Monday, April 11, 2011

Shock!

"Dear Kenzie,
" After reading your book, I have decided not to set it out for my customers. Frankly, I am appalled at the language and sexual situations depicted, even though I am fully aware of today's environment. I do, however, choose to discourage such behavior among today's teenagers and young adults, and therefore would invite you to put your talents to better use.

" I would also like to invite you to meet my Friend who died on the Cross. Finding a wholesome, God-fearing community might help cleanse your vocabulary and create stories more tailored to promoting God's glory.

"Sincerely,"
Name Withheld,
First customer repelled by my first book, June 2007

In my defense, I TOLD her the book had some language and mild sexual situations. She chose to buy it anyway. And a week or so later, her note arrived in the mail.

My first impulse was shock, and I wanted to write her back, explaining yes, I AM a Christian, and attend church on a regular basis. But then common sense prevailed; I did not want to engage her in a pissing contest, and let the matter drop. I don't even think I'd recognize her if I ever ran into her again.

You've undoubtedly heard of the author who had no such qualms about confronting one of her reviewers, who gave a not-so-steller-review. I don't know if this will hinder her further efforts; I think she definitely needs a 'think before you speak/type' attitude. Jumping in someone's face because they've expressed an opinion of your work is not professional behavior. Remember; our work is highly subjective and we're not going to please everyone we meet. Develop a thick skin and let the bad reviews go; enjoy the good ones and strive for your best work.

6 comments:

Rawiya said...

Wow, people have gotten more verbal these days haven't they?

It is a romance erotica book so...

What was the situation? Did she wk at a Christian bookstore?

Chin up Kenzie. Like you said there are plenty that will not like our books. Good thing she didn't read mine! ;)

Kenzie Michaels said...

Actually, this was Molly's first book, Love Is Sober, which I've now learned isn't romance, but Women's Fiction. But the F word prevails...and the heroine sleeps with three guys in the course of the book.

She runs a B&B, and thought having the book of a local author on the coffee table would be a good thing. She'd REALLY be appalled at Kenzie's books, LOL:)

pmrussell said...

I've had one person say that my educational children's book is inappropriate for kids because it is too intellectual. Only one negative response since 2008 isn't bad. You did the right thing by not responding. There is no book, no matter how great it sells, that will please everyone. That's the way it should be.

pmrussell said...

I just mentioned your situation to someone who has a "romance book club". I didn't even know they existed. Anyway, she said that your letter intrigued them and now they want to read your book. In fact, when a book is banned the sales go crazy. You can target this letter to specific potential readers. Controversy sells! Obviously it wouldn't work on some groups. Since your book is essentially "banned" from an establishment (in a specific county/state)and you are being introduced to Jesus to boot, its a public relations dream. You can take excerpts out of the letter and use it.

Amber Skyze said...

This woman obviously isn't reading my books! LOL Sorry. I couldn't help that. I just say thank you for taking the time to read my book to the negative reviewers. I do appreciate their time and while they might not like it, others do.
Getting in a pissing match is so not worth the time.

Mia Watts said...

I remember you talking about this. I would have been horrified and prolly would have written a super sweet thank you letter.

Dear Name Withheld,
I am so flattered that you took the time to read my work. I'm a new author, you see, and the fact that you spent your hard-earned income for something I've created is a gift I will never forget. Thank you for encouraging me to continue down the path of authorship.

I also am humbly grateful for your kind words and deep concern. It means a lot to me that, as a person, I've touched your sentiments so thoroughly as to provide you with ample concern over my eternity. I'm told that for a reader to care this much about an author, shows the depth of my talent such that it underscores my prose with personality.

The time you've taken to respond is greatly appreciated. I shall cherish your fan mail forever, and look upon it fondly each and every time I complete a new book. Because somewhere, out there, I have a fan who wants to read my work into eternity.

God's blessings on you,
Kenzie

The irony is, your WV is:evicker.
As in eVicar. LOL.