Some Things an Author Should Not Do

1. Don't begin every sentences this way: "In my novel..." Especially true when you're with a bunch of other authors and when you're serving on a panel.

2. Don't pay attention to what others are saying about their own books and immediately chime in about your own.

3. When at a book festival don't run around to each author and spend big blocks of time telling them all about your book instead of staying in your place to talk to possible book buyers.

4. When at a book festival spend all your time visiting with your neighboring authors and not even paying any attention to people who stop to look at your books.

5. When you at a writer's conference, sitting down next to someone and not asking them anything about themselves, instead immediately launching into an lengthy description of your book.

6. Not bothering to hand out your business cards or bookmarks to anyone no matter where you are.

7. When you are on a panel, taking over and not giving any other author a chance to speak.

8. Thinking you're more important than anyone else in the room and making sure everyone knows it.

9. Telling the whole plot of your book to anyone that will listen instead of a short two sentence description that might intrigue the person.

That's all I can think of at the moment--anyone want to add anything?



Anne K. Albert said…
What about those individuals who feel it is their purpose on this earth to enlighten the rest of us?

They tell us, ORDER actually, what we should do, when we should do it, and how we should do spite of their lack of experience and expertise. (Gotta love 'em!)

Great post, Marilyn.
Cheryl said…
Love this post Marilyn. I sat on my first panel last year, which was on launching your book into cyberspace. I'm very passionate about this subject, and I wondered at the end if I had done too much talking. I hope not. :)
Oh, Anne, I've certainly run into those folks, especially the ones who think they know the only way to promote a book.

Hi, Cheryl, well I certainly can't find fault with you talking about my book(s).
4RV Publishing said…
For those "authors" or writers who visit a book festival or conference but don't have a booth/table/presence there: Don't hog someone's table and time promoting your book(s) when they paid to be able to promote and sell theirs.

P.I. Barrington said…
Yikes! Now I've got to print these all out and memorize them! God, I hope I haven't been doing any of them...
M.M. Gornell said…
Yep, yep, all so painfully true! I expect authors who could possibly benefit from your suggestions can't "hear" them. Ah well... (If I'm one of them, don't tell me!(smile))

Great post!

Jackie King said…
Whatever other mistake you make, DON'T spend panel time telling the audience about your grandchildren. The moderator of panel did this once and I was so embarrassed for her. I doubt she was ever again invited to moderrate.

If you want to be part of the discussion--don't agree to be a moderator, for goodness sake.

Really good list, Marilyn.

Jackie King
Jackie King said…
Oops. Made a bad typo in my comment. Sorry.
Hey, Jackie, I have tons of grandkids but a panel is not the place to talk about them--and the moderator can mention his or her book, but from then on he or she is there to keep the panel on topic and moving.
Thanks everyone for contributing some great ideas for my list.

Marja McGraw said…
I don't care what kind of event you're attending, don't act like a Diva. Be as helpful and down-to-earth as you can. This is a complaint I've heard from bookstores, referencing those who sweep in the door and act like they're owed something for just showing up. And I also hope I don't do any of these things. Please DO tell me if I do them so I can turn myself around.
Ah, yes, Marja, the diva syndrome. Personally, I've never felt like a diva--so if anyone ever thinks I'm acting like one, please holler at me.

And no one on this list has ever done any of the things we're talking about.

Nancy Lauzon said…
Great post, Marilyn.

I've attended book signings where the author acted like such a diva that she treated the bookstore clerks like her personal slaves, demanding a better chair, more water, etc. Unreal.

Anonymous said…
Don't whine about bad reviews. Nobody knows if your book got a negative review unless you tell them. So what one person doesn't like your book--big deal. Hundreds of other people probably do. No matter how great your book is, it won't be everyone's cup of tea. So ignore the bad review, move on and you'll find someone who loves your book.
Sally Carpenter
"The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper"
Oak Tree Press

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