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popmuze
09-16-2009, 08:44 PM
So I've finally gotten my new book in my hands. My publisher recently sent me a box of twenty.
I'm going to a cousin's birthday party in a couple of weeks, lots of my relatives will be there. The question is, how tacky would it be for me to show up with a bunch of books and try to get some of my relatives to buy one for a change?
My wife feels I should give my friends and relatives free copies. But I feel, if your own friends and relatives won't buy your book--who will?

aadams73
09-16-2009, 09:00 PM
I wouldn't take a box of books to a party with any notion of dispersing them. If someone wants one, they'll ask. At that point just give/send them one. It wouldn't sit right with me to sell them to friends or family. But bear in mind that I got an extra helping of the generosity gene.

Do you have a website? Set up a competition and give a few of the spares away as prizes.

MaryMumsy
09-16-2009, 09:02 PM
I have no personal experience with relatives selling books, but lots of other stuff (Amway, Herbalife, Tupperware, etc). My take: it would very tacky. But I also disagree with your wife. I don't think you need to give free copies to any relative (except maybe your parents). I think the trap there is: you have 20 copies, how do you choose amongst family and friends to disperse them? Those who get them may or may not be appreciative, those who don't might feel slighted. If they want the book, let them buy it. I have several close friends who have published, I have never requested or expected a free copy. As soon as the book has been available for advance purchase, I get myself down to Borders and order it.

YMMV

Your book is on my Christmas wish list ;)

MM

Tallent
09-16-2009, 09:07 PM
Man, you don't like your relatives much do you.

popmuze
09-16-2009, 09:09 PM
Your book is on my Christmas wish list ;)

Why wait till Christmas. It might be out of print by then.

popmuze
09-16-2009, 09:10 PM
Man, you don't like your relatives much do you.


I think it's vice-versa. But at least now I know why.

maestrowork
09-16-2009, 09:11 PM
Ugh, I say no.

I also don't sell to relatives. If they want one, I give them a free, signed copy. I think "selling" to your relatives, especially at a party, is tacky. Sorry, just being honest. Unless, of course, they ask you to. Then it's free market for all.

popmuze
09-16-2009, 09:11 PM
Bear in mind that I got an extra helping of the generosity gene.

You must've gotten mine.

foreverstamp
09-16-2009, 09:11 PM
DO NOT SELL TO FAMILY! oh that is so tacky! sorry, but if my brother or sister told me they wrote a book and asked me to buy it, the first thing I'd assume is that the books were self-published. and the next thing I'd do is kick them in the shins. also dont give them away as gifts for special occasions...like birthdays, christmas...etc. equally tacky. just sign it, write a nice note to your sister, brother...etc. and give it to them for no reason.

cousins.... I dont know... Dont try to sell it to them, but if they want one tell them what store they can get it at.

I dont like my cousins :)-

BigWords
09-16-2009, 09:12 PM
I would have no qualms about making my friends and family hand over money when I get published.

Full. Cover. Price. :D

popmuze
09-16-2009, 09:13 PM
I think "selling" to your relatives, especially at a party, is tacky.


How about if I just stand in a corner and hand out promotional flyers?

popmuze
09-16-2009, 09:14 PM
DO NOT SELL TO FAMILY!

I hate it when my wife is right.

popmuze
09-16-2009, 09:15 PM
I would have no qualms about making my friends and family hand over money when I get published.

Full. Cover. Price. :D

A man after my own heart. And a personalized signature costs extra (it commands more when they sell it a week later on ebay).

MaryMumsy
09-16-2009, 09:25 PM
Why wait till Christmas. It might be out of print by then.

Good point, my birthday is next month. (Shall I PM you my mailing address? J/K) :D

MM

JoNightshade
09-16-2009, 09:27 PM
The family members I care about and who care for me would go out and buy a copy in the store just so they could say that they had bought my book at a real store. And they'd show it off to friends.

The family members who don't care enough to do that, I would neither ask to buy a copy nor give them one for free.

