As with any profession, proper etiquette must be displayed. If you are a writer with author dreams, there's a few things you need to remember.
At book festivals, events, signings, etc., most authors are present for one reason - to sell their books. During this time, it is tempting for writers to ask questions about the publishing industry. Don't! And here's why-
Authors work hard to promote their work and set up appearances. It gives them a chance to meet fans in person and entice new readers to purchase their books. Often we have a small window of opportunity in which to accomplish this - sometimes not even an hour.
You may be tempted to take this time to ask an author questions. If it is related to their work, they are happy to speak with you! However, too often a writer simply wants to pump an author for information and then walk away without even buying a book. The five minutes you spent with us may not seem much to you, but unfortunately, you are not alone! Times that by the dozen others who asked questions, and we are left with no time to actually sell our books.
Next time you meet an author at an event, unless he or she is there specifically to answer publishing questions, please keep this in mind:
It is rude to ask how much that person makes.
Do not ask for the author's agent or publisher contact.
Do not ask that person how you can get published.
Do not ask the author to review your work.
Resist the urge to tell the person all about the book you are writing.
Do not hang around his or her table unless you plan to purchase a book.
We do not mind answering questions, but our events are not the proper time or place. Ask if you can email us one or two questions and we will likely be more responsive.
If you can't resist the urge to ask questions, please have the courtesy to purchase a book.
We do not mean to be rude or aloof, but being an author is our profession and how we earn a living. Please show some respect and avoid the above inappropriate behavior!
I am sure I left out a few points - authors please feel free to add other situations that you may have encountered!