Last year at our annual family Thanksgiving celebration, I was happily basking in the warm glow and shiny hope of Debut Authordom. The first book in my digital mystery series The Ladies Smythe & Westin had just been published. But by the time we all gathered together again a month later, I wanted to dive under the Christmas tablecloth.
A favorite relative came up and handed me a glass of Pinot, her eyes filled with gentle pity. “I’m so sorry,” she said. “I saw on Facebook that your new book just dropped to 99 cents. I can’t believe your publisher put it on fire sale already.”
She meant well, of course. But ouch. I think I mumbled something about marketing strategy for a new series, and how lots of publishers did holiday promotions, and that a 99-cent price point was actually a good thing. Whatever I said sounded totally lame and unconvincing, even to me.
Most people don’t understand the crazy business of writing and publishing. But why should they, really? It’s also possible we author types are a tad extra-sensitive at times. Maybe all the time. But just for ships and giggles (sort of), here’s my Top Ten list of Most Dangerous Things to Say to an Author (and yep, I’ve personally heard every one of them):
#10: What? Your book’s not done yet? You’ve been working on that thing forever.
#9: Oh, you’re an ebook author? Too bad. I only read print books. You know, real ones.
#8: (Same person as above): I have so many books at home. I need to get rid of them, actually. I can’t stand clutter. *shudders*
#7: (Sipping a 6-buck designer coffee): I never pay for books. They’re so expensive.
#6: (From total stranger): Cool, can you sign one of your books and send it to me? For free?
#5: (When I wrote kids’ books): When do you get to graduate? You know, write grown-up books?
#4: You’re really lucky, getting to write. It must be a lot of fun. Someday I’m going to write a book, too, but I have an actual J.O.B.
#3: So how much money do you make? Stephen King makes tons, I bet. But you’re not Stephen King, right? Ha ha.
#2: Wow, you don’t look like your author photo. When was it taken? (Answer: Last year.)
And the Number One Most Dangerous Thing to Say to an Author *drum roll*:
#1: Ewww. How can you write about murder? (Answer: Very easily. Heh heh.)
So…any questions for me or the other Chicks, guys? Just kidding–please fire away in the Comments section below, or add your own faves!