ChaosTitan
09-16-2009, 09:29 PM
I'd never try to sell my author copies (when they show up). Besides the fact that I'm pretty sure my contract says I can't, I'd much rather use them for giveaways, contests, and to send out to reviewers.

My parents, my grandparents, and my sister will get free copies. Everyone else gets to buy them. :D

Phaeal
09-16-2009, 09:34 PM
I go out and buy my nephew's books at a real-live bookstore. That way, he gets credit for the sales.

Don't sell your relatives the books the publisher sent you. Make 'em buy the book from a vendor, so you get the creds.

Good relatives, like me, will do this without you asking. Well, the ones in the business, anyhow. ;)

popmuze
09-16-2009, 09:34 PM
Good point, my birthday is next month. (Shall I PM you my mailing address? J/K) :D

MM


All my available books are on reserve for my relatives. But Amazon is already selling used copies of my book for half the cover price.

maestrowork
09-16-2009, 09:36 PM
My parents, my grandparents, and my sister will get free copies. Everyone else gets to buy them. :D

Hi sis.

popmuze
09-16-2009, 09:37 PM
Don't sell your relatives the books the publisher sent you. Make 'em buy the book from a vendor, so you get the creds.

I may not get the credit, but I get the full $20 when I sell one of my own copies.

NicoleMD
09-16-2009, 09:38 PM
Why not get them in your corner by offering a free copy and a sack of promo items for those who are interested in helping you promote the book? "My publisher sent me a stack of promotional copies" sounds so much cooler than "Please, Cousin Jo, by my book please!"

Nicole

ChaosTitan
09-16-2009, 09:39 PM
Hi sis.

:eek: My goodness, you've...changed....

willietheshakes
09-16-2009, 09:44 PM
I hate it when my wife is right.

She's not.

Well, maybe she is.

It probably depends on the family.

For me -- My parents are divorced, and both re-married. My mother has six siblings, I have 40-odd cousins on that side alone. Four cousins on my Dad's side, etc.

Then there are my in-laws, and my wife's family.

I think the key question has to be -- Where does the line get drawn?

My Mom and her husband get a copy. My Dad and his wife. My in-laws. Beyond that, though...

The nice thing is, most of my family members see buying my books as a way of showing respect for what I do, and for helping me make a go of it. Which I think is probably a really good thing for a family member to feel.

DeadlyAccurate
09-16-2009, 10:10 PM
Sorry, I vote tacky, too. Especially at a party. Especially at someone else's birthday party.

backslashbaby
09-16-2009, 10:15 PM
I've not been in this position yet, but I've bought books from authors I know. Of course you'd buy it; you want to help promote them!

Now, getting other folks to agree can get tacky. Give them a signed copy :) With promo bookmarks or whatever you do that they can spread around to their friends ;)

KTC
09-16-2009, 10:19 PM
She's not.

Well, maybe she is.

It probably depends on the family.

For me -- My parents are divorced, and both re-married. My mother has six siblings, I have 40-odd cousins on that side alone. Four cousins on my Dad's side, etc.

Then there are my in-laws, and my wife's family.

I think the key question has to be -- Where does the line get drawn?

My Mom and her husband get a copy. My Dad and his wife. My in-laws. Beyond that, though...

The nice thing is, most of my family members see buying my books as a way of showing respect for what I do, and for helping me make a go of it. Which I think is probably a really good thing for a family member to feel.

I agree totally with this post. I don't have a book...but this is what I would do if I did.

I would draw the line at bringing them to a birthday party though. It should be the birthday person's day.

bethany
09-16-2009, 10:23 PM
Many of my relatives came to my book signings and bought books. My dad bought books from my grandparents, and others on his side and gave them as gifts, my mom often purchases books from amazon for elderly relatives who don't know how to buy things online.

I'd give them away before I sold one to a relative or close friend.

willietheshakes
09-16-2009, 10:26 PM
Sorry, I vote tacky, too. Especially at a party. Especially at someone else's birthday party.

Yeah, the party part is tacky...

maestrowork
09-16-2009, 10:38 PM
My mom and my brother each bought a book at my signing. They didn't have to -- they wanted to.

