Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Sunday, February 28, 2010

How NOT to win future book-buyers

A savvy author knows that selling a book can open doors to potential clients. What these authors put into their books can make or break their chances of not only promoting their services, but also guaranteeing more readers for future books.

In my case, however, as a reader, something happened with a recent book purchase that was a huge turn-off.

When I bought the book, I was asked for my name. Thinking nothing of it, I gave my name. Later, a friend told me in an e-mail that I was signed up for a workshop she was participating in. She saw my name on the list and asked if I was going. I told my friend I had no idea what she was talking about.

Apparently, when I bought the book, I was added to a list of people to attend a workshop conducted by the author via a video. I had no idea about any of this at the time I bought the book. Being deaf, I would not have heard it if such an announcement had been made to the group of people buying the book when the author's books were being sold at the booth. It doesn't say anything about being signed up for a workshop in the book, no bookmarkers or flyers were handed to me about this workshop, and even the ladies I bought this book from hadn't told me about this.

I asked my friend about this workshop. What it included, if childcare was provided in case I had to bring my children and what time it was at. My friend told me we'd have to watch a video and then discuss it with the group in attendance. The deal breaker, however, was the time it would be done, in the evening. It's held on a school night and right around that particular time, I'd be busy feeding my children, bathing them and getting them into bed. (My husband works at night so I'd be the only adult to care for the children on that night.) I was not willing to compromise on my oldest child's bedtime. So, that was the first reason I could not attend. The second reason is, once again, the fact that I am deaf and would very likely end up watching a video that is not closed-captioned. (These kinds of videos usually aren't!). I didn't hold out much hope anyone in the group knew sign language and could interpret for me, and it was too short notice to ask an interpreter I knew if she could accompany me for this. And, anyway, the time was just not convenient.

The big thing, though, was my irritation over being signed up for something without my knowledge. Or consent. Even if it was something I was interested in, it would have been a nice gesture if they had asked me about it first. Write things down, if necessary. A little heads-up would have been nice.

This whole thing has made me doubtful about buying future books from this author. I'm still seething over it and even have a thought of contacting the author to let her know this is NOT a good idea. Signing a buyer up for something when they buy a book and not asking them first is just thoughtless and borders on arrogance.

Authors, be kind to your readers, but also your buyers. They will appreciate you more for it.

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  • At 11:32 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    i agree. i would contact the author and gently tell her that this isnt a good business practice. and that if indeed it would have been close captioned you still should be given the chance to decide for youself if you want to be signed up for anything

  • At 9:59 PM , Blogger Dawn Wilson said...

    Very true, Nancy. Even if it was something I would have signed up for, they should still have asked. Thanks for the suggestion. I just might do that!

  • At 12:00 AM , Blogger Joleene Naylor said...

    ugh! That would have made me very upset too! I hate when people sign you up for thing automatically and, like you, it makes me want to stay away from them/their product.

  • At 5:38 AM , Blogger Dawn Wilson said...

    Joleene; It IS very annoying. I don't think it's a good idea to do that, because it can be a big turn-off. I have done this in the past but I have learned that it's better not to. Just recently, I unsubscribed from a newsletter someone automatically signed me up for and he sort of took it personally when I requested removal from the mailing list. I don't see why they should be upset when they signed me up without asking if I was interested first!


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