Is it me, or are authors only consumed with themselves?
Whoa…you say. That’s a loaded question coming from an author yourself.
Yes, it is.
You see, I’ve been to many libraries and bookstore sponsored author events where I’ve observed authors in action.
They are sitting behind a lovely display of books waiting for the readers to approach them, or, standing alone outside a circle of writers who are discussing plot points or point of views.
The ones behind the tables really deserve the “Trophy of Anti-Social” but still have the “buy my books attitudes” because I am snob and my stories are the best, even though I don’t care to ask you about your reading preferences, or even bother to make eye-contact.
Well, that’s a mouthful.
Here, let me elaborate and provide you a visual: Authors sitting on their pompous ass, sipping free coffee and eating store-bought muffins and bagels—which should be for the customer, but they feel obligated to have anyway, while scrolling on their Smartphones, reading a book not related to their own, and here’s the best, sewing, as if they should be finishing up on chores that could have been done at HOME!
To top it off, they rarely socialize with other authors who are at the tables right next to them. Folks, author events are there not only to sell your books, but meet other authors and network.
Here is something to ponder on. Do you think your books are better than anyone else’s? Are you so close-minded that exploring other writers and the types of writing they do is beneath you?
To me and this is only my opinion, I say…Shame on You. How do you know that the writer across from you can recommend an illustrator for your next book that you’ve been struggling to find for the last three months? Maybe the guy with the green hair and the rocket display becomes your greatest fan and at a later time has an opportunity and he invites you to his daughter’s sixteenth birthday party because now you have acquired a huge following for your YA book.
Yes, and there’s more. Let’s not forget the “hard sell” piece. A few months ago, I was at an author library event. Walking up to a table in which the man had a display of what looked like crime/cop type of novels, I stopped and perused one of his books, even complimenting him on the cover. When I asked him how he was doing, he boldly replied… “Better, if you bought one of my books.”
What could I say to that?
Here’s a spoiler alert. There is no guarantee that every single person who walks into a bookstore event or library event will buy a book, even yours. Book tastes are very subjective. Just like when you buy shoes. What I choose and what you choose will be different based on comfort and style. Your job is to court the perspective reader. Ask him/her what they like to read, not use the strong-arm tactic.
The same goes for author to author relationship. Learn about each other’s work, you might come away with valuable information for your own writing. The other thing is, if you don’t want to buy their book, support them in different ways: Tweet their book info, do a blog interview, or recommend their book to someone who might read that particular genre. Sometimes, authors do a book swap. That’s cool too. But, don’t expect each and every author or potential customer to buy your particular book.
Duly noted, but this is not a flea market. Honestly, I’d rather have someone buy my book who I know will read it, enjoy it, and maybe if they are so inclined, leave a review.
Bottom line. Author events should not be your two-hour relaxation time away from home or family. Get up and talk to people. Make it a point to connect with five new authors at each event.
This holds true for those writers who are afraid to socialize and are hiding behind their display, or leaning against the bookcase, trying to look inconspicuous. It’s hard, the social aspect of these type of events. I honestly get it. You see, my mind is always conjuring up make-believe characters. I’d rather spend an afternoon behind a computer writing about them, then chatting with real people.
Remember this; cross-networking can lead to many opportunities:
- Getting out of your shell and not focusing on “me-me”.
- Insight and learning.
Most authors have full-time jobs, you never know if that person is an attorney, plumber, band singer, or real estate agent that you could use in the future. It’s called using your resources.
Yes, your books are your babies, but opportunities can abound when you get your head out of fiction and into the real world.
Now, get out there.
#authorrant #writing #authorobservations #locallibraryevents #bookstoreauthorevents #bookselling #connectingwithauthors