But I didn't ask them. I didn't stand there and tell them to fork over the money. I didn't go to a party with a box of books to sell. I'm in the school of: if someone wants to support you, they should do that on their own. They should not be put in a position to feel obligated to "show their support."

Now if it's a book signing or a business function (such as book fest) or church event or something, then yeah, you can set up shop. Nobody would feel obligated to buy if they're not interested, but the venues are there. But relatives? There's really a line that says "tacky."

popmuze
09-16-2009, 10:56 PM
The nice thing is, most of my family members see buying my books as a way of showing respect for what I do, and for helping me make a go of it. Which I think is probably a really good thing for a family member to feel.



Can I join your family?

popmuze
09-16-2009, 10:56 PM
Sorry, I vote tacky, too. Especially at a party. Especially at someone else's birthday party.

But my birthday isn't for another ten months.

ishtar'sgate
09-16-2009, 10:57 PM
So I've finally gotten my new book in my hands. My publisher recently sent me a box of twenty.
I'm going to a cousin's birthday party in a couple of weeks, lots of my relatives will be there. The question is, how tacky would it be for me to show up with a bunch of books and try to get some of my relatives to buy one for a change?
My wife feels I should give my friends and relatives free copies. But I feel, if your own friends and relatives won't buy your book--who will?
I was very upfront with everyone. My immediate family received one signed copy per household for free. If they wanted any more they had to buy them. Only my parents, siblings and grandparents got free copies because if I started giving them away to friends too I'd have none left. Don't forget that you'll likely want a bunch to send out for review purposes. Settle in your mind what you're willing to do and then stick to it. This is your work. Do they expect to get no payment for their work? You don't need to be hard about it. If you need an excuse simply say those are all the copies you can spare and the rest of the free copies are spoken for.
If I were you, I'd only bring one copy of the book with me, just to show them, then tell them that if they're interested they can buy the book online or in a bookstore or borrow a free copy from a library, something like that. No pressure that way, on either of you.
If you consider yourself a professional, you'll be treated as a professional.

popmuze
09-16-2009, 10:59 PM
Many of my relatives came to my book signings and bought books.


I'm having a book signing next month. I'm not inviting any relatives, but you all can come.

popmuze
09-16-2009, 11:01 PM
Don't forget that you'll likely want a bunch to send out for review purposes.

Luckily, my publisher is very generous about sending out review copies. But none of my relatives write reviews. Not even on Amazon.

James81
09-16-2009, 11:29 PM
Yeah, that's tacky.

I don't think you should worry about giving away free copies of your book. You might think that giving a free copy means you lose royalty money. But what you gain in word-of-mouth advertising is well worth those couple of dollars.

brainstorm77
09-16-2009, 11:31 PM
I wouldn't take a box of books to a party with any notion of dispersing them. If someone wants one, they'll ask. At that point just give/send them one. It wouldn't sit right with me to sell them to friends or family. But bear in mind that I got an extra helping of the generosity gene.

Do you have a website? Set up a competition and give a few of the spares away as prizes.

Agreed. They know you have a book out, if they want one they will buy on their own.

Darzian
09-17-2009, 01:19 AM
Personal opinion: Do not sell to friends or relatives! They can buy the books (pretty much what everyone here has already said).

When I get published there is one friend in particular who will definitely receive a free copy from me. I'll have to mail it across the border to him but he supported me throughout my writing and I really want to give him a free copy. My family's not exactly overwhelming with support so I might not give them a free copy either. :D (just kidding)

ishtar'sgate
09-17-2009, 02:56 AM
Luckily, my publisher is very generous about sending out review copies. But none of my relatives write reviews. Not even on Amazon.
My publisher did too but there were still places I wanted to send books several months after the novel was out, like TeensReadToo and places like that. I also sent copies to writers conferences as door prizes and a couple of other places as well.

MsGneiss
09-17-2009, 03:54 AM
I think it's tacky, so don't do it. It's ok to gift the books, but don't show up at a family gathering pimping your goods. Should I ever be fortunate enough that a publisher sends me a box of my books, I'll be delighted to gift them to friends and family.

kaitie
09-17-2009, 01:57 PM
Dude, I'm the kind of person who would buy my own book to give away to friends. :P Hell, I'd give copies to my Japanese friends, and they don't speak a word of English!

