Wednesday, April 2, 2014

How not to ask Authors for Favors


Hey guys!


So, I was going to do a blog post about a certain character in the Iron Fey series, and why I chose to end their story a certain way.  I was going to write this post because someone on Twitter asked me this question, and I felt that that the answer couldn't be properly addressed in 140 characters, so I would put it up on my blog.


I'm writing this post, instead.



Last week, someone contacted me on Twitter asking about a certain character.  Their question was valid.  I told them I would write a post about it and put it up on Monday.


This weekend, I was in Winnipeg, Canada for C4 lit fest.  I was on panels all day, signed books, talked to other authors and writers, took pictures, answered questions, and generally went to bed completely wiped out.  Also, I had very limited access to email and online stuff, and I couldn't use my phone for anything but text and calling my husband because the roaming charges were killer.  On Monday, I flew home.  I left Winnipeg at 11am that morning and got home around 8pm that night.  After a whole day of travel, I was exhausted.  I tweeted a bit, waxed poetic on the awesomeness of Poutine (Canadian dish of fries, cheese sauce, cheese curds, and gravy), and then went to bed.


I completely forgot about that Monday post.


Tuesday was April 1st, April Fools Day, and as tradition dictates, I posted something to honor the holiday, as I've done every year since before I was published.  It was a rather long post, and I had to take time out of my regular schedule to write it.  I didn't get paid to post it, it was something extra I posted for my readers and fans.


This morning, I received a tweet from the person who originally contacted me about the Monday post, asking where it was.  Except, the tweet went like this:

#liar I went to your blog and it wasn't there. #disappointed

Now, I will admit, I HAD forgotten about it.  I did have an "Oops, I was supposed to do that," moment and felt bad that I'd forgotten.  I told the person that I had been in Winnipeg all weekend, had just come home on Monday, and I would post it soon.


I received these tweets in return:  

 #liar #procrastinator You will post it ASAP.  #disappointed

#liar That's not an excuse.  Tweet me when you have it up.



 Um. Okay.  Let's not even mention that I had an extraordinary busy weekend, and there was no way I could have gotten an in-depth, thoughtful blog post up with the things I was doing.  But besides that, I agreed to do someone a favor.  This was something that I had to take time out of my writing schedule for (my very busy writing schedule), something I am not getting paid for, something that I wanted to do because I thought it would be nice.

HOWEVER, making demands, calling me names, and telling me I don't have an excuse is NOT the way to interact with an author (or anybody else for that matter), especially if you want something from them.  I don't need an excuse.  I don't owe you an explanation.  And you do not make my time schedule, particularly if this is something I am doing on the side.  I understand that you're disappointed, but sometimes life gets in the way of things.  If the twitter person had responded with something along the lines of  "Oh, okay. No problem, let me know when you post it," I would've happily written their blog post and put it up asap.  Now, I'm never going to write it, because I don't like being called names and ordered around.  No one does.


So, this is just a gentle reminder: be nice online.  Authors are people, too.  We love getting questions and staying in touch with our fans, but please remember that the respect has to go both ways.  As the old saying goes, you'll catch more flies with honey than vinegar.




Questions, concerns, comments?  All are welcome.  However, any rude, nasty, or ugly comments will be eaten by the gremlins.  


-Julie







48 comments:

  1. Omg, see people doing things like that is really sad. I mean, as you said, authors are people too, and you don't need to be rude with them only because they forgot something or whatever...
    I hope you don't take this like something personal, you don't deserve it!

    Kisses,
    Wendy

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's really rude. If that had been me, I would have waited a few days and then said something like "Hey, I didn't see the X post up yet - I can't find it?" but I am super duper forgetful so I understand.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Go Julie! Good for you for not caving in! I really admire your courage and strength! Letting the world know that they can't control your actions makes you even more awesome! I hope I can be able to stand tall and proud like you one day :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow, I definitely wouldn't be writing that post! How incredibly thoughtless and mean. I'm sorry this has happened x

    ReplyDelete
  5. How very rude! It's absurd how that person reacted on you. They could have asked you politely if you were still working on that post, but you can't just go ahead and demand things from someone... I really like the message of this post: let's be kind for each other :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. You're a rockstar. Sorry that happened.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Unbelievable. I don't even know how to classify this behavior, because it goes beyond just generic, everyday rudeness. Is it a crazy sense of entitlement? Julie - you gave this person much more courtesy than he/she deserved. You get a gold star for self-restraint.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What the f?? I'm now sorry that we won't all get to read that post about whatever Iron Fey series character, but I understand your refusal to write it after that behaviour!
    I just cannot believe people are so self-centered and rude to demand things like that! I wonder what they'd think if they were treated like that? I'm betting they would be bad and wouldn't like it, but hey... why think of what other people would feel, right? Empathy is so out of fashion!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow how awful. That person needs a reality check and a lesson on how to treat people.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The never of some people! URGH I think you handled it beautifully. Well done.

