Book Conversations

Some vignettes from conversations this week as I arrange book signings. I must immediately add that I have had wonderful conversations with delightful people and have signings scheduled, but those aren’t the ones that make my wrinkle my forehead in confusion. Here are a few of the more perplexing conversations:

Me: “I’m a local author with a book coming out in July. I’d like to discuss setting up a book signing.”
Bookstore person: [Sigh] “Another local author. We only do NATIONAL authors.”
Me: [Chuckling] “Well, I’m not originally from here, so maybe I can quality as a national author.”
Bookstore person: “No. If you were a real national author, we’d know about you.”

* * * * * *
Me: “. . .so I’m hoping you’ll want to join the virtual book tour.”
Acquaintance: “I dunno. Maybe. Send me six free copies for my book group.”
Me: ? ? ?
Me: “. . .so I’m wondering if you would do me the honor or reviewing the book on amazon.
Acquaintance: “Sure. Send me a couple of free books when they come out and I’ll take it on vacation with me in September.”
Me: “I can send you a link to an online pdf copy for review in 10 days. That way, perhaps you can get the review up soon after the book comes out, at the end of July. Is that possible for you?”
Acquaintance: “No. I want at least two free books if I’m going have to read it and ALSO write a review. And you know, I get to write whatever I want.”
Me: ” Of course you get to write whatever you want. That’s the purpose of a review. But it sounds like I’m asking you to do more than you are comfortable with.”
Acquaintance: “Yeah, you kind of are. So do I still get two free books?”
Acquaintance: “So your book would be perfect for this person I know. If you send him some free books, he might review it, and he might mention it on his blog. He has thousands of readers.”
Me: “Who are the readers on his blog?”
Acquaintance: “What difference does it make? Publicity is publicity. He might mention you”
Me: “But having a lot of people who are not interested in my book looking at it doesn’t make much sense.”
Acquaintance: “Well, if you don’t want my help, why should I ask this guy? Hey, now that I’ve given you a great lead, can you send me a free copy?”
Acquaintance: “So my friend will review your book. But he has to say whatever he wants. And you won’t know till it goes up on amazon. And no deadlines, either. Send him about half a dozen free copies.”
Me: “There are no free copies. I have to pay for them.” But there is a link to a review pdf online. I can send you that.
Acquaintance: “Don’t be so cheap. You have to spend money to make money. And I was the one who told you to self-publish, but no, you had to go with a publishing company.”
Me: [Confused, as conversation is going is opposite directions] “If I’d self-published, I would have still had to pay for them myself. And ahead of time.”
Acquaintance: “Well, you did it your way. Anyway, when it comes out, send me a free copy and I’ll proofread it for you. It will be good for you to know where you made mistakes.”

–Quinn McDonald is the author of Raw Art Journaling: Making Meaning, Making Art. The book is available on her site for pre-order from amazon.