Have you ever met one? If you have, I bet you remember them, and the incident associated with them.
I saw one many years ago. Funny, it was at the very first writer’s convention I ever attended, you know, back when most of the roads were dirt and we traveled by horse and carriage.
She was a very fav author of mine. Top of my auto-buy list. I say I saw her, because I didn’t really meet her. We were both part of a group milling around the elevators, waiting for one to arrive. If you’ve ever been to a conference, you know the wait seems interminable.
Said author got tired of waiting, and of course by this point, other people with nothing to do were starting to ask for her autograph. She wasn’t rude to the people in question, but I happened to be close enough to hear a snarky comment she made to the woman who was with her, about having to stand there and ‘deal’ with ‘these people’. Needless to say, the two of them left in a huff. I think they must have taken the stairs.
I was so shocked and offended by her behavior, to this day, I’ve never read or purchased another book with her name on it. And no, I won’t tell you who it is, because believe me, she’s at such a level of success that it makes no difference whether I buy them or not.
The only reason I choose to bring this up, is because during the RT convention (which was fantastic btw) in Ohio recently, it seemed to be a common theme. While waiting in line for this or that, you tend to chat with your line-mates about whatever, or whoever crosses your path to pass the time.
One thing that came up over and over again, was that people would not, now, or ever, buy books from authors who were rude, snarky in person, or generally ill-mannered.
I have to confess, as an author, it made me think twice about my own behavior. Especially during those times when I thought it wouldn’t matter. Like waiting in line, holding the door for someone, answering a question for directions, or even waiting for the elevator. It once again reminded me that as a published author, I’m a professional, and people are watching.
Then I began to wonder if I wasn’t just becoming the teeniest bit paranoid.
What do you think? Does an author’s behavior in person affect whether or not you will buy their book?