I'd also probably subsequently wonder why I no longer had any friends. ;)

rhymegirl
09-17-2009, 05:16 PM
When my friend Karen's non-fiction book came out, she showed me a copy and I offered to buy it. I paid the ten dollars (or whatever it was). She could have said, "Oh no, I'd just like to give it to you", but she didn't. Smart businesswoman, she is, making me pay.

Ellefire
09-17-2009, 05:27 PM
I would gift a copy to my parents and sister and my Grandmother if she asked for one. Everyone else can buy one.

Although I may send one to my ex who said I would never get published. So far he's right, but the day he isn't, I want the a$$$hole to know.

BenPanced
09-17-2009, 05:32 PM
If it was a party being thrown to celebrate the release of your book? Yeah, I could see having a cashbox on hand for anybody who wants to buy one. But bringing the books and expecting to sell them at somebody else's party is tacky on a different level: it focuses all attention on you and away from the hosts and/or guest of honor.

stormie
09-17-2009, 05:54 PM
Don't sell your books at a party.

Give the books to relatives.

Let friends buy the books. Believe me, you'll find "friends" coming out of the woodwork if you start giving the books away. Just let the friends know the book is for sale.

spike
09-17-2009, 05:58 PM
Put the books in the trunk of your car. If someone seems interested, you have them. If not...no hurt feelings.

popmuze
09-17-2009, 08:06 PM
When my friend Karen's non-fiction book came out, she showed me a copy and I offered to buy it. I paid the ten dollars (or whatever it was). She could have said, "Oh no, I'd just like to give it to you", but she didn't. Smart businesswoman, she is, making me pay.


Same situation the other day, but my wife blurted out, "Put away your money; of course you can have one." I could have used that $20 (to pay for dry cleaning, or something).

ishtar'sgate
09-17-2009, 08:17 PM
Same situation the other day, but my wife blurted out, "Put away your money; of course you can have one." I could have used that $20 (to pay for dry cleaning, or something).
Not to cause marital discord but maybe your wife needs to learn this is your work, not hers. I just say, "thanks so much, I hope you enjoy it", turn over a copy and that's it. Not expecting to be paid is like saying your work isn't worth anything.

popmuze
09-17-2009, 08:17 PM
If it was a party being thrown to celebrate the release of your book? Yeah, I could see having a cashbox on hand for anybody who wants to buy one. But bringing the books and expecting to sell them at somebody else's party is tacky on a different level: it focuses all attention on you and away from the hosts and/or guest of honor.

My cousin may be the guest of honor, but I'll have driven the farthest to get there.

popmuze
09-17-2009, 08:19 PM
Not to cause marital discord but maybe your wife needs to learn this is your work, not hers. I just say, "thanks so much, I hope you enjoy it", turn over a copy and that's it. Not expecting to be paid is like saying your work isn't worth anything.


It's not like this friend was even a music fan!

As an aside, boy does this post-publication period bring out the worst in a writer.

DeadlyAccurate
09-17-2009, 08:23 PM
My cousin may be the guest of honor, but I'll have driven the farthest to get there.

So?

cscarlet
09-17-2009, 08:55 PM
If you want copies to sell, when someone asks what's going on in your life, say you finally got published and you're so excited about it. Then when they say congratulations, say thanks and "YAAAY look for me in Barnes and Noble!" Selling books yourself is tacky, as others have said, and at least this way you come across as excited and you're not giving stuff away. What good would be selling those few books anyway? Yeah you have about 200 bucks in your pocket, but the publisher doesn't count them as books-sold... I frankly just don't see the point. If you really want them to read the book, that's when you give them signed copies for free.

MsGneiss
09-17-2009, 09:00 PM
As an aside, boy does this post-publication period bring out the worst in a writer.

I am truly looking forward to these kinds of personal troubles. Really. I can't wait to be at my post-publication worst.

