I usually try to stay very upbeat on this blog, and in my other forays around the net, but every now and again something happens which is so discouraging I just have to let off steam. This is one of those times.
A couple of weeks ago we were having coffee in a local café and I spotted some flyers for a local author’s book, which he was trying to drum up interest in for a crowd-funding scheme. I took a leaflet and had quite a chat with the assistant about who the author was and what he was hoping to achieve, and then I mentioned that I was also a local author and could I possibly drop off a few postcards for my own book (under a different pen name)? She said yes, no problem, so today I unearthed some cards, wrote a few details on the back about where the book was available, and trotted along to the café…
…to be met with total hostility, by a different woman, who said they only promote local events and was quite rude to me, in front of other customers. In vain I tried to say (politely) that they already had leaflets from another local author, that I’d already spoken to someone who said it was okay, but she just stonewalled me until I ran out of nerve, stopped talking, thanked her for her ‘time’, and left with my tail well and truly between my legs.
This isn’t the first time I’ve had this kind of reaction – and it was only postcards, I wasn’t asking her to sell the actual books. It would have taken her 30 seconds to take the cards, even less to let me plonk a few on the same display as the other author, and wouldn’t have cost her a bean. I’m left feeling thoroughly discouraged, and also slightly mystified as to why so many people are so hostile to a bit of local enterprise? I can only think that they think it’s cheating somehow, but if anyone has any better ideas I’d be interested to hear them.