    ReplyDelete
  11. It takes a 'special' kind of person to say something like that. To call someone a liar because life got in the way of something... boggles my mind. I am sorry that you had to be on the receiving end of this bullying.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Seriously? It is very rude! You are so nice with your fans on your blog or twitter, please, stay as you are!
    Forget these people, they're not worth your time!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Honestly some people unfortunately lack manners in this day and age. Julie, your my favorite author ever and I would love to see more stuff posted too, but geeze! I also know you have a LIFE and your busy and are human just like all the rest of us. you get busy and forget things sometimes. That's no reason to be rude to you at all and I apologize that there are people out there who act like this. :-/ I'm just glad there's less people being mean and more fans who cheer your awesome self on! :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. The nerve! Can't believe that someone would be so incredibly rude to you like that. Don't let them push you around!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I just feel sad for that person. He/she will never get to know the meaning of "respect" or understand that being human means being imperfect. But of course, he/she must be the one and only specimen of perfect human on earth.

    Anyway, that was really nice, as it is, to write that post, Julie. I wouldn't even have taken time to answer them, however indirectly that is.

    AND I'm glad to know you love us (we love you too) and take time to stay in touch. Really, thanks Julie.

    One question now: what were your inspirations for characters such as Oberon, Leanansidhe, Grim, Ironhorse or Mab? I know Titania pretty much had the same personnality as in other stories where she is featured, but the others kind of surprised me. Oh, and I totally loved that my beloved Sephiroth served as a model for Machine *.*

    I'd really love to have an answer but maybe you'll find another, more interesting one. Anyway, thanks for all you do for us.

    Cheers and kisses, Julie.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I just had the same exact thing happen to me. Well not the exact, but similar. If people think you owe them something their reactions can be quite frightful. Unfortunately the bad behavior always stands out over the hundreds of positive interactions. Stay strong and look past the stupidity. Most of the time the people have no clue.

    ReplyDelete
  17. OH, that was AWFUL. Some people just don't get a proper education in manners. Believe me, I see it all day long in my job. You want to scream, shout, or maybe shake a few shoulders. However, this behavior borders on scary.

    I am very respectful of most humans but especially writers. In fact, I approached you at the SFWC - basically because I wanted to find out about those cute figurines you made - and I almost didn't because it looked like you were totally exhausted (as was I). After that glass of champagne though... :-)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Insanely rude and inappropriate. People have LIVES. Things get forgotten, and it's not personal. What the tweets really strike me as is ENTITLED. That person felt they had a RIGHT to demand the use of your time. You said you would, you forgot. It's called life. And it wasn't like you forgot the tweeter's (I want to say twit, but I will refrain) wedding or baby shower. You didn't get a chance to write a BLOG POST.

    Note to tweeter: Get over it. This writer OFFERED to write a post and explain, you don't get to demand WHEN it goes up. You don't own her time or her life.

    ReplyDelete
  19. B*tch! (Not you, the person) They need to understand what it's like for authors (I'm an unpublished one myself) and need to be civil about it. Some people are just...ugh. Sorry you had to have those things said about you. ~Megan

    ReplyDelete
  20. All I want to say is thank goodness you aren't going to write it. You should tell them the blog post is up and give them the link to this one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I second this forever. It might seem like a cheap move, but maybe it will wake the person up to knowing how rude they were.

      Delete
  21. People like that totally disappoint me. Is general manners and kindness really such a foreign concept to people anymore?

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh wow. That was sooooooo uncalled for! As saying goes, from Forrest Gump, S#it happens! And like you said, you were taking time out of your schedule, your job to answer the question, in a post! This person's behavior was seriously uncalled for.

    Heck, if an author answers my question, no matter how minor I am excited! Even if the answer comes like a month later, I am still happy to have gotten a response! Authors basically run two lives; their writing life and then their personal life. You're living two lives at once! That's a lot of work to do! And hey, if you don't sleep, you can't function and if you can't function we can't get books to read or even answers to questions!

    I always like to give authors time to answer my questions. I completely understand if it can't happen right away. Or if it doesn't happen at the projected date, I still understand. I usually wait it out another week before asking the author the question again in another email--or it would be a tweet in this case.

    But short end of it is, this person was completely rude to respond in that way. It's like Forrest said and that guy later turned it into a bumper stick: S#it happens. We can't avoid it or prevent it. It just happens and no matter who you are, you should always respect another person and their right to live their life and not expect things all the time on time.