James D. Macdonald
09-17-2009, 09:24 PM
I wouldn't dream of selling any of the freebies my publishers send me.*

And if family and friends are the only ones who'll buy my book hoo-boy am I in trouble.


-------------

*Exception: Charity events like Book-Em.

Claudia Gray
09-17-2009, 09:29 PM
The best use of your freebies is sending them to book blogs/review sites with a good readership that your publisher hasn't already hit, IMHO.

veinglory
09-17-2009, 10:37 PM
Or as "show copies" at events so people can have a look at the book.

Palmfrond
09-18-2009, 12:19 AM
My relatives live so far out in the sticks, they would have to drive more an hour to buy my book in a store. Most of them have no computer and have never heard of Amazon. When I visited after my book was published, my sister invited my relatives over for a book party. I brought a box of books in my trunk, and sold them for half price to my relatives (at a loss). It still felt very tacky to sell my book to my relatives, but giving it away would have seemed as if my work had no value.

There are lots of book events not held at bookstores: libraries, alumni clubs, book clubs. When you are asked to read at one of these events, there will always be people who want you to sign a book for them, but who haven't bought one in advance. They are very grateful if you have a box of books in your trunk. If you register with your state as a retailer, your publisher will sell you books at the wholesale rate (which is more than your author rate) and you can resell them legally, collecting sales tax, of course. These books count toward your advance, and eventually, toward your royalties. Author's copies (free or purchased) don't count toward royalties. In addition, some contracts forbid selling your author's copies.

popmuze
09-18-2009, 12:22 AM
So?


I'm just saying....

popmuze
09-18-2009, 12:25 AM
if family and friends are the only ones who'll buy my book hoo-boy am I in trouble.


Just playing devil's advocate here, but if everyone in my family bought just 10,000 books, I wouldn't have to write anymore.

popmuze
09-18-2009, 12:26 AM
The best use of your freebies is sending them to book blogs/review sites with a good readership that your publisher hasn't already hit, IMHO.


Is that list available anywhere?

popmuze
09-18-2009, 12:27 AM
I am truly looking forward to these kinds of personal troubles. Really. I can't wait to be at my post-publication worst.


You should have seen me when my last best-seller came out. I was inconsolable.

popmuze
09-18-2009, 12:29 AM
If you really want them to read the book, that's when you give them signed copies for free.


Who said anything about them reading the book?

willietheshakes
09-18-2009, 01:30 AM
The best use of your freebies is sending them to book blogs/review sites with a good readership that your publisher hasn't already hit, IMHO.

No, the best use of freebies is giving one to a woman in a bar, post-reading.

This is also the worst use of the freebies.

Trust me on this.

Darzian
09-18-2009, 03:42 AM
Just in case you don't know, there's a multi quote function available on the AW forums. :)

Crinklish
09-18-2009, 04:24 AM
As a poster above mentioned, check your contract. As a rule, your author copies are not meant for resale--so you can give them to friends or send them to reviewers, but not sell them. (For my authors who make appearances and want to sell books, they can purchase copies at their author discount.)

Ruv Draba
09-18-2009, 04:35 AM
You can certainly sell books to family, just as family can hit you up for subscription fees to attend their weddings, baptisms, birthdays and funerals; charge your credit-card for any gifts they buy you; and invoice you for any of their therapy bills.

popmuze
09-18-2009, 04:58 AM
Just in case you don't know, there's a multi quote function available on the AW forums. :)


You mean my answers are taking up too much space? (All kidding aside, I think the multi quote function is for quotes in the same post).

popmuze
09-18-2009, 05:00 AM
As a poster above mentioned, check your contract. As a rule, your author copies are not meant for resale--so you can give them to friends or send them to reviewers, but not sell them

So who's gonna know, except you and me?

(But isn't it ironic that you can send your author copy to a reviewer, who then feels free to sell it to the Strand, or wherever).

popmuze
09-18-2009, 05:03 AM
You can certainly sell books to family, just as family can hit you up for subscription fees to attend their weddings, baptisms, birthdays and funerals; charge your credit-card for any gifts they buy you; and invoice you for any of their therapy bills.


