My Unbreakable Rule

Today is an historic day. There is nothing here I can reasonably hope to add that would be in any way significant compared to the gazillion words you may have already read and vast number of images you may have already seen (if it interests you). So I thought I would briefly discuss something else (which may also please you if what is happening today does not much interest you).

The instant a book is published, I believe firmly that it no longer fully “belongs” to me as its author. It becomes “the property” as well of a reader. And as we know, reading choices are usually private and often very personal.

[Photo by Lisa Fotios on]

I try to respond to a civil reader who chooses to step away from their privacy and actively attempts to attract my attention by tagging me, or commenting here or on one of my social media (such as Instagram), and especially if one DMs or emails me – the latter two in particular because naturally not everyone likes to write stuff that is publicly visible.

[Photo by cottonbro on]

For nearly a decade now, I have by chance occasionally stumbled on this or that online reference and/or review. I have known from the beginning that if one expects universal adoration, do not become an author. Still, I hope I never become blasé about accidentally seeing someone blog or post on their social media that they are reading one of my novels…

[Screen capture by me, September 17, 2022.]

Over the years I have also encountered some authors who jump on any online mention they see of their book(s) – even attacking less than glowing reviews. I feel that behavior is wildly inappropriate: Every reader is entitled to their opinion… because, remember, what I wrote in its way “belongs” to them as the reader now, too. One of my unbreakable personal rules regarding readers is that I *NEVER* respond to a reader’s opinion if that reader does not first reach out to me directly.

Have a good reading day, whatever you are reading (even if it is not one of my books… LOL!), wherever you are in our world.