn to apologize when you accidently don your asshat. It’s easier to destroy a reputation than to build it.
I’ve had to grin and bear it several times at my job customers who continue to shop well after we closed .. and after we gently remind them.