Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Responsibility of Being a Published Author

Becoming a published author is an accomplishment that a lot of people only dream of. Many work for years and never see this dream fulfilled. But for a few, they do achieve that goal. It is at that point when they find that the work of being a published author involves a lot more than simply writing another book.

Sure, we can talk about marketing, publicity and so forth. Yes, these are now going to be daily tasks that will suck up your life of writing. But, there is one more element that many published authors slide to the side. For many, they seem they are "above the rest of the peons out there". You have to give back to others.

I often find it amazing at how many authors who, after they make it, and especially after they find success, seem to ignore those authors who are still struggling. Yes, they still attend those writing conventions, but now, they "make an appearance" so that those below them can stand in awe at their success. Those days of teaching small workshops, talking "shop" with the other authors, and even helping out with judging the smaller writing chapter conferences are activities they simply "do not have the time to do anymore."

And frankly, this is wrong!

Authors have to remember who got them to the point they are at now. It was those small chance greetings with someone famous who might have inspired that first character. It was that small workshop you took where you learned that small little nugget.

There is also another group that published authors need to be responsible to. These are the readers. No, they are not the just the people who "pay to read your books." These are people who love what you do and sometimes, they just want to say something nice to you. To compliment you. To shake your hand.

I stumbled across an article a couple of days ago that highlighted just this lack of caring for the reader. Honestly, I cannot remember who it was (these last couple of days have been very busy), but the essence was an author complaining about the teachers who have their kids write letters to the author to ask them questions. This author was going on and on about how busy they were and how it wasn't right for the teachers to fill up their mailboxes.

Ummmm, sorry author. This is your job now!

You will get fan mail. It might be from some random person who you think doesn't matter, but consider this. That person took the time to A) find an address to send the letter or email to; and B) sat down and wrote the letter. They cared enough because YOUR story had some sort of an impact on your life.

Respect that person. Write back. Say thank you! DO SOMETHING!

You will find that your career will last a lot longer if you treat people with respect!

1 comment:

  1. What a heartwarming post. I am reminded that, (as I still struggle along), I've encountered authors who are generous with their time and encouragement, and that has really kept me going. Should I ever get "well published", I want to remember how much that means to someone.