Sunday, September 18, 2005

Southeast Booksellers Association Trade Show PART II

My Sisters in Crime group kicked butt. The table was hoppin'. All day Saturday and today. A great bunch of people signing their books, in support of each other, and talking about their group and the Mystery Writers of America. Pictures will be posted to the web site at the end of the month. These writers are phenomenal. Many thanks to Sarah Shaber, Author of Tar Heel Dead. She organized a great table for all of us to promote ourselves and our group. Thank you, Sarah.

SEBA is a much smaller version, of course, than the Book Expo America. But, they're impressive. They are highly organized and offer great support and encouragment to their members. I enjoyed walking around (when I had the chance) and viewing the tables of all the exhibitors.

All that being said ... here's what disturbed me ... I overheard and ran into some pretty rude authors. I just couldn't believe my ears and eyes. Gettin' all pissy if you were standing in line to get a signed copy of their book and you weren't a bookseller. What the hell is that all about? First of all, I'm paying to get in or working a table same as the bookseller. Second, if you're passing out copies of your book to someone interested enough to stand in line to get one, be grateful. Who cares if the person asking sweetly for your book is a vendor, author, bookseller, or the building janitor? The bookseller isn't the only one that sells books. Word of mouth is huge to an author. If I am lucky enough to get to a trade show and get a copy of your book, I'm going to read it and recommend it to just as many people as I can.

I was offended by the behavior of some of the authors I came into contact with. My God, I thought, and these people are Southern authors? Where's their manners? I understand authors don't want people getting their books for "free." Honey, I understand that. Because I hope to be in the same boat someday. But not everybody can get into trade shows, or wants to, or can afford it... but those of us that take the time and pay the bucks to get in or work the shows, should be treated with the same respect as everyone else. We're all in this together.

I want to SELL as many books as I can--just like you ... but I hope when I'm in your position, I'm not going to look at the color of someone's badge and sneer at them because they're not a bookseller.

Publishers! I recommend you give your authors some lessons in manners...especially when they sit at your booths.

As for the author that was rude to me ... will I recommend her book?

What do YOU think?

Blessings to you and yours.

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