    I could keep going on and on about this, but it would get redundant. But Julie, I am totally on your side! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  23. This is so terrible. The fact that you even offered to do it was more than generous. You do so much for the bookish community. For someone to be so rude and demanding of your time is despicable. I saw the convo and that they said take your time" and then bashed you when other things in your life got in the way, is awful and obnoxious and mean. Who the heck are they to make demands? No one but family has that right IMO. And no one has the right to be so horrible to someone who was being overly kind as you were.

    Hope the rest of the week is better. And your fans really do appreciate all you do. :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. This is the twitter person that wrote all that. I can only hope Julie that you read this. From my POV I was 100% sure that you were never going to write it and not posting it on Monday after 4-6 days after seemed to prove it. So I waited till Tuesday but instead you posted the teaser. I thought you had a draft and you didn't twit me back to tell what happened so the first thing I twitted was 'I checked the blog. Where is it?' Makes sense given my mindset then. But then you twitted- "Yesterday was April fool's day, my dear." I was like did you not remember me and the post that was on Monday. Well after reading this blog post- I do hope you consider changing your mind about never answering my question. Waiting patiently- F* dates.
    As for all the commentors- Though I didn't realize it, I don't agree- Forgetting is a trashiest thing you can do. A great example would be Naruto. He didn't let anyone forget about him.
    Sincerely and Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *Deep breath* Okay, everyone. Let's not turn this into a flame war. Anon, thank you for explaining your side of the story. I am sorry that I forget about your post; I had a very busy weekend, and I thought that you were commenting about the April Fool's post at first. So apologies for that.

      We all forget things. It is not trashy, nor is it bad. It is human. Everyone forgets things. But, as I said, this was a favor that I didn't have to do. To lash out and demand someone do something, even if you are disappointed, will not get good results. Better to give the person the benefit of the doubt and politely inquire about your question.

      This is all I'm going to say about this. Again, let's not turn this into a flame war or a witch hunt. I will still delete nasty comments if I have to.

      Thank you all.
      -Julie

      Delete
    2. Anonymous: I am glad that you posted here, but if you look through the many comments above, you will see that every one of them expresses the same opinion.

      Julie is one of the most gracious authors to her fans, and no one, least of all her, deserves to be called a liar, a procrastinator and to have her actions called trashy. (I can't believe I'm even writing that.) Those are incredibly offensive comments, and she is STILL being gracious about it. And all of this because she didn't write a post??? My mind is boggled.

      Delete
    3. Would it hurt to just apologize and not add anything else even more insensitive and rude? And citing Naruto was totally useless. Naruto was never rude to anyone and he admitted it when he'd done something bad. Better, he reflected on it and that's what makes him so great. So please, don't talk about people (real or not) without fully understanding and/or knowing them.

      Delete
    4. Sorry Julie, my mistake, I thought you posted on March 31st since my time zone is different from yours so when I saw the Aprils fools post on March 31st, I thought you lied about not having access to the internet when you did. So I got angry but also thought I was losing contact with you when then you seemed like a 'liar' etc, and then calling me a cyberbully out of nowhere made me pissed. This still may not change your mind but I think we both could've been more clearer to each other. I never knew a professional could promise/favor someone and not remember to immediately contact the person to tell them what happened. Its what school or business people tell everyone, right - that if you don't deliver on the due date, you lose a customer since you make them wait? So my 'forgetting line' although misunderstood is not referring to everyday forgetfulness but long story. I hope you will reconsider because this question is important to me and that this was a big misunderstanding that was all my fault. Thank you. fyi-jic - HAGD= Have a nice day. XD Not a Cyberbully nor Rude /Insensitive!!! This post doesn't count right, I don't want to scare you away again. O.O

      Delete
    5. Oh and sorry just remembered ,there was no delete button, that I posted this up on your Talon cover reveal day that is probably already happening. Its nighttime here. And waiting patiently????

      Delete
  25. Wow. It blows my mind that people can be so inconsiderate.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I feel the need to give you a virtual hug, Julie. I'm so sorry you had to experience this.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Wow, it's incredible how some people don't understand that authors are regular human beings with lives and emotions too...

    ReplyDelete
  28. I can't even understand someone can even think of say this to you! (Or anyone els) I mean,I can understand that they're confused,or maybe even a bit angry,but this isn't the way of respond on that from them.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Stay strong, Julie. People may be inconsiderate and rude, but the best thing you can do is forgive them, which I guess you did. But to the tweeter, I just want to say that you really need to learn the meaning of respect.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Is it really hard for some people to be respectful? I mean, if you really wanted that monday post, at least ask Julie politely. Being rude is not the way to get what you want.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Wow, that person had no right to treat you like that. Good for you for standing up and not doing that post, and doing this one instead.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Sigh. Working in customer service previously has kind of shown a light onto how different people can truly be. It's surprising how some people feel a certain amount of entitlement from strangers, for no given reason. I don't know why or how people get these thoughts in their head or end up thinking this way, but it's so sad and frustrating when they lash out and kind of give fandoms and fans a bad name in the process. :(
    Although I would love to read your post answering the question, I'm glad you stuck to your guns and didn't give in and allow yourself to be treated that way.
    Respect.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I forget at least one thing a day. I MUST BE A BIG OL' TRASH BAG!!!!!! I am still curious as to what the little white dragon's name is from the story you wrote a loong time ago. Hes such a cute little guy.
    Hugs hugs hugs!! Cant wait fopr Forever Song & Talon!!!!
    <3
    Brittany @ Please Feed the Bookworm

