At a recent event, a group signing by a lot of authors, there were a couple of things that I found very disappointing.
One of the authors, a YA author I was very keen to meet wasn't at her table. There were a couple books sitting in front of an empty chair. This also happened with another of the authors there. Then, when I spotted the YA author (not at her table) signing a book in the small crowd I got up the nerve to go talk to her. I thought a good opener would be to say "I saw your book on Amazon and it looks interesting." To which she said something along the lines of "Thank you, I hope it sells so I can write more." And then she ran off. I stood there and then moved on to talk to other authors who had the time to speak to me.
I understand that authors are only human, maybe she just wanted to hang out with her friends the whole time. Whatever. But it helps to engage the public! In a friendly way. I felt that not only did he not care to take the time to discuss her book with her, but that she didn't want to be talking to me at all. Now she smiled the entire sentence he spoke to me but it was still off putting. Obviously I wasn't important enough to speak with at length.
I have to say as interested in her book as I was I'm not interested anymore.
On the other side of the table- when you are the important published author it can be hard to remember that for some people- meeting you will be the highlight of their day. Or month! A little kindness, a little regard, can go a long way in cementing the trust your readers and turning readers into fans. Even if you don't remember everyone you talk to at a signing or convention or conference- rest assured THEY will remember YOU. Because you are one of the people they left the house to go see.
Needless to say I won't be buying that particular book. And maybe that sounds petty but that iss 90% how the world works. If you leave a bad impression on potential buyers they won't buy the book.
So please, dear authors- be kind to the humble supplicant's and wannabes that show up to the events you attend. Their money is as green as anyone else's.
And for the love of God it behind your table. I don't what the hell you look like. Although now that I think about it, the fact that she wasn't behind her table says something about how seriously she was taking the event in the first place.