DEAR HARRIETTE: My brother is a newly published author. I am so proud of him and his success; he's wanted this since he was a teenager. In an effort to support my brother and get the word out about his book, I purchased 20 or so copies, which I give out to friends, family and the occasional stranger. I have dropped it off at independent bookstores and given out the book as a gift.
My brother emailed me yesterday, and instead of being grateful, he told me I was embarrassing him! I've launched my own small business, and I know it takes grit and networking to be successful. I don't want to steamroll him on his first published book, but he needs to get proactive about being successful! -- Big Dreams, Richmond, Virginia
DEAR BIG DREAMS: As an author myself, I thank you for your proactive efforts! You are right that it takes a lot to promote a book. Indeed, it requires a completely different mindset to sell something that you wrote.
That said, you cannot force your brother to do anything. You can apologize to him for whatever embarrassment you may have inadvertently caused as you explain to him that in order to be successful, he has to get proactive. Agree to back off as you also encourage him to pick up the baton.