I don't think this metaphor holds water. I prefer something along the lines of, Does your cousin the dentist fill your cavities for free? Does your cousin the grocer give you free Wheaties? Does your cousin the proctologist...you see where this is going. It's a matter of respecting someone's livelihood. (Not that any of my friends or relatives have bought any of my previous books, and I've published 143).

popmuze
09-18-2009, 05:05 AM
No, the best use of freebies is giving one to a woman in a bar, post-reading.

This is also the worst use of the freebies.

Trust me on this.


The next worst use of a freebie is to give your book to someone in the hopes they'll tell you how much they enjoyed it a week later, perhaps even reciting some of their favorite passages while bowled over with laughter.

Ken
09-18-2009, 05:23 AM
... what one of my distant relatives did was to send me a promo-postcard advertising her book, which listed a place to order it from, I think. I still felt that this was sort of tacky, but not as bad as calling me up and offering to sell me one. I'd advise against the later. A few bucks profit is just not worth the potential of creating negative vibes.

popmuze
09-18-2009, 05:29 AM
A few bucks profit is just not worth the potential of creating negative vibes.


And yet, nobody worries about the negative vibes created when your own family refuses to acknowledge your need to eat.

Ken
09-18-2009, 05:36 AM
... need to eat.

... writers don't eat. They subsist on coffee, if they're lucky ;-)

Ruv Draba
09-18-2009, 10:02 AM
I don't think this metaphor holds water.Did I say it was a metaphor? (Doesn't your family charge you for their birthdays?) :D


I prefer something along the lines of, Does your cousin the dentist fill your cavities for free?Ah. Right, sorry. I shoulda said...

Do your nieces and nephews hit you up for pocket-change you when they give you their finger-paintings they made at school? Does your brother the dentist press you to get caries filled whenever you see him? Does your Aunt the grocer take her surplus stock at the edge of its use-by date and push it onto you at full market price? Does your cousin the photographer take a polaroid at your birthday then bark you down like a Roman Gypsy to pay restaurant glam-shot prices? And... does your family flog Amway to each other? :e2thud:

popmuze
09-18-2009, 05:18 PM
Do your nieces and nephews hit you up for pocket-change you when they give you their finger-paintings they made at school?


Are you comparing my book to a child's finger-painting? You really ought to read it first. Can I put you down for, like, twelve?

popmuze
09-18-2009, 05:19 PM
... writers don't eat. They subsist on coffee, if they're lucky ;-)



While their friends and relatives eat steak.

Tallent
09-18-2009, 05:26 PM
Don't sell or give them the book right away. Make them beg you for a copy. The tell them, "Just cause I like you and I know your from outa town I'll tell ya what I'm goin' t' do. I'll sell ya a book for 10% above list."

popmuze
09-18-2009, 05:58 PM
Don't sell or give them the book right away. Make them beg you for a copy. The tell them, "Just cause I like you and I know your from outa town I'll tell ya what I'm goin' t' do. I'll sell ya a book for 10% above list."

Finally, someone on my wavelength!

James81
09-18-2009, 06:59 PM
Finally, someone on my wavelength!

Maybe you ought to consider WHY it was so hard for you to find someone on your "wavelength." ;)

In my own life, I've discovered that when it's hard to find someone who agrees with me, it's usually because I'm wrong.

Ruv Draba
09-18-2009, 10:47 PM
Are you comparing my book to a child's finger-painting? You really ought to read it first. Can I put you down for, like, twelve?I get the family discount, right?

Emily Winslow
09-18-2009, 11:12 PM
... what one of my distant relatives did was to send me a promo-postcard advertising her book, which listed a place to order it from, I think. I still felt that this was sort of tacky, but not as bad as calling me up and offering to sell me one. I'd advise against the later. A few bucks profit is just not worth the potential of creating negative vibes.

I'm confused. Why do you think this is tacky? It sounds like you received this person's standard promotional postcard. I can't imagine feeling anything but delighted to receive the announcement of a friend or relative's professional success.

