Snork effect picOne of the early blogs I wrote (on another blog site) discussed a certain college (that shall remain nameless) who refused my offer of an author appearance. One of the reasons mentioned in the person's email was the fact that my first two books were eBooks and the quote was: “Ebooks don't count”. This was a statement saying that eBooks weren't quality material. I suppose as opposed to the “in-depth, philosophical, dramatic, world-changing” type of literature of most of the authors featured at this college, okay, my entertaining mystery books certainly would be, well, more fun. I won't rehash that post but I couldn't believe the message.

Last week, I encountered another you-have-to-be-kidding-me moment. Since the recent move I've been looking to promote more in the area. I'm scheduled to be at an authors' fair in April and attending more of my Sisters in Crime meetings and functions.

I'd heard of some local authors appearing at book discussion groups/reading groups to discuss either their books or writing, publishing, etc. So I gathered a list of some of the local libraries and their reading/book discussion groups and emailed those I could and called the others for information and to inquire about interest in an author appearance.

One library (again this particular library shall remain nameless) representative gave me the information on when the group meets and then to my inquiry about my making an appearance said, “Well, they're really getting tired of authors.”

Um, I'll wait until you reread that last statement.

Maybe you had the same reaction I did which was to snork my drink back up and out through my nose.

A reading group tired of author appearances?

Let me get this straight. A book discussion group that reads books, written by-and I know this may be difficult to fathom-authors, and then discusses the book-and I'm assuming this means various points of writing style, plot, characters, etc-is tired of having authors stop by to discuss...their books?

This is like saying a restaurant critic is tired of having waiters serve food. This is like saying a hotel desk clerk is tired of people coming wanting rooms for the night.

Well, I certainly don't want to go anywhere where people are reading books to book. My heavens, the sacrifice the group must endure. I mean what are they wanting?

“Hey Bob, instead of our reading group discussing this book tonight and instead of having a writer come in and talk about writing and the books he's published, I thought we'd discuss the migratory patterns of sea snails.”

“Sounds good to me. Next time let's scrapbook.”

“No, that has 'book' in the name.”

Am I being a bit too cynical here?

I ended up giving my information and the person said it would be passed along and I'd be contacted. Upon hanging up I eased back in my chair flabbergasted.

Maybe the problem is the authors who've visited. I don't know.

“Hi, this is Jeffrey Deaver and I'll be passing through the area next week and saw that you're having a reading group meeting. I had some free time and wondered if I could drop by and talk about my books.”

“That sounds interesting, but we're really tired of authors showing up.”

Uh, can't see that conversation happening.

Maybe it's the presentations of the authors that are driving this group to exhaustive boredom. I offer two presentations – a general discussion of my background and writing history (and no, it's not boring, I even add humor) and a simple self defense seminar (which includes audience participation). Pick one. Pick a combination of the two. Hey, they're both free.

Or maybe it's me. The person at this particular library said I wasn't to blame, but I'm beginning to wonder.

I've had one librarian cancel my appearance two weeks before I was supposed to visit (I was told it was because not enough publicity had been done but I knew the truth-that the person, for some reason, really didn't want me in the first place. When I dropped by to inquire about an appearance, the person acted like a scared bunny to a wily fox. I didn't think I came on that strong.)

Another librarian didn't bother to research me and called to say no because the library doesn't cater to self-published authors. When I mentioned I had gone through an actual publisher, I was told that information would be passed around to the other branches. Which meant the person forgot me two nanoseconds after our conversation.

I'm beginning to think there's a conspiracy. I hear other authors' successes. But when I try the same thing I swear some black helicopter type secret agent calls up afterward and tell lies about me. Or somehow my name is on the S-list at these places written in bold letters, highlighted in bright red. DO NOT RESPOND POSITIVELY TO!!!

Okay, I have been at several libraries and events and have enjoyed them all and I thank each for allowing me the opportunity.

I'm not going to stop trying to promote, but when I hear that a readers' group is tired of authors' visits, it kind of confounds me.

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