When Someone Tells You They Wrote a Book, the Proper Response Isn’t “I Don’t Read”

Okay, so the party wasn’t this fancy.

Warning: This blog is ideally meant for other frustrated writers like me—and maybe no one else.

When you tell people you wrote a book, you get a variety of answers—most of them good, some of them bad. This blog is about one of the bad ones. You will be surprised how many people—a few you considered friends—who, for reasons unknown, absolutely refuse to buy your book. I could understand this if my book cost a grand or one-hundred dollars or even fifty. Danger Peak is thirteen dollars, the price of about three coffees, and that’s rounded up. (Add a few more dollars for shipping and handling.) I’ve seen some of these people spend small fortunes on what I considered insignificant hobbies. I’ve seen them literally throw hundreds of dollars away on a craps table in Atlantic City, but ask them to spend a measly thirteen bucks on your book? Nah, that’s a bridge too far. I mean, how many people do you know wrote a book?

I was at a party last summer, and a friend of a friend (as you’ll soon discover, the person I was conversing with was definitely not a direct friend) asked me what I was up to. I kind of ran out of things to talk about (and I was never much of a conversationalist anyway), so I mentioned I had just published a book, and he replied, “I don’t read.”

First of all, this is, of course, an asinine response. Unless you’re blind or handicapped in some capacity, everyone on Earth reads. (And even the blind read braille.) In fact, I saw this jerk glued to his phone the rest of the party (probably clicking “Like” on some far-right hate blog), so he clearly reads. Secondly, that wasn’t the point of my bringing up my book. It doesn’t matter if you read or not, but you can express or at least feign some kind of interest, as it’s not every day you meet someone who wrote and published a book.

I happen to know this guy is a gearhead, which is why he’s friends with my friend. He spends day and night working on various pet cars in his garage. Imagine if I asked him what he was up to, and he told me, “Well, I just finished designing the blueprints for a new car, and I’m going to start making the first prototype next week,” and then I chose to respond with, “I don’t drive.” Even if that was true, it’s completely irrelevant! Not to mention incredibly rude. I do happen to drive, but I don’t pay any attention to the world of cars. I’m just happy my 2014 Honda Pilot gets me from Point A to Point B in one piece, and if it doesn’t, I drop it off at the mechanic’s. But I would never tell someone, “I don’t drive,” i.e., “I don’t care” about something that was clearly their passion in life.

Maybe I’m overthinking this (okay, I definitely am), and you can attribute the guy’s rude behavior to a few drinks (though he had just arrived at the party), but I just don’t understand people sometimes. I’m not much of a social person anyway. I guess that’s why I stay home and write.


P.S.: Next week’s blog: It’s Yet Another (and Possibly Last) Danger Peak Goodreads Giveaway!

P.P.S.: Danger Peak is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble:

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