Ken
09-18-2009, 11:16 PM
... yeah, but as I said there was the address & co of the place where it could be ordered from and all. That's what I found 'kinda' tacky. (And I think it was in some ways a bit more solicitous than that. Was a few years back.) But perhaps I was wrong to feel so. I have no familiarity with promotional postcards. If they are standard and this was one of them, that casts the incident in a different light.

popmuze
09-18-2009, 11:32 PM
Maybe you ought to consider WHY it was so hard for you to find someone on your "wavelength." ;)

In my own life, I've discovered that when it's hard to find someone who agrees with me, it's usually because I'm wrong.


Can't argue with that. But tell me, is your avatar symbol the devil's horns or "I love you" in sign language?

popmuze
09-18-2009, 11:32 PM
I get the family discount, right?


It kicks in after 100 copies.

popmuze
09-18-2009, 11:33 PM
I'm confused. Why do you think this is tacky? It sounds like you received this person's standard promotional postcard. I can't imagine feeling anything but delighted to receive the announcement of a friend or relative's professional success.


I hope this doesn't mean I can't send out the promotional postcards I just spent 200 bucks on?

popmuze
09-18-2009, 11:36 PM
... yeah, but as I said there was the address & co of the place where it could be ordered from and all. That's what I found 'kinda' tacky. (And I think it was in some ways a bit more solicitous than that. Was a few years back.) But perhaps I was wrong to feel so. I have no familiarity with promotional postcards. If they are standard and this was one of them, that casts the incident in a different light.


It's not a promotional postcard unless it says where to order the book. Then again, mine is an announcement for a book signing at Borders. But I wouldn't want any of my relatives to come; they'd only embarrass me with their drinking, heckling and shoplifting.

(Aside to relatives: I'm only kidding, you know).

Emily Winslow
09-19-2009, 12:15 AM
... yeah, but as I said there was the address & co of the place where it could be ordered from and all.

But what if you *wanted* to buy the book? Without that information, no one who wanted to would be able to respond.

It could well be that the phrasing of the information had pressure in it. Probably did, from the way it made you feel.

But I can't see the providing of purchasing info, by itself, as anything but sensible and necessary.

(I certainly hope my friends and relatives feel that way; they'll be getting my book purchase info next May :-)

nitaworm
09-19-2009, 07:42 AM
I will not sell to family members. I plan on giving them a free signed copy with the request that if they like it to post a review on amazon and other various websites.

Oh, now to be honest, some of my family requested to purchase it. They want to show their support. I told them to just write a review for me.

Chumplet
09-19-2009, 08:04 AM
My dad bought my books online, and I have no qualms about that -- he volunteered, after all.

I gave copies of my first two books to my immediate family and closest friends, but allowed aunts, uncles and cousins to order their own books. My family is so large I'd go bankrupt if I gave to every member. After paying for shipping, I actually lose money on Bad Ice when selling by hand.

I attended a family picnic this past summer and took along my remaining 5 or 6 copies of Bad Ice just in case. When my aunts and uncles found out I had copies in my possession, they practically threw the money at me! I had fun personalizing each copy and I don't feel the least bit guilty.

If I was with a larger publisher, I probably wouldn't mind giving away more copies.

Emily Winslow
09-19-2009, 05:10 PM
I will not sell to family members. I plan on giving them a free signed copy with the request that if they like it to post a review on amazon and other various websites.

Oh, now to be honest, some of my family requested to purchase it. They want to show their support. I told them to just write a review for me.

If it's a matter of handselling, I can see that it would be awkward to put family members on the spot.

But in situations where a book is easily available online or in bookstores, I wouldn't dream of giving books away. No one is obligated to buy it, but if they want to read it they know how to go about it: go into a store.

Of course, exceptions for very immediate family (like parents), very small family circles, or families where the cost of the book would be difficult for some to manage. This is obviously a very personal decision, and I wouldn't fault anyone for deciding to do whatever they like with their books. But I'm surprised by the number of people who feel that NOT giving books away to family is somehow gauche.

