Writing Life: Be the Author You’d Stand in Line For

No one likes a pretentious writer.

Scratch that… plenty of people enjoy reading the work of pretentious writers….  Unfortunately, those pretentious writers will eventually be roped into a book signing and have to meet their adoring fans.  I can promise you, being a condescending jerk (“Oh, you didn’t like that about my book?  Some people just wouldn’t understand it.”  “You think I write like ‘So-and-So’!?  Ugh…..”) isn’t going to win you any love, bro.  People like authors that don’t treat them like they’re incredibly stupid.  Funny how that works, right?

Let’s say you’re trying to promote your book, or your web series, or what have you… you generally want people to pick up the book and start reading, and, ideally, leave a glowing review on your Amazon page, blog, or website.  That’s how these things are meant to work.  In order to gain that favor, the first step is having an amazing, compelling, from-your-soul piece of fiction (or non-fiction, whatever tickles you), worthy of these people’s time and money.  The second step is to be a decent human being (or at least be able to play one on TV).  What does this entail?  Let’s have a list:

  • If they have questions?  Answer them.  Don’t explain your work in a behind-the-scenes kind of way.  Don’t act like they’re a moron for not “getting it.”  Just answer them in a concise and appropriate fashion.  (“I thought Jason’s last name was Stuart.  Why is it Aaron in Chapter 3?”  “If you read on, in the second half of chapter 3, it’s explained that Jason is adopted.”  That’s it.)
  • Don’t answer “You write like such and such an author!” with anything other than “Thank you” and a smile if you can’t say anything nice.  If that person is praising you, and you’re a dick about it, they may not read another word you write.  If they like James Patterson, and you don’t, it still doesn’t change that they feel they’re complimenting you.  Feel free to ask “What makes you say that?” if you’re curious, just rein it in, huh?  I reiterate: no one likes a pretentious jerk.
  • READ!  There are other struggling authors out there.  Authors just like you who have brand new work out or coming out and desperately need people to read and review them!  Do that.  You don’t have to be asked.  You can just pick up a book from a new author, read, and review it.  Give back what you get.  Taking without giving back makes you a jerk, and what don’t people like?

That’s right.  A pretentious jerk.  Good work.  =]

What are some practices that you take part in to be the author you’d stand in line for?



Filed under Writing Life

3 responses to “Writing Life: Be the Author You’d Stand in Line For

  1. That first sentence? Yup. INDEED. I don’t even get how writers CAN be pretentious – I feel like we’re such a huge neurotic and insecure bunch that whoever is being pretentious is just in deep denial of some sort…

    • I’ve met a few writers who thought they were God’s gift to literature, and it kind of blew be away. MOST of the writers I know are a little on the weird side, overall a fun bunch, but very easily wounded. It’s hard to make a jerk out of those materials. Haha.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s