How To Approach An Author – Dos And Don’ts
Most writers/authors aren’t jerks, but they can come across as jerks on social media.
Because most writers/authors aren’t sitting around waiting for someone to randomly message/contact them on social media. They’re writing, dealing with their family life, and basically just living as human beings. Writers/authors may seem like magical creative creatures that live in an alternate reality where things are much more beautiful and artistic, but they live on planet Earth and have the same issues as other people: they have kids, spouses, get sick, have doctor appointments, run errands, etc.
Add on top of that real life stuff that they deal with constant deadlines and they’re trying to fit all the normal life stuff around their writing time. Or their writing time around all the normal life stuff. The last thing writers/authors need is someone who contacts them out of the blue asking a bazillion questions about writing.
So, when you get ignored or shut down by terse responses, know that the writer/author isn’t out to be a jerk. We do try to be polite. We do like our fans. We do want to encourage you. We do want to hear about what you think of our books (in a nice way—no one likes rude assholes).
Note: We do love to hear from people who love our stuff; it encourages us. And one of the absolute best ways to do so is to write reviews for our books and post them (Amazon or Goodreads are good places to post). If you just message us and tell us, that’s great too, but reviews are like giving a writer/author a surprise present. We love them. And they help with sales and our careers, which means the world to us. Reviews are the best way to show your favorite writer/author support.
And since that’s all true for those of us who aren’t really jerks (there are some that really are), here are three ways for you to get information from your favorite writer/author without coming across like a needy time-sucker that can’t make an appointment:
- Write and send an email. Most have blogs or websites with at least a contact page. This would allow the writer/author the opportunity to get back to you when they have time. Most will.
- Ask the writer/author to write a blog post about what you’d like to know. Chances are, other people out in the world would love to hear what the writer/author has to say too.
- Ask the writer/author for book recommendations or resources about writing where the information you’re seeking is already available. There are many. Chances are, if you look around, you’ll find some helpful stuff on your own.
Please keep in mind that unless you know the writer/author personally and they’ve said to hit them up sometime with your questions, that it’s not okay to expect them to be available when you randomly contact them. They don’t live on your schedule. You need to give them time to respond to things like messages/emails without bugging them constantly.
I know it can be hard. I know you sometimes feel a connection over the writer/author’s work…but the writer/author doesn’t know you personally. They aren’t your best friend, but you can possibly become friends if you show restraint and respect in how you contact and try to communicate with them.
Copyright © Rebecca Besser 2020