Gina Penn, unabridged.

Don’t Buy My Books

If you say: “I can’t read scary books!”

Here’s my response: Fine, then don’t buy my books.

Yes, you read me correctly.

Don’t buy my books. I don’t want you to. If you can’t handle reading outside your comfort zone, or trying something different, then I’d rather you didn’t buy my books. If the words on the page are going to scare you that badly, then don’t buy or read my books.

I’m totally cool with that and I won’t hate you if you don’t read them. We can still be friends.

There are a lot of authors out there that will feed on that type of resistance. Those authors will pressure you, argue with you, try to sell you.

That’s not me.

I see how some authors are. They tweet endlessly about their books. “All ___ books are now only .99!” “Try the sequel to ___!” “Need a good #paranormal read? Try ___!”

That’s not me.

I’m not speaking disparingly about authors I follow on Twitter. They’re marketing and that’s cool. I’ve done it and and will probably do it again when The Dark Layer is released. But the ones I do speak disparingly about are the ones who only use Twitter as a marketing tool. No one wants to follow a used car salesman. And that’s what you sound like.

I’m not going to beg you to buy my book. To me, that’s demeaning and desperate and unattractive. If you follow me on Twitter, I’m going to assume you do so because we’ve clicked in some way and/or we’ve chatted each other up once or twice. Maybe you followed me for a short while to see if you get a follow back because you feel having a high follower number makes you look popular. If so, you probably unfollowed me in a hurry.

I don’t auto follow back. If you choose to follow me, I’ll read your tweets to make sure there’s some substance there and then, if I see something I like, I’ll follow you back. Sometimes right away, sometimes after a little time.

I’m not your typical indie author. I have an agent in mind that I would love to represent me. If she doesn’t, that’s cool, we can still be friends. But mainly, I write books that I would like to read. I write because it’s what I was meant to do. I write to entertain myself and hopefully a few others. What I don’t want, is for a bunch of people who enjoy YA paranormal romance to buy my book because I’ve practically begged them to do it and then hate it.

Unless, of course, those fans also enjoy adult contemporary horror.

If you don’t like horror, then don’t buy my book. It’s a waste of your time and mine as well.

But if you read the description and think it sounds interesting, give it a try. If you’ve read my blogs and see that I write relatively well and you enjoy my voice and style, give it a try. You never know, maybe you’ve just stumbled upon something. That’s why sampling was invented.

If you say you can’t read scary stories, when in truth you are judging all horror based on the two you’ve read, then you should probably rethink your stance. That doesn’t sound like a book lover to me and you’re not the type of fan I want.

I don’t judge all YA based on Twilight and YA writers should be grateful.

I’m in this for the long-haul. I want fans that are in for the long-haul with me. If you enjoy cold spots in houses, heavy footsteps coming down stairs, supernatural experiences, and fun, then come along for the ride.

If you would rather put your eye out with a hot poker than read a scary tale, then don’t buy my book.

See how easy that was?

10 responses

  1. Tell ’em, Gina! I agree with your stance. I don’t *want* everyone to buy my books. I write about topics (and use language) that many will not appreciate. I’d rather you save your money than buy a book you don’t want to read/don’t care about. Read what makes you happy!

    October 9, 2011 at 2:09 pm

  2. Penny

    I must say that until I read your book I thought that I couldn’t read horror. I was under the false assumption that horror meant blood guts and goor. I am thankful that I now have a better understanding of what horror actually is. Thank you my friend for helping me see that I have missed alot of potential good reads!

    October 9, 2011 at 2:25 pm

  3. Jason Darrick

    I market the hell out of my stuff, you know that. The only thing that I outright ask for are reviews, and I mean honest ones. I agree with your stance, I’d rather people who are interested in horror give my work a try. I do know of one book I will be buying…

    October 9, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    • Hey Jason,
      As a book reviewer and author, I’m constantly struggling with the question of posting a review of 3 stars or less. Do you want people to review your book if they think it is three stars or less? If this is a peer or even a friend, will their review change your opinion of them or your relationship?

      And, I’m not asking you this because I’ve read your book and think it’s a three, I just saw your comment and it sparked my question. I read your 100 word entry on Anne Michaud’s Coffin Hop post ( That was messed up. Good work.

      October 25, 2011 at 6:54 pm

  4. I’m so glad we can still be friends. 🙂 Just don’t sneak up behind and scare the crap out of me. My poor old heart can’t take it. tee hee

    I do agree with what you say.

    October 10, 2011 at 7:28 am

  5. I see I’m in good company here…watch out for that Kendall Grey woman…she’s CRAZY!! >hugs to Kendall< but seriously, I'm definitely on board with the Twitter/used care salesman scenario…even though I used to BE a used car salesman (I know, I know, 4 years of college…my folks must be so proud–whatever). Anyway, looking forward to coffin hopping!

    October 17, 2011 at 12:04 am

  6. Hi Gina,
    I agree that there are people I don’t want reading my book, and that I don’t auto-follow back. I want someone who can appreciate my input into the genre they love, and if they love it, that’s awesome. If they don’t, that’s equally beneficial because I can find out why and how to improve. Unless they just write a one star review that says I suck. That’s just not helpful. None of those yet, though I’m still unpublished, so we’ll see. I look forward to checking out your blog more to see about your book.

    October 25, 2011 at 6:58 pm

  7. I agree all around period. Also I don’t auto follow either. I have had some twitter spam lately and had to start blocking. One example A Church, yeah you heard me right? We have nothing in common come on I”M PAGAN!

    October 29, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    • Churches feel the need to save us heathens, don’t they? LOL

      October 29, 2011 at 9:40 pm

  8. I appreciate this post immensely! My second novel came out last month, and while most everyone has been really wonderful about it, I have taken slack from a few because it involves a serial killer–and I’m not even graphic. I give the illusion of what he does, and that’s all it takes for the mind to work its magic. I loved writing it, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. Funny how people can watch all kinds of shows on TV and movies with this stuff, but when it’s in a book–they are up in arms and feel they must tell the author about it 😉 tsk, tsk readers…

    October 29, 2011 at 11:45 pm

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