Wednesday, April 2, 2014
How not to ask Authors for Favors
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.