The people you know can be an interesting group, especially when they find out you do something most might find out of the ordinary. Over the years, as a self-published author, I’ve found that friends and coworkers have similar responses when they find out what I do.

Below are four common reactions I’ve gotten from people when they find out I’m an author. 

#1 – “I’d buy your book, but I’m not a reader.”

This one was said to me this past week by a coworker while another coworker was talking to me about my latest book, The Sexual Misadventures of Alicia Williams, Alpha Female.  I had to laugh when he said it since he’s not the first person to say that to me.  It’s funny to say, too, like it’s a point of pride for some not to read.

There is a group of people out there who finished high school or college and were left with the idea that reading equals homework and tests, which is unfortunate.  I know; I’ve met several of them before I started writing novels.  

The fun part is when I reply that they can get the audiobook of my latest book, and their eyes widen, searching for another excuse.  Always amusing.

#2 – “You don’t write in my genre.”

This one was said to me by my coworker, who had just read The Sexual Misadventures of Alicia Williams, Alpha Female when I told him about my Young Adult series. He made it clear that he has zero interest in that genre and wouldn’t even consider learning more about those books.

I can respect that.  He’s a person who prefers nonfiction anyway, so I consider it a win that he read my fiction novel while on vacation. 

While I prefer to read a variety of genres and authors, some people find a genre they enjoy and stick with it, and that’s fine.  You can’t win ‘em all, and it is possible that eventually, you will write a book in a genre they like, and they’ll buy a copy.

#3 – “Can I get a free autographed copy of your book?”

If you write, you know that crafting and completing a novel can take months or years. It takes a lot of time, creative energy, and effort to make everything come together in harmony on the page and make the narrative solid and entertaining. So, I always find it funny when people expect me to hand them a free autographed copy of the work I’ve been working on for months.

Are they going to read it and review it?  Nope.  With my first novel, I signed free copies for my coworkers who still have them unread in their desk drawers.  Lesson learned: I no longer do that. 

Your time, energy, and effort have value, and if people aren’t willing to pay a little in response to that effort, it’s better they go without a copy.

#4 – “I’ll order it today!” (Proceeds to repeat this each time they see you)

I work with someone who has been ordering my first book, The Field since it came out in 2018. They added my second book, Midnight House, to their order in 2021. They’ve told me they’re getting my third book, The Sexual Misadventures of Alicia Williams, Alpha Female, which came out in late 2023.

The strange thing is that they never seem to have the books, and when I see them, they always say, “I’m ordering your books this week!”  

You can only get away with that lie for so long, especially if the person constantly orders the books for the first time every time you see them.  

If you want to order them, do so. If you’re not interested, that’s fine, too.  It doesn’t spare my feelings, either; it just makes you look like a compulsive liar and makes me wonder what other things in your life you lie about constantly.

Final Thoughts

I believe that some people are afraid to read the work of someone they know out of fear they’ll hate it and be asked by the author what they think.  No one wants that pressure, so they avoid reading a friend’s or coworker’s work.  And I totally get it.  

Writing a book takes a lot of time, energy, and effort.  Reading a book can also involve the same three elements.  If you dislike a book and don’t know the author, you don’t have to worry about being asked your opinion.  But if you see the author frequently, and they know you bought, are reading, or have read the book, this can lead to an awkward situation between the author and the reader.

I advise all authors to refrain from pushing people they know to read their books. While it’s acceptable to inform them that you are an author, pressuring people to read your work can have disastrous results.  

So, keep friends, family, and coworkers informed if you wish, but accept that they might not be interested and move on.  It will save you a lot of frustration and disappointment in the long run.

What responses, positive or negative, have you received with someone you know finds out you’re an author? Leave and comment and let me know!

Happy Writing, and I’ll see you next time!

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