In the last few months, I've been to a few different events, with more setup for 2016. I'm going to post my own, honest opinion on things.
- Whether you like a person or not, it should not persuade you from doing their events. If readers will be there and you could benefit from going by selling books, meeting/reconnecting with readers, then I suggest you go. Let go of not liking someone. Who cares. This is a business, treat it as such.
- I have NO idea what it entails to set up an event, but from what I can see, it is very stressful. Ever hear the phrase "it's like herding cats"? It seems to apply to this to a T. As an author, if you decide to sign on to an event, you have an obligation now. You need to tell your readers and writing community where you'll be. You want them to come see you, right? You want to sell your books, right? I do not expect the event coordinator to do this for me. When I sign up for an event, that is ALL on me, 100%, to market and pimp myself. If my street team jumps in the action, HOORAH! I love my girls so yeah, every little bit helps. But if you sign on for an event and never once mention it on your social media pages, how are your readers actually going to know you're there? Consider that moving forward.
- A few days before the event kicks off, stress, nerves, butterflies, etc...they effect everyone, not just the coordinator (but add 1000% of your stress levels together and you may get close to what they're feeling). Do your part and contribute to the success of the event. You've paid to be there, so work it.
- The day the event opens, do your part and contribute (repeated, I know). Do the panels, talk to readers, put on a smile and 'be on'. No one is asking you to be fake, but remember, these are your readers. Without your readers, you would not be where you are. If you need a break, remove yourself for an hour or two and go to your room, go outside, go make that call...whatever it is. Sometimes it's just to go pee. I've been there, it's okay.
- During the book signing, be respectful, please. Do not bad mouth other authors, bloggers, models, readers, etc. Authors and bloggers will talk, but what's worse? Readers talk as well. Word will get around. Others will find out what was said. It's the nature of the gossip beast. Want to prevent it? Don't start it.
- Running along the lines of the bullet above, do not bash other events, especially the day their event is starting. You are not only hurting the event, you are hurting the authors in attendance. Do not back lash at the aggressor, either. Do not fight fire with fire. This is a professional industry. Remember, your readers will see everything as it plays out on social media. I've mentioned this before to someone. "There are three sides to every story. Your side, their side, and the truth." Not everything you see on Facebook, Twitter and TSU is real (I think we've all learned that). If you're not sure, go to the source. Keep it simple and keep the negativity OFF social media.
- Remember, we are here to write and sell books. I don't know about you, but I enjoy interacting with my readers on a daily basis. Do not ignore the hand that feeds you. And do not, especially, call them out, talk bad about them, or tell them to leave you alone when all they want is a few minutes of your time to tell you how much your story affected them. Seriously, it's only a few minutes of your day. We all have something going on (trust me, I'm a special needs mom. There's LOTS going on in my life). Take a few minutes of your day to read your messages and respond.
- Do not stalk people. We all read the story of the author who took it too far and went to the bloggers house because of a review they left on their book. This goes along with the three sides to every story comment since we were not there to witness it, but damn, do not stalk people. Do not be Kathy Bates from Misery.
- If another author begins talking about another author or reader, do what you will, but honestly, ignore it. We are not in high school. Let's leave the pettiness at the door and write our stories. (recall above? The gossip beast?)
- And finally, for the love of Pete, do not steal someone else's work! Blood, sweat, and tears go into everything we do as writers. Not everyone will like everything out there, and that is okay. It is a diverse universe and it is okay to be different. What is NOT okay is stealing someone's work, changing the sex/names/places and calling it your own. We've all read/heard about what happened. The writing world is a small, small place. You steal, give it time, you'll be found out.
Not everyone may be in agreement with my post, and that's okay. Please do not go out of your way to "ruin" another author or coordinator. Why would you want to do this? What is your goal in doing so?
Did the author write a story you don't agree with? Do not read it.
Did the author steal your story line? File a complaint with the library of congress. Get an entertainment attorney on speed dial.
Has a coordinator become a threat to the industry professionals? I highly doubt it. Even if so, be a professional and take it up with them. Work together.
Has a model, reader, blogger or author crossed the line in some fashion? Take it up with them rather than blasting them on social media.
This is not intended to blast anyone or anything, nor is there any name calling. If offense is taken (which is not my intent), then reach out to me. I am one of the kindest persons you'll EVER meet, but never, ever, mistake my kindness for weakness.
It takes years to build up trust in someone but it can take only a second to destroy it. The mouth is a powerful weapon, use it wisely. Use it in a book as a man who is seducing a woman. Use drama in your story to build your plot, not drive away authors and potential readers.