How not to sell a book.

As an author I have the terrific opportunity to meet other authors, writers, and artists. I love sharing notes on my phase of development in my writings and to hear others’ processes too. One of my favorite things to do is to buy books at events and have the authors sign their treasured works. I recently found myself in the situation where I was interested in buying a couple of books from an author and then changed my mind. The author really made it hard for me to support him and I’ll tell you why.

The author not only began telling me about his process, he basically steamrolled me and didn’t let me get a word in edgewise. He kept talking and talking. Whenever I did open my mouth to speak, I noticed that his eyes immediately went to the door to see who else was walking into the room. This was a clear indicator to me that he wanted to be sure to spot a more important customer than me. That’s not a good idea if you want to sell your book.

The rest of us exchanged cards. This guy gave me his card and had absolutely no interest in my card. When I began looking through his pretty wonderful looking book, he still wouldn’t stop talking. I was definitely turned off when he gave me the price (after I asked), looked at me, and added, ‘or whatever you can pay.’ Grrr.   What made him think I couldn’t afford his book? That type of thing, I understand, has nothing to do with me and all to do with him but I really didn’t appreciate it.

I’ve noticed the authors who never buy other authors’ books at events. I like to support. Maybe others don’t have the money. I get that. But not to even come over to a table to say hello, I just don’t get. So, this may sound like a rant and maybe it is. But how do expect the public to support our books when we won’t even support each other? Being part of the author community means coming out of one’s comfort zone and speaking with a stranger, maybe even someone that writes in an entirely different genre. It’s nice to stick to the members of an already established supportive writers network but we never know what a new one will offer us or what we can offer it.

These are just my musings, in other words, “Just wondering.” Maybe I should write to Dear Abby.


4 Replies to “How not to sell a book.”

  1. Humility is always the outstanding trait character of any person, whether they are famous or not, or for authors (that’s why I love Stephen King, he’s such a down to earth person and he thoroughly explains his thought process when he writes each one of his stories). The author you were trying to listen to and speak with, well how rude was he? My goodness!! Then the assumption that you may not be able to afford his books (obnoxious!). Guess he lost a potential fan of his work and he didn’t even know!

    1. Thanks for visiting, Aurelia. I totally agree and I think humility is one of the most challenging characteristics to develop. I loved what his book looked like and the subject matter was awesome but I couldn’t convince myself to buy it based on the behaviors!

  2. Thanks for sharing Theresa. It’s so important for us to support one another in whatever way we can. That guy sounds like he was really full of himself. And I agree, acting in that manner is definitely a turn off. I wouldn’t want to buy his book either.

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