The Rude Author

I consider myself to be both more empathetic and more sympathetic than the average bear, and to have an above average imagination (this may be redundant). But at times I just have to throw up my hands.

Take for example the writer who disappointed the blogger bookwitch. Bookwitch writes primarily about young adult literature. She is an ideal reader’s reviewer because she tells you just enough to let you judge whether a book is likely to hold appeal for you. Too often book reviews are more about the reviewer’s work, history, pet peeves, and so on than they are about the book under review.  Such is not the case with the bookwitch. Transparency is a word that comes to mind: I can see through to the book she is blogging about. Moreover, she is more than willing to consult with the experts on young adult lit: teens.

In the two years she’s been blogging, bookwitch has interviewed 15 authors, including two at the very top of the charts: Eoin Colfer (twice) and Neil Gaiman.

Several weeks ago she thought she had arranged an interview with an author she is too gracious to identify who was coming near her on a book launch tour. The writer responded with seeming enthusiasm and referred bookwitch to the publicist, who took quite some time to respond, but did say ‘we will definitely set up an interview’.

And then bookwitch heard no more.

But working on good faith, bookwitch made sure that the teens she had invited to join her and the writer for a brief meeting would keep their schedules open all that day, and all waited eagerly for the call.

When it came, the day before the meeting should have occurred, it was to say that the writer expected to be too tired to make the interview.

It’s not just the rudeness that gets me, it’s the oddness.

  • Who knows a day ahead of time that he or she is going to be too tired to meet someone  for a 15-30 minutes over a cup of coffee? This person is to all appearances not sickly; if so, it would be foolish to go gallivanting across the UK hawking a book.
  • Why go on a book tour if you don’t want to take advantage of as many opportunities to discuss your book as are offered?
  • This leads to the next question: who is doing whom the favor? Would the interviewhave allowed bookwitch to sell any more blogs?– ha: the absurdity of the questionis its own answer.
  • Would it have increased Rude Author’s sales? Maybe yes, maybe no. But certainly not doing the interview won’t increase RA’s sales.
  • And England is a small country. Even if bookwitch is too nice to embarrass RA, she isn’t the only one who knows who RA is. There are those teens who were going to accompany her, and assuming RA’s publicist ever works, there may be an announcement in the paper or at the local bookstores about a certain author coming to Manchester on a book tour. People will be on the lookout; in fact, it may well be that people who usually pay no attention to such events are going to be scouring the papers looking for book tour notices and trying to figure out RA’s identity.

I’d like to think a little talk with RA focusing on doing unto others would remind RA of what he or she knows to be true and next time around RA would think twice about letting people down. But I suspect that what would concern RA –what would worry him/her–would have nothing to do with ethics.

But sales lost by being stupid and silly–now that’s something to think about, isn’t it, Rude Author?

1 thought on “The Rude Author”

  1. Well, dear havealittletalk, I think it’s a case of knowing how ‘big’ you are.

    This one fancies him/herself, and comes in the newish, mid success range (according to my thinking). The danger is to think you’ve become so successful that you call the shots, simply because you’re important. Thing is, the really big names are very polite.

    At the other end there are those who are begging to be talked to, where my problem is more that I haven’t read them, or read enough of their books for a talk to make sense. Yet.

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