Wednesday, July 27, 2016

An Open Letter to Authors At Tables In Bookstores


MISSED CONNECTION: You were an author of some age and gender, sitting at a small table at the front of the book store, radiating keenness, surrounded by some of your books, and various sundries. I am a strange man bumbling around a bookstore with all the grace and delicacy of a stunned badger, and I too am radiating a sort of keenness, because I will buy more or less any book I can get my hands on. We missed each other because I saw your table, and I went the other way and avoided you like the plague. Like a literal plague.

And I’m so sorry.

This happens with me constantly, and has done since I was a teenager. Mostly at bookshops, occasionally at craft fairs, or anywhere that an author can persuade someone to let them set up a table. Once or twice, it’s happened in malls I frequent. It’s very often a self-published author, but not always. Most recently, it happened at a convention, where I had an amazing time…but I spent half the time skirting a couple of hallways like they were minefields, because they were full of such elaborate tables and keen to the max authors.


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