I can't say I've had a lot of author email correspondence yet--my books don't start rolling out until December. The most interaction I've had so far are people asking me for ARCs (advanced reader copies, which are a bound version of the book that's not the final version). I mean, TONS of people asking for them. It's obviously flattering in a way--someone wants to read my book and review it! How cool is that? But in another way, it's like hey, I'd like people to actually BUY it when it comes out. LOL. I do take all those requests so I can forward them to my publisher, who can vet through them and decide where to send review copies.
Also, recently, I got email from a person I've never met asking if they could be on my cover--since they figured I had pull with my publisher, I could hook that up for them. Or, if not, then I could use their full name as a character in my book. I haven't responded to this request--I'm not really sure what to say...and frankly, I'm a little surprised someone I don't know would email me and ask me to do something like that. LOL
So, please allow me to dispel a few author myths:
1--authors don't have an infinite bounty of ARCs on hand to dole out. Some people may get 1-2 ARCs, and that's it. And even if we DID get a lot of ARCs, we probably have already slated where we want them to go. So reviewers, please, please think carefully before asking the author for an ARC--and if you do, please make sure you're established and can/will actually review the book. Authors don't want to waste their copies sending to people whose only goal was to get a free book and who never even does a review of it.
2--authors don't get lots of our own books for free from the publisher. Our contract may stipulate that we get a few free copies after they come out, but for more, we have to pay for them. If we buy in bulk, we can get discounts through certain places, but we still spend OUR money to buy our own books. So please don't ask us for a free copy of our book...we don't make $$ that way! I wouldn't go to my dentist and ask for free fillings, yanno. haha.
3--authors don't have pull with our publishers over covers. What we get is what we get, usually. We may be able to request some tweaks, especially if we can back up the request with solid evidence (e.g., our heroine is blonde, but our cover's heroine has black hair). But generally, it's out of our hands. The publisher uses market research and artists to create the covers. Authors have nothing to do with it. Covers are meant to sell books, period.
4--please don't offer us your ideas for a novel and then ask to split it 50/50. Most authors have more ideas than they can even write in a lifetime...besides, take that brilliant idea and write it yourself. That way, you get ALL the $$! :D
5--naming characters after real people may be an invitation for a lawsuit. haha. I hate to say it that way, but fiction is supposed to be fiction...and if I name a character after you, what if you HATE the person I've given your name to? Are you going to take me to court over it and say I'm slandering your name? I just can't risk that.
6--sometimes, typos and weird stuff make it into the book that are out of our control. We do get pages to review, but mistakes happen during typesetting. I know someone whose book looked perfectly wonderful all throughout the review steps...but when the final copies came out, all italics were gone. This wasn't a problem at any stage during the process--but it goes to show that funkatitis mistakes can happen. So please don't assume the author or editor is necessarily at fault for that.
Okay, now it's your turn. What interesting/unusual correspondence have you guys received, either as an author or just in general?
Are there any myths you'd like to dispel: either about being an author or about whatever your line of work is?
Share with us! :D