There is a big gulf between "pressuring family to buy books at someone else's birthday party" and "giving away books." That middle ground is "they're welcome to buy the books if they're keen, or not if they're not." I can't see any reason to consider that rude at all.

Ken
09-19-2009, 05:21 PM
But what if you *wanted* to buy the book? Without that information, no one who wanted to would be able to respond.

It could well be that the phrasing of the information had pressure in it. Probably did, from the way it made you feel.

But I can't see the providing of purchasing info, by itself, as anything but sensible and necessary.

(I certainly hope my friends and relatives feel that way; they'll be getting my book purchase info next May :-)

... you're right, I believe. And I was wrong. I shouldn't have felt as I did. So I've learnt something here, though you'll have to excuse my not thanking you and the previous poster, as I'm feeling rather abashed now.

:gone:

popmuze
09-19-2009, 06:02 PM
I will not sell to family members. I plan on giving them a free signed copy with the request that if they like it to post a review on amazon and other various websites.


Asking people to post reviews on Amazon, now that's tacky. (Not that I haven't considered doing it).

popmuze
09-19-2009, 06:04 PM
There is a big gulf between "pressuring family to buy books at someone else's birthday party" and "giving away books."

Is that a veiled rebuke to my original post? I was in no way planning to pressure people at the party. The gun I'm bringing is strictly a conversation piece.

popmuze
09-19-2009, 06:07 PM
When my aunts and uncles found out I had copies in my possession, they practically threw the money at me!


Can I be in your family? Or at least bring my books to your next family picnic?

popmuze
09-19-2009, 06:08 PM
... you're right, I believe. And I was wrong.


Thank you.

Darzian
09-19-2009, 06:18 PM
If I were in Ken's position, I'd feel the same. If a relative sent me a postcard or something telling me that they've achieved publication then great! If I wanted to read the book I would then request them for any information I need. It's sort of weird to receive all the ordering info right away because it would come across (to me) as self promotion. If I want a copy, I'll ask where I can get it. Chances are, I'd find the book online or in a bookstore anyway.

Emily Winslow
09-19-2009, 09:01 PM
... you're right, I believe. And I was wrong. I shouldn't have felt as I did. So I've learnt something here, though you'll have to excuse my not thanking you and the previous poster, as I'm feeling rather abashed now.

:gone:

Please don't feel abashed! This wasn't a right/wrong discussion--just an interesting give and take of experiences and opinions. I apologize for coming on so strong that I've made you feel sad. I never meant to do that.

Let's all just carry on! :-)

(PS--Since another person has reported offense at the idea of purchase information:
There's a big difference between pages of order forms stuffed into an envelope, and a discreet web address + on sale date, or whatever. Maybe we're all agreeing in spirit, and just making different assumptions about what form the "purchase information" is taking.)

popmuze
09-20-2009, 05:39 PM
It's sort of weird to receive all the ordering info right away because it would come across (to me) as self promotion.


Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Ken
09-20-2009, 06:09 PM
Ken - Emily = :-(
Ken + Emily = :-)
Ken divided by Emily to the square root of seven times pie R square = Hmm; will have to get back to you on this last one ...

ps You have interesting perspectives Emily. So keep expressing them.

popmuze
09-20-2009, 06:54 PM
Ken - Emily = :-(
Ken + Emily = :-)
Ken divided by Emily to the square root of seven times pie R square = Hmm; will have to get back to you on this last one ...

ps You have interesting perspectives Emily. So keep expressing them.

Just remember who introduced you two.

Ken
09-20-2009, 07:02 PM
Ken + Popmuze = :flamethrower

(Kidding. You seem like a okay chap, for the most part ;-)

popmuze
09-20-2009, 07:13 PM
Ken + Popmuze = :flamethrower

(Kidding. You seem like a okay chap, for the most part ;-)



No problem. Any publicity is good publicity.

Emily Winslow
09-21-2009, 01:23 AM
Ken - Emily = :-(
Ken + Emily = :-)
Ken divided by Emily to the square root of seven times pie R square = Hmm; will have to get back to you on this last one ...

ps You have interesting perspectives Emily. So keep expressing them.

Aw, that made me smile!