AUTHOR ETIQUETTE: And Why I Dumped Your Interview
Today Gliterary Girl scheduled an interview that we know would have garnered a decent amount of attention, but opted to toss it. We put the kibosh on the Q&A because authenticity comes first and this would have been the rouse of all rouses. Instead of writing an article as fake as Travolta’s hair, we are running this article, which focuses instead on author etiquette.
About a week ago, we approached an author about an interview. Well we would have, but he/she directed us (via their rules for contacting them) to a FAQ section informing us not to bother. We knew our readers would really like to learn something about this up-and-coming indie author, so we read their ridiculous requirements (rolling our eyes and chuckling a little at the audacity – by the way this was not James Patterson who produces entire trilogies in a month) and spent a day pondering our options. We say options because there were two…pretend, for our sake, and go through with the farce, or dump it for your sake because it’s a farce.
We dumped it!
Not because we changed our minds about your needs, or ours, but because this author wouldn’t provide us with organic answers to questions. Instead, they claimed that giving interviews to “blogs” (which we don’t consider ourselves, not that there is anything wrong with blogs…it’s how we began) would take away from their writing time. Their solution, instead of answering questions, is providing pre-written answers from other interviews that we could then glean info from to mold into an “interview.”
REALLY? You, want us to post a bunch of questions that are already floating around the internet because you can’t take a minute out of your day to acknowledge a group of writers that are actually promoting your work, by giving your fans a taste of the real you? You want our publication to lie…tell our readers “We want to thank blah, blah-blah for taking time out of their way too busy work schedule to answer a couple of questions.” Not a chance.
It’s a literary lip sync and no less fake than the Beyoncé inaugural debacle.
If authors who are actually in the top five NY Times’ bestseller list, who sell millions of copies of their published work both domestically AND internationally, who have big publicity firms that need to be contacted before even garnering the coveted interview, are willing to answer questions from our “little blog”…you should too. It’s bad for business, it’s bad for your brand and eventually, it will be bad for sales. You already lost one fan and reviewer.
So, first time authors and otherwise who are really trying to gain ground in this business, know one thing, “little blogs” are your voice, your bread and butter. “Little blogs” are going to breathe life into your brand, your work, your book. You piss them off; you cut off your oxygen. If you want to actively engage in your business, you need to actually engage. Don’t pre-anything, just do what you can, when you can. “Little blogs” will understand if your interview can’t be completed for two months because you have a heavy tour schedule or because you are trying to finish your next series. We get it…we want you to write more than anyone. But to not give out interviews, then blame the public for consumption of your time. It is arrogant and preposterous. Get an assistant, a really good calendar and learn to manage your time…or you can contact Gliterary Girl. We have a media service that offers solutions to these problems.
So today, you were scheduled to read a fantastic interview with an author who didn’t want to take out a couple of minutes of their day to respond to a few simple questions, so we canceled it, because writing the questions and answers cut into our time…with you.