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?

If you would like to see the offending posts you can do so here.

So, to conclude. I apologise for the inaccurate ‘self publishing’ comment.


0 Comments on “

  1.  by  Anne Brooke

    Poor you – what a nightmare!! And how rude of him. There’s nothing wrong with being self-published (I should know!) and it sounds like memoirs to me.So sorry to hear this – he should have been grateful, the idjit.HugsAxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  2.  by  Faye L.

    Oh for fuck’s sake. Things get lost in translation all the time, and a plug is a plug, for crying out loud!I smell an ego, frankly.

  3.  by  Nik's Blog

    Thanks guys. Sigh. Been doing that a lot since yesterday evening.You’re right, Anne; there’s nothing wrong with self publishing. I certainly didn’t mean it as a slight. (If I did, why would I have bothered posting about it/ not made it much clearer?)And I would have thought that for something to be classed as an adventure story then it would have had to have been fictional. That’s how I’ve understood it, as have the places I buy books from.Faye, yup – lost in translation. And a plug is a plug and something that I reckon any writer would be grateful of having.I don’t know. Maybe it’s just a case of someone not really understanding the industry.Thanks for dropping by!Onwards and upwards!Nik

  4.  by  Lexi

    Nik, if I am ever published (self or not) I give you carte blanche to say whatever you like about it on your blog, and I promise not to get sniffy afterwards.(Um – should you not like the book, can you make it sound fascinatingly dire, the sort of thing that’s worth buying to have a good laught at? Thank you).

  5.  by  Kay Sexton

    Oh dear. In a world where any publicity is like gold dust, this poor man really doesn’t have a clue, does he? That you bothered to mention him at all is generous and more than he deserves, to come back and carp about a positive comment is downright daft. And I’d say it was a memoir, as would ever editor I know. Silly man!

  6.  by  Nik's Blog

    Cheers Kay. (Lovely to see you when you drop by as well!)Well, sigh. Again. It is all very silly, isn’t it? Some people just can’t be helped.Sigh.Nik.

  7.  by  LG

    I’m good thanks! Still loving the blog. And Anne’s. I’m such a bloghopper these days.

  8.  by  Nik's Blog

    Hey Myrt. Good to see you back in blogland! Well, I tried to tell him…I think he understands things better now. Hope so at least.Nik.

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