Wednesday, August 19, 2009

We Interrupt our Regularly Scheduled Programming...

Today's post was supposed to be the beefy one I promised, but that has been pre-empted by a test of the Emergency Broadcast System.

The new subject of today's post: author etiquette.

It's great to be excited about your upcoming book! I encourage it, but what most authors don't know is that getting a book into a store can take a while. On the record, my stance is that if a book store doesn't carry your book and you want it to, you CREATE the demand for the book in that store so the book store has to order it or lose business.

An author, who shall remain nameless (and please, if you feel I'm talking about you, don't raise your hand! This is a good lesson for all) went to a local store to check on their upcoming book.

They didn't have it!

They didn't even have on order or in their system AT ALL!


It's true, sometimes this happens. For the proper course of action, please see the above paragraph. For what NOT to do, please read on.

Upset that their book was not on order, this author went around to all the customers in the store and announced their upcoming book, encouraging everyone to go shop at a different store that had it on order.

This was done in front of the manager of the non-ordering store. So what do you think happened? (Once again, dear author, do not raise your hand. You are not the only author who needs to hear this cautionary tale.)

The end of the story is that the manager emailed the chain's buyer, informed them who the author is and what they'd done, and now Cedar Fort's sales person has to fight to get the store chain to pick up the book at all. All is not lost, but it is certainly an uphill battle at this point.

Remember, as authors, you are being watched. First impressions and last impressions are powerful, and the people you see when you walk into a store may be getting paid minimum wage, but they can make or break you with their actions. Be nice. Be courteous.

But, above all, make them money!


  1. Hi Sheralyn,

    I am enjoying reading your comments, when I can find three seconds. Welcome to the author's world.

    Barbara Salsbury

    Three Peas in a Pod

  2. Good advice. It always pays to be courteous.

  3. At this point, my book, at least in my local area of Arizona, is only available online. I've had numerous people call me from a bookstore asking where to find it! They seem a little disappointed at first to learn they can only get it from the internet, but I know that by their asking at the stores, they're letting the stores know that people are interested in my book. Maybe soon, someone will walk in and find it!