Monday, January 24, 2011
I Expect a Book, You Know
They usually don't care what they are witnessing, but I know I'd want to know what I was signing if I were in their shoes, so I always tell them. This is my will, this is an insurance application, or this is a contract. Well, on this particular day I wanted EVERYBODY to know what I held in my hands. It was the contract with my publisher, for my mystery novel coming out next winter.
"This is my book contract," I said. "You remember that mystery I've been writing?"
"Seriously? That is so cool," she said, signing. "We expect one, you know."
"Yeah. Bring us a copy of the book. And we'll definitely get you to sign it, of course."
"Of course," I said, biting my tongue.
No, I wasn't upset. She didn't know better. I love this twenty-something co-ed working her way through school. She's a hard worker. I told myself she didn't understand, but couldn't dispel that little sense of disappointment in me that she thought books were free. Especially since this store where I rent my box doesn't give away anything. Heck, she had just charged me for witnessing the contract . . . all three copies.
So, be patient with the rest of the world as you scratch, climb and struggle to make a living. They don't know better. But you do. Develop some nice ways to say, "Sorry, but I get paid for this."
Keep those fans while maintaining your self-respect. Seek those win-win situations. Saying "Okay" all the time leads to lose-lose - no sales for you and no long-term respect from your fans and publisher.