Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Rude authors

Last weekend, I was at the Borders bookstore doing research for the haunted houses book. While browsing through an aisle, I came across a book which I felt might be of interest for an article I am writing for Shadowlands. I added it to my BIIIIG stack of books to go through for my research, found a table and started reading through it. Sure enough, I found a part of the book which I might be able to include in the article. Later, I thought that in addition to including some small excerpt from the book, maybe I could contact one of the authors for an interview. It would definitely add credibility to the subject I'm writing about!

So I looked up the authors on the Internet. Both of them were NOT easy to find. I did get an email address for one of them and sent her an email, requesting an interview. She replied saying she does not give interviews. I shrugged it off and went about my business.

The thing which puzzled me, however, was how I couldn't find her book on Amazon. And when I Googled it, I only got 4 results. I was concerned, of course. One thing EVERY book needs is a healthy Internet presence and I was curious as to why the book wasn't mentioned very much on the Internet. (One of the authors didn't even have his own Web site.) So I emailed her again, asking about this and why I couldn't find the book on Amazon. This is what my email said:

Hi, *****,

I hope you are well.

I'm curious about something: How come your book ************** isn't listed on Amazon.com? Do you know why your co-author doesn't have a Web site? Has this book been reviewed in media that isn't linked on the Internet? I am curious because my Google search on your book only brought up 4 results, so I'm concerned that the book isn't getting enough "Internet attention" as it should. Please let me know, if you can, about these things. I would greatly appreciate that info! :)

Take care and have a great day!



She responded with a VERY rude email saying that it IS on Amazon and she showed me the LARGE search results numbers she got off of Google when she typed up her book.

Actually, here is what she had to say:

Hi, Dawn,

At the risk of sounding rude, when I said that I don’t do interviews, it means I don’t do interviews. The results of a Google search are below, and I know you know that ************** is listed on amazon. I’m not sure what your purpose is with this, but I won’t be replying to future emails.


Ohh-kay. Well, I tried HER method of searching on Google (removing the quotation marks) and, sure enough, up popped the very same results. Right along with an Amazon link!

Now WHY, may I ask, didn't it turn up on Amazon when I used the search feature there?? And I'd always been told to use quote marks when Googling a book's title. I don't know WHY it goes both ways now.

The fact that this woman was very rude to me -- someone who obviously liked her book -- and acted this way in light of the opportunity for her book to get more promotion is such a mystery to me. I can understand if she doesn't give interviews. I respect that, of course. Still, I don't think she needed to be so rude about it....

Maybe she has something against the media in general. Maybe she's had a bad experience with people requesting interviews in the past. Maybe she has something against the Shadowlands, the staff, me or some book I have written!

Nevertheless, she was in the wrong to assume I "knew" her book was on Amazon, because I DIDN'T FIND IT! She was also in the wrong to assume I had some kind of ulterior motive in contacting her for an interview. Bad networking, indeed.

I also do not think that kind of attitude will help her book sales. Not only will I not include her book in my article, but I won't be buying it, either.

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  • At 8:23 PM , Blogger Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

    Dear Dawn:
    Very interesting experience. I believe that many people (authors included) are much less tactful when they are dealing with people on the Net. Maybe it's the anonymity. Maybe they fear the easy access the net offers so they are protecting themselves. Maybe it is an overblown idea of their own importantce. Who knows. What I do know is that it is hardly worth the time taken to figure it out. Put the blame where it belongs. On her rudeness and don't give it another thought. She chose to misunderstand your questions and interest, don't you think.

    I always wonder about the famous no matter how they're famous. One would think there would be some kind of gratitude out there for having people who care enough to want to know you, care enough to buy your book, go to see your movie or whatever. Go figure.

    Carolyn Howard-Johnson
    Award-winning author of the HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers

  • At 9:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    My my. She was quite rude wasn't she. And mighty presumptuous. I think she probably assumed you were trying to get answers out of her for your piece. But your questions don't exactly sound anything like you'd ask at an interview, so blah, she is just rude.

    She sounds like one of those arrogant people who always knows what everyone is thinking and she's going to correct any and all mistakes one makes. I've had friends like that.

    You did nothing wrong. She's not the kind of writer friend you need, that's for sure.

  • At 10:01 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Basically she thought you had made that up, that you were just trying to get her to talk to you. She probably deals with people that do that all the time and just figured you were one of them.
    I have never heard of putting quotation marks around book titles to search for them in google! But a good rule of thumb is when you dont get many websites on a search, you either have mispelled something, or there are characters in the word or around it like commas or quotation marks, which mess everything up.
    Ah well, dont worry about it, she is not worth your time! You were sincere, if she misread that, thats her negative attitude expecting something negative, you know?

  • At 7:04 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Maybe she doesn't do interviews because she's much more well spoken when writing books than dealing with people. It definitely sounds like she was a bit eager to jump to the conclusion that you were trying to trick her into talking to you.

    She missed a great opportunity for some exposure. That's her loss.

  • At 7:51 AM , Blogger Jana B said...

    WHEW... can we say grumpy??? Maybe you should mail her a package of laxatives! :o)

  • At 9:33 PM , Blogger Dawn Wilson said...

    Thank you, ladies, for ALL of your wonderful comments!! I really appreciate it very much.

    Yes, it DOES seem that perhaps she thought I was trying to "trick" her into answering interview questions...though you're right, April. That's just not a typical interview question! :/ This kind of thing just really confused me but I was also very unapproving of the unprofessional attitude she had towards me. But perhaps not all authors embrace an attitude of professionalism towards others.

    And you are right, Carolyn. Perhaps the anonymity of the Internet makes some people think it's ok to be rude or tactless with others. Even those approaching them with innocent intentions.

    And, Jane, thank you for the tip! Next time, if I can't find a book on Google or Amazon, I'll double-check the spelling and remove quote marks.

    Jana, I'm thinking of sending her something ELSE besides laxatives....something that is the same color but with A LOT less flavor. If you get what I mean. hee-hee.


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