I’ve decided that the worst thing about having a book out is this:
When you know people have started reading it, and when they don’t say anything about it.
Being by nature a moody and surly and unattractive person, I am of course strangely drawn to the “worst” of things. The truth is, as I keep reminding myself, that having a book out is a thing of wonder. It’s the fulfilment of a dream. It’s the kind of thing others wish for.
But then someone you know says “I’m reading your book,” and then don’t say anything else.
Note, of course, that I don’t say it’s awful when people say they don’t like your book. Actually, I don’t have much of a problem with that at all. A bad review is OK if it’s fair. An unfair review is worse. But worst of all is….?silence.
Lots of the time, people don’t tell you they liked your book when they loved it. I can think of half-a-dozen friends who’ve read?The English Monster and only said weeks or months later that they loved it, usually when they’re talking about something else entirely. So why didn’t they say so at the time??Don’t they know how upsetting they’re being?
So, if you’ve read a book and you liked it, say so. And if you’ve read a book and not liked it, try to think of why, and let the writer know. Even if you started a book and didn’t finish it, consider saying “tried it, not my thing, sorry.” Other writers may disagree, but I’d rather?know.
And if I’ve said I started your book, and I’ve said nothing about it, I’m very sorry. I’m not going to do that anymore.
If you’ve got this far, you’ve just read my first ever “it sucks being a writer” post. This type of thing is disgusting and not to be recommended: see also “it sucks being rich” and “it sucks being beautiful.” People who write this type of shit should be told to shut up and go away.