A fun thing around Twitter #thingsnottosaytoawriter recently had some wry and clever responses from writers, some tinged with irony, even bitterness. Some were made up, but some were things that had been said to them in true life:
Does this sort of thing sell, then?
Where can I download your book for free?
Since you aren’t working, can you look over my thesis?
I’d write one but I’m too busy pursuing my career.
Why don’t you try writing the way bestsellers write?
Have you written anything I could read?
This made me wonder what readers thought of the writing world, our little self-contained universe. You know what? I don’t think many know or care. And why should they? They just want a good book and maybe, possibly, would like to know a little bit about the writer and their personality. If they belong to a reading group, then they’ll want to know about your motivation, how you researched it, what made you create certain characters, why you chose that ending.
They don’t want to know how many times you went through the editing cycle, how many late-nighters you pulled to meet a publishing deadline or your angst about self versus traditional publishing.
The reason they picked up that book in the first place or listened to a friend’s recommendation was that they were looking for a good read. Period.