Pub Rants

Authors Behaving Badly

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STATUS: Off to St. Augustine for the day. I’m out.

What song is playing on the iPod right now? No ipod today.

Since I’m off to discover the old city, head on over to Bookseller Chick’s blog. She’s discussing author bad behavior and how not to win booksellers and influence readers.

If you are a published author, heed this lesson. Never underestimate (or under appreciate) the power of individual booksellers to sell or not sell your book.

Put on that charming smile and keep it there when in public!

6 Responses

  1. Brian said:

    As a publicist, I am very blunt with my authors about proper book event behavior and I relay my years of horror stories, culled from being a Community Relations Manager with Barnes and Noble, about which stunts would make me not only never consider booking an author a second time but would also make me call my fellow CRMs and warn them about this person.

    Certain authors (and I’m happy to name drop William Kent Krueger) were ALWAYS welcome in my store for their friendly and often humble demeanor.

  2. December Quinn said:

    Oh, yes. I’ve heard stories about authors’ awful behavior at signings before. I just wish I could understand WHY they do it.

    I think I worked customer service for too many years to ever do such a thing.

  3. Elektra said:

    It’s like those actresses who can’t be bothered to give an autograph to a fan–don’t they realize it’s the fans who made them famous in the first place?

  4. joanr16 said:

    I’ve had jobs before that involved interacting with the public (bank teller was the worst), but the fact is, “the public” are the customers for bankers and authors alike.

    There are some famous reclusive authors– Harper Lee, J.D. Salinger and Thomas Pynchon come to mind– but since I don’t possess one-tenth of their talent, I’ll practice my smile in front of the mirror and remember the count-to-ten lessons I learned at the bank.

    As for booksellers, I’d feel that they were doing me a huge favor by stocking anything I wrote. To put me on their shelves along with Lee, Salinger and Pynchon… what an honor that would be!

  5. Elektra said:

    Blatant advertising: the Crapometer ( could really use some new submissions and critiquers!

  6. lizzie26 said:

    Hmmm…what happens if the owner of a little indie bookstore is the horrible one? A few years ago I went to a small bookstore, (I was nicely dressed, smiling, etc.) I gave him my book, offered to do a reading and signing, and he said he’d get back to me. He didn’t. I called. Said he’d get back to me. He didn’t. Three weeks later I went back. He couldn’t find my book. Said he wasn’t interested. His attitude from the get-go was horrendous. I smiled, thanked him anyway for his time (what time??) and left, silently vowing never to return. Haven’t checked recently to see if that bookstore is still open.