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Writers behaving badly?

By On Jul 19 2013, 8:00 am

I’ve just got back from UK Meet 2013 for readers/writers/lovers of LGBTQ fiction. I’d better make it plain that no authors behaved badly at any point this weekend! But we had a really interesting panel session which was reader oriented. We wanted them to let us know what they wanted from books and from authors, and blimey O’Reilly, didn’t they tell us! I’ll be doing a much more comprehensive post when I get my breath back, but some common themes emerged, which could apply to any genre, not just ours.

From books, they’d like:

  • Something well edited, well proofed, with no errors of plot continuity.
  • Ordinary characters, not just doctors and geniuses.
  • Heroes with normal bodies, not all of them ripped like rugby players. (They liked them too, just not all the time).

From authors, they want:

  • Good behaviour online. Some of them had stopped buying from authors who’d got into fights online or who’d got their friends to defend them on a Goodreads thread.
  • Blog posts which are only about writing.
  • Blog posts about other things too. (Yes, that’s the opposite of the last point, but it’s the truth. Different people wanted different things from blogs.)

They don’t want:

  • Authors weighing in and commenting on 1 star reviews along the lines of, “you don’t understand this book”. Or asking them to take down bad reviews.
  • Mistakes in blurbs, or blurbs which don’t match the story. (Wrong characters, wrong plot!)

Overall, readers want to be treated with courtesy. They like having their fan mail responded to. They don’t want divas.


Author, beware!


9 Responses to “Writers behaving badly?”

  1. All sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

  2. Lisa T says:

    We also often want:


    But that’s because we like what we’re reading. I always try to ask nicely :)

  3. Desiree says:

    I agree with the well editing. It is not fun when I start going to the book with a red marker and fixing errors when I should be enjoying.

  4. Debbie says:

    “Mistakes in blurbs, or blurbs which don’t match the story. (Wrong characters, wrong plot!)” This couldn’t have happened. Mixing up at this point is a vast mistake.

  5. [...] interesting when I was at Samhain Publishing and a blog entry by Charlie Cochrane who talks about this. I’ve even [...]

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