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hey Julie,
    First off I want to say that whoever tweeted you that was a real jerk and I'm sorry you got that from a "fan". You really must be very busy with the stories you are writing including a brand new series so it's totally fine that you have to post pone a few blog posts now and then. Anyway I also have a question. I am a huge fan and heard there was a place to donate money to help turn the Iron King into a comic. I donated about $80 and it said I would get an Iron Fey T-Shirt and the 4 comic with the first one signed by you. I was very excited and happy and have been checking the mail everyday since about September eagerly waiting for the comics with the signature of my favorite author. The thing is the fundraiser thing was about a year ago. So I was wondering, when the items will be coming out? And if they already came out, who could I talk to since I still haven't received any of the items?
    Thank you so much. I really hope I'm not bothering you right now.

    From a giant fan,
    Danella

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Danella,

      Thank you! I've gotten a couple of these concerns. I sadly am not the one in charge of it, but if you contact @Bluewaterprod by twitter, or go to my website and contact my agent, they can see about working that out for you. Sorry its been so long. Thank you again for all your support.

      -Julie

      Delete
    2. Thank you greatly for the help. I shall attempt to contact them and they will hopefully be able to assist me. You are the best!!!

      Your giant fan,
      Danella

      Delete
  35. Wow. How can people be so shallow minded? (I'm referring to the person who tweeted) Oh well. That person is not worthy of your precious time Julie.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Authors are people too and being a writer isn't just a fancy way of getting money for doing nothing. Which seems to be the way most people think about writers or creative jobs in general.

    Sorry you had such a frustrating experience. Fortunately the nice readers are the majority.

    ReplyDelete



  37. خدمات النظافة بالدمام لابد ان تقدمها شركة لديها ثقة في اتمام خدمات النظافة المنزلية لان النظافة العاية لا تعطي النتيجة الفعالة التي تتم بواسطة شركة تنظيف بالدمام متخصصة لانها تهتم بكل شئ داخل المباني فلدينا شركة تنظيف فلل بالدمام تكون متخصصة في نظافة الفلل المفروشة والمستعملة واعطائها الرونق الجمالي الخاص بها لدينا شركة تنظيف شقق بالدمام متخصصة في اعمال نظافة الشقق المنزلية وشقق المكاتب والمعارض بواسطة الادوات والمواد اللازمة لعمل ذلك لدينا تخصصتنا في اعمالنا التي ترضي العميل وتخلصة من الحشرات الصغيرة التي تسبب ازعاج كبير للاسرة من خلال شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام التي لديها معدتها وموادها لعمل ذلك كما يوجد متخصص ايضا للقضاء علي الحشرات من خلال التواصل مع شركة رش مبيدات بالدمام التي تنتهيك من كل الحشرات المنزلية كما نعمل معا للواصل اليك كل الخدمات المنزلية من خلال خدمة الاثاث بواسطة افضل شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام والتعامل معها سوف يصل الي منزلك الجيد بدون اي تعب
    كما يوجد خدمتنا الاخري التي يمكنك البحث عنها م والاستفادة منها
    شركة تنظيف بالقطيف
    شركة تنظيف بالجبيل
    شركة تنظيف بالاحساء

    ReplyDelete
  38. its very Nice شركات الماسة تقدم لكم شركة جلى رخام جدة فنحن نساعدك على عمل جلى رخام جدة حيث أن شركتنا شركة جلى بلاط جدة لديها أفضل ماكينات جلى بلاط جدة كما اننا فى شركة شركة جلى سيراميك جدة لدينا احدث أدوات جلى سيراميك جدة كما ان شركتنا تعتبر افضل شركة جلى رخام جدة وبشهادة العملاء نعتبر افضل شركة جلى بلاط جدة ونعتبر أيضا افضل شركة جلى سيراميك جدة كما أن لدينا افضل اسعار جلي بلاط جدة

    ReplyDelete
  39. I just got a cheque for $500.

    Sometimes people don't believe me when I tell them about how much you can get filling out paid surveys online...

    So I took a video of myself actually getting paid $500 for filling paid surveys.

    ReplyDelete