I’m in a few western historical romance groups on Facebook for readers and authors. I do some giveaways in these groups because I can afford to do so. It’s a good manner to hopefully build up readership with readers where I’m a “new to them” author. Occasionally, I’ll get a private message from a reader in one of those groups. The gist of those messages is always, “I just read the description of your book “PICK ONE IT DOESN’T MATTER FOR THIS BLOG” and I’d love to read it, but that book isn’t in KU and I can’t afford to buy all the books I want to read.”
Well, tug my heart strings. I’m happy as that proverbial pig in slop this reader isn’t looking for and finding my books on a pirate site! I’ll usually write back and tell that reader I’m flattered they’re interested and if they send me their e-mail, I’ll be more than happy to send them a gift copy from Amazon. It’s worked really well, until the other day…
I had gifted a reader an e-book she said she wanted to read, after she wrote and said the book description really piqued her interest and the story line sounded great. I got a message the other from this reader, written all in caps. The gist of the message was I am going to burn in hell for my filthy mind, how dare I send such obscenity, and why didn’t I warn the reader there were *GASP* sex scenes in this book. Reader wouldn’t have even wanted to read this book if that information had been disclosed.
I wanted to shoot a message right back, pointing out said reader never asked if there was sex in the novel. Instead, I walked away from the keyboard, brushed out a collie (or three), thought up all kinds of snarky replies which weren’t sent, and finally answered that message by saying, “I did not intend to offend you. The next time I generously offer to send a free book to someone who approaches me requesting a book of mine because they cannot afford to purchase all the books they wish to read, I’ll remember to ask if they are offended by the depiction of intimacy, vulnerability, and trust between two consenting adults.”
Yeah…I think I lost a reader. I’m pretty sure before I sent that response, I had already lost a reader.