This month’s Ask Bethany House question caught my eye because of its focus on readers: “Most of the time, I think it’s great that readers like me can connect with authors easily on social media, through their website, etc. But sometimes I hear stories that make me wonder if there are things that readers say that bother or annoy authors. What would some of those be? (So I can avoid them, ha!)”
First of all, super interesting question! I agree that for the most part, easy access to authors is one of the amazing things about the Internet. Almost all authors love being able to hear from readers and know their books are making a difference.
That said, there are some questions or comments that are harder for authors to know how to respond to. Sometimes they’ll ask me if I have any ideas for good responses, which is how I know which reader comments are more likely to be problematic.
Take these with a grain of salt—there are contexts where saying these things may be totally fine, and if you’ve said one of these in the past, it’s not a big deal. These are just etiquette tips from what I’ve observed working in publishing. (And yes, most authors have gotten all of these in different forms.)
Each individual author’s preferences will vary…but I don’t know of a single author who doesn’t appreciate a spontaneous kind word from a reader. That’s something you can always count on!
Authors, are there any other questions that you find difficult to answer or wish weren’t asked at all? Readers, did any of these surprise you?