This past weekend was the spring Steel City Comicon here in Pittsburgh. Because it was scheduled the same time as Tekko (the big anime convention in the region) a friend of mine, Dan, was in a tough spot: he relies on both conventions to earn enough money to get through the quarter, but he’s only one person and now he needed to be in two places. Since I was going to be at Steel City anyway selling my book, my wife Brandy and I worked out a solution: she would sell my book at my table, while I ran our friend’s booth in the dealers’ room. It wasn’t ideal, but it meant our friend could do both conventions and continue putting food on his table.
While I was selling Dan’s chainmail, Brandy worked hard on selling the book and many short stories that I print for the convention (more on that later). Apparently, at various points people would come up to her and ask when the next book with August Munch would be out, or how progress on Zombie Reaper was coming along.
Now first of all, thank you everyone who shared such wonderful feedback with Brandy so she could pass it along to me! She shared every single one, sometimes multiple times because she really wanted me to understand how much people were looking forward to my projects.
But, she noticed a common sentiment with a lot of the people she talked to. They kept saying that they were afraid to message me on Twitter or Facebook to ask for updates. They didn’t want to hassle me or make me feel bad about not being done yet. Well, while that’s very thoughtful of you, the result is that I’ve never received a message from a fan. Not one.
It’s been pretty disheartening.
Maybe if I were George RR Martin, getting thousands of messages from fans every day, I would feel hassled. Even then, talk about a good problem to have! I’d love to have that problem over the one I’ve got, and I imagine it’s a problem shared by a lot of… shall we say, ‘less famous’?… authors.
So, I decided to write this post to say that if you have an author or artist whose work you really enjoy, you should send them a message to say so! Even if you’re afraid they might feel hassled, do it anyway.
You might be the only one.