Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tipsy Tuesday

Does being a gracious author hurt you?

In my opinion, no.

Tucson just had its first Festival of Books, and it was a huge success. Over 400 authors participated, and in two days over 30,000 people attended. I'll have more to say about this on Thursday, but here's the point I want to make as today's tip.

Participating in an event like this is not about selling your book(s). It's about selling yourself. At the RWA Tucson booth we had a "BOGO" deal--buy one, get one free. There were three of us that had author copies we'd been given free by our publishers, and we wanted to give those away. Other authors who wanted to sell their books were afraid that they wouldn't be able to sell if we were giving ours away. So we came up with the BOGO. At one point, someone came up and saw my book, recognized my name, and was thrilled that I was local. (Is that too cool, or what?!? Except I wasn't there...) She couldn't afford to buy any books, and the authors in the booth at the time wouldn't let her take my book without buying another one. (I'm happy to say that she came back later and one of my friends, who was volunteering in the booth, not signing books, let her take a copy of DARING THE MOON.)

So this is my point (finally): It never hurts an author to be gracious. On the contrary, I'd argue that it hurts an author to be ungracious. (Not sure that's really a word, but you know what I mean!) Remember this as you build your career--people remember authors who are friendly and grateful to readers; they remember authors who are focused on selling their book(s) to the exclusion of everything else even more. And not in a good way.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Kara said...

I think being a gracious author does nothing but help you in the long run. I am sure that woman you gave the book to will be a fan!! And word of mouth gets you everywhere. She will probably tell her friends how generous you were - that can only help you!!

I am one of those people that love to read authors' bios and get to know them behind the scene - I would think twice about reading an author that wasn't gracious to their readers. And I just don't mean giveaways - there are other ways to be ungracious. Attitude counts big too. Not having time for their fans can hurt them too.

Thank you for being the gracious person that you are!!

Sherrill Quinn said...

Thank you, Kara. I try to keep it foremost in my mind that I can't be successful without my readers--they invest not only money but their time in me, and I don't want to disappoint them.

Have a great day!

revena said...

Speaking as someone who attended your Saturday morning panel and walked away with a free book, I've gotta say that I think you're totally right about being a gracious author. I was so entertained by you and the other speakers that I was planning to buy some books anyway, and now I'll get to read one of yours for free and buy another later - woo! - and I also walked away with a super-positive impression and fun memory of the event.

Can't wait to get started reading!

Sherrill Quinn said...

Hey there, revena! Thanks for stopping by. I'm so glad you enjoyed yourself on Saturday, and (hopefully) learned something along with being entertained. :)