Sunday, March 11, 2012

Don't Ignore Me!

~*~  Publisher’s Corner ~*~

By Jude Pittman

I have a day job, so a lot of the work I really love to do (publishing) gets squeezed in between the “must do firsts.”  As a member of the publishing team at Books We Love, I’m the formatting queen.  If a book comes out with off center headings and missing indents—I’m the one who receives the pointed finger. 

Most of the time this is a relatively simple chore – straightforward and not too different from the demands of my day job – except writers are generally a lot less stressful to work with than lawyers. 

There are, however, exceptions, and Amazon’s ever-changing Kindle evolutions is enough to make any sane word processor joining the folks at Jane Toombs’ Thirteen West residence. 

Of course my life inside Books We Love isn’t all formatting.  There are lots of little ups and downs to make my day.  Since we’ve gone primarily Amazon exclusive, we make it a point to closely monitor where the books are on the best seller lists, if our scheduled free books are actually showing up as we promised the readers of our official Books We Love Blog, BWLPP they would be on any particular day.  And if, as has happened a couple of times recently, the Amazonians who release the free books are either sleeping late or have forgotten us altogether, then it’s up to me to send an SOS and ask them what happened?  Sometimes I get an answer, and then sometimes I don’t.  But, at least they know we’re around and watching them.

Then there are the interviews of our authors appearing at various blogs and sites, I try to make it a point to pop over to the hosting Blog and read the interview – sometimes I even comment, but sometimes I just enjoy reading and letting others do the commenting.  Janet Lane Walters recently hosted Vijaya Schartz over on Eclectic Writer.  Definitely a “not to be missed” segment, especially for those of you who are entertaining the idea of writing your own book one day – or maybe even in the process.  Vijaya’s one of our most talented authors, and this interview is packed full of helpful tips and interesting ideas.

Of course, there are emails by the dozens – some days by the 10s of dozens.  We have a rule at Books We Love, no email goes unanswered for more than three days.  My biggest pet peeve, and the thing I hated the most about epublishers I have been with in the past, was being IGNORED. 

Never, in my entire working life, have I encountered an industry as Rude and Inconsiderate as the Publishing Industry, when it comes to replying to correspondence.  Books We Love is the exception.  If you have written to us and three days have passed with no response, then you need to be following up on your inquiry, because your email must be lost in cyberspace.  We have a rule.  I DO NOT CARE IF WE GET 1000 EMAILS A DAY.  If our business is so busy that we can’t answer an email in three days then we’re going to hire someone to answer the emails!

Ignoring email is just plain bad manners.  There is no excuse.  Deal with it folks.  If someone emails you, reply.  Tell them you’re too busy to give their matter consideration at the moment and you have diarized it for January 25, 2030, and will get back to them.  Tell them you don’t want to correspond with them by email any longer and request that they quit emailing you.  If they don’t quit write back and tell them you’ve added them to your SPAM filters (along with all those folks from Nigeria who keep trying to give you money) and you won’t receive anymore of their emails.  I don’t care what you do, but let’s try to improve Publishing’s Bad Reputation.  Just because the mega-corporations in New York got the idea that it made them look busy and hard to get if they ignored all their correspondence for months at a time, doesn’t mean we have to follow their example.  Hey, even lawyers – the subject of all those “KILL ALL THE LAWYERS” books, make it a point of answering their correspondence at least on a weekly basis, if not daily.

Happy Writing All, and Happy Answering emails.