I Really Was Trying to Help!
About eight months ago I mentioned that I’d attended a book launch at my local library. A couple of months before that I’d plugged the book. I believed then and still do believe that it’s important to do such things.
So, eight months on…
I was in the middle of running my writing group tonight. The author of said book appeared and asked for a word. Of course I said that’s fine. I did offer him the opportunity to speak to me in private; he chose to speak in front of the group. No problems.
He wanted to talk to me about what I’d posted on the blog in March.
He said he didn’t like what I’d written about him.
Before I continue; an apology from me. I said his book was self published which, he tells me, it isn’t. My mistake. That’s what I’d understood. (If he’d have not walked away when I introdruced myself at the launch because I didn’t have the money to buy the book he was trying to sell me then maybe he could have told me that then.)
He didn’t like this:
“On February 27th I attended a talk given by a local chap who’d self published his memoirs. The book’s called [I’M NOT LISTING IT HERE. IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT IT’S CALLED, MAIL ME OR SEE THE LINK TO OFFENDING POSTS BELOW – NIK] and is mentioned in this blog. I think it’s important to support these kind of things and people.”
and wanted to know what I meant by ‘these kind of things and people.’
Do I really need to explain? Okay. Here goes. I think it’s important to support writers and (local) writing events.
He didn’t like that I’d called them ‘memoirs.’ The book’s about what he’s done, his travels and his experiences. He says it’s an adventure story.
And so it went on, the conclusion being him suggesting I buy his book. Has he bought mine, I wonder. The magazines my stories have appeared in? The group’s anthology? These things go both ways you know.
Now, I’ll happily apologise when I’m wrong. I make mistakes. It happens.
But I think this gentleman’s missing a very important point.
I didn’t have to mention him or his book here. I did it to help, as I’ve done with plenty of others and as I’ll continue to do.
I did it off my own bat. Not from a press release, so I’m not going to be able to say the things about his book in the way that he’d like them said. But, you know, I have said something – not that I’ve had (or expected) any thanks for doing so.
It’s important to remember that once your book’s out there YOU HAVE NO CONTROL OVER WHAT GETS SAID ABOUT IT (though when someone does you a favour by mentioning it you should probably see that as a Good Thing – do you know how difficult it is to get books reviewed? – and this isn’t even a review site!).
Again, I tried to do him a favour. I’m not going to name him or his book here in this post. I’ve done that twice and had no thanks and plenty of hassle for my trouble – not to mention losing the best part of fifteen minutes of the group tonight (to be fair, he did apologise to the others).
I wonder does he, even now, realise I was doing him a favour?
So, to conclude. I apologise for the inaccurate ‘self publishing’ comment.