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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

I set a policy years ago: I'd never correct the media and I'd never criticize a book event.

I learned never to correct the media from my father. He joined the FBI in the 1950's while J. Edgar Hoover was Director. Mr. Hoover was of the opinion that to correct the media, even if they had facts wrong in the case, would only alienate them and cause problems.

I've read a lot of things about me over the years, some of which was true, some in which the truth was stretched, and others that were just plain wrong. But I've never corrected the reporters and I've never wished I had. The truth always comes out and to keep a story alive due to inaccuracies just doesn't seem worth it to me.

I also decided very early in my career that I would always be gracious to everyone who invited me to participate in a book signing or author event. Of course things are not always perfect; this is Life, after all. But I know each person who worked on an event, whether it was large or small or somewhere in between, did their best.

I've seen other authors over the years who have been very critical of specific events. They are always the ones who never attempted to organize an event themselves so they have no idea of the amount of work that goes into it. I've also noticed that first-time authors, especially those who are self-published, tend to be more critical. The more seasoned and successful an author is, the more gracious they become. I think it's because they know how tough this business is. They also know that you can never judge an event simply from the hours you're there; there is work and publicity that goes on beforehand and other work and publicity that will follow...

And if success is meant to be, it will find you, wherever you are.

1 comment:

onespoiledcat said...

Oh boy is this right on target! Not just the philosophy you "inherited" from your Dad relative to media interaction but more importantly the comments on event organizing. Having arranged some major events in my working years involving people coming from everywhere in the globe, I know how tough it is to time things perfectly, find the right venue for the event purpose, coordinate schedules, ask the right people for help, gosh - the list goes on and on. It's a very tough job. The true test is of course what feedback you get from attendees after. For example, the Book 'Em event in Lumberton which you fostered, organized and carried off last year was amazing and I'm sure will be again this year. Hundreds of people involved and not just "on the day" but the entire year before! "Masterful" doesn't quite cover it but I do know that those of us who do the organizing for events are often the ones who bear the brunt of the criticism by those who arrived at the event with a problem or an attitude which colored their attendance in some negative way. Sadly those things you can't control. Often we're the ones patting ourselves on the back for the job well done because everyone else just enjoyed the fruits of all our labor - it was just that "seamless"! And that is a successful event.