This is so lame that I have to write this…

NOTE, before anything else is said, I want to say this ~ I love children’s books and I have two YA books in mind with outlines written.  I think very highly of authors who write children’s book because they help teach and grow young minds, and without that step no one would be reading any higher.  With this post I just wanted to make clear the age group for this book so no one buys the wrong type of book, plus I don’t get bad reviews and I do get sales.  My cover and subject matter would not interest most young children.

When my book (The Strongest Fire) first came out, one of my family members did not get a lot of info about it and started talking and sharing with others about how I wrote a ‘children’s book.’  They did it on the web and to most of my family (before I had a chance) and some friends.  They made it sound like the interest level of it was for about 8 years old.  This wasn’t, and still isn’t, good for my sales at all.  It’s falsely advertizing what my book is, making it sound like something it isn’t, and hurting my sales not just some online but with my family that doesn’t have little ones.  My book is for older teens and up.  My husband (who, as most of you know, is a high school librarian) says it’s what’s called an ‘adult for young adult’ meaning that adults, college age students, and older teens will more than likely enjoy it.  The person who advertized about The Strongest Fire did not talk to me first nor did they have permission, they had nothing to do with this book or any following/future book, and in over stepping every boundary they are still hurting my sales.  Also, they did not get any of the book information from me.

The reason I am posting about this now instead of when it first happened is I tried to rectify the problem back then, discreetly, and I thought I had. But I am still having people ask me how my “children’s book is doing.”  I’ve had a couple family members and one inquiry (non family related) ask in the last month or so.  I am posting about it here in the hopes that I will reach a few people that were falsely told and I hope I don’t have to send out a correction e-mail to all of my family members.  Also, my book was just advertised in Publishers Weekly, with seven other non-children’s books.  They tried to place it with a group of books that would interest some of the same age groups.

To those out there who think that they are helping, get all the facts first (and permission) because you might be like the current flowing in the wrong direction.  Now the ‘helped’ person is fighting with their oars against the tide and their progression has to do more with repairs than getting anywhere.  This is upsetting, wrong, frustrating, time consuming, and hurtful.  It is also more like what an enemy would do, not a friend, and definitely not a family member, even if they thought their intentions were good.

The sad, and upsetting, truth is, if this person had been interested in ‘helping’ with my sales the least they could have done was take 15 minutes of their time, look up my website and learn more about my book… but they didn’t until they had already spouted all the falsenesses about it.  And I really did not want to ever have to write this post.  It sounds bitter and harsh, two things that I am not.  But I am being forced to either correct this, or not have the right types of sales/any sales at all.


5 Responses to This is so lame that I have to write this…

  1. Hey Sarah,

    I’ve been meaning to stop by and congratulate you on your book, but I was in the hospital for 9 days (serious cellulitis infection) and I’m still recuperating. I had no idea that you had written a book and I’m so very proud of you! I will have to pick up a copy when my finances improve so I can read it and review it on my blog.

    Regarding this post–I think you are entirely justified in stating your case. You want your book to make it to the right audience. So don’t feel bad about trying to set things right.

    Again, congratulations!



    • sarahwinters says:

      Thank you! 🙂 I love reviews. And it’s no big deal about not knowing. I need to get better at advertizing. But how does one say, “My book is great and everyone in the world should buy it!” without sounding vain? I just need to find a way to advertize that I am comfortable with.
      My worry about writing this was putting other people off from recommending it. I have no problem with people talking about it or saying the facts. But to say it was for kids and everything that happened/is still happening is just not right. Plus, the way they ‘promoted’ it, they should have asked for permission. It was a lot more than just a, “Hey, I read a great book…” If it was just that I would have been fine, they would have known the age group, and the book.
      Wow, nine days! I’m soooooo sorry. I hope you’re feeling much better now. I feel ignorant, but I had to look up what a “cellulitis infection” is. You poor lady. What I read said it could be life threatening and it sure doesn’t sound fun. I hope you recover quickly and get a chance to enjoy, at least, some of summer.
      Take care and well wishes,

  2. Alissa says:

    When my father first began telling folks that I was going to have a book published he used the term “easy reader”. Like your novel it is YA at the older end of the teen spectrum. Luckily, I was there for one of his “easy reader” comments and quickly corrected him and have been working on educating him about YA literature. So, I don’t have the nightmare situation you have, but it could have gotten ugly if I was there to intervene. Good luck with your efforts to set the record straight!

    • sarahwinters says:

      Oh no! At least he was proud of you. 🙂 Did you let him know Dr. Seuss, The Bernstein Bears, and a number of Maurice Sendak’s are “easy readers” and that YA is a lot more complex and can have a little bit of ‘adult stuff’ mixed in there?
      They don’t even put the YA books in the kids section at most public libraries. They have a spot/room/area of their own, are mixed in with the adults (and labeled ‘YA’), or have a shelf in the adult fiction for just them. At least when I was working there they did, it might be a little different now.
      I’m very glad that you caught him in time and don’t have a mess to pick up. 🙂

  3. Alissa says:

    The editor in me would like to point out that in my above comment it should read “wasn’t there to intervene”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: