Frequently Asked Questions
Sorry, but for legal reasons, not to mention time constraint reasons, I can’t. Please don’t send it to me. (That includes synopses of your story/book/poem, or detailed descriptions of the plot and characters.) If you want more explanation as to why, read this. I know it can be frustrating when you feel like no one will read your writing, so there are places online I recommend where you can get critiques. www.critters.org for adults and teens, and www.inkpop.com for teens, specifically.
- I’m a reader who wants you to come and read/sign in my town/city/state! Will you? (Or alternately: Are you ever going to tour/sign in Australia, Spain, Germany, New Zealand, the UK, and/or any other not-the-USA location?
First, If you want to know where I’ll be signing, check the signings link on the site. That’ll tell you what cities/countries I’m visiting. If it’s not listed, I’m not going there, at least not any time soon.
Secondly, I really enjoy doing signings — meeting readers is one of the best parts of my job — and I make every effort to make myself available to do them. The thing is: writers do not generally choose where they go on tour. Tours are set up by publishers, not writers. I do not choose where I go on tour. I can’t emphasize that enough.*
*[This is especially true when it comes to foreign countries. (If I wanted to tour Spain, for instance, I wouldn't know where to start — I don't speak Spanish, I wouldn't know where bookstores are, what bookstores might want to have me, wouldn't be able to provide myself a translator, wouldn't be able to set up media and travel. Publishers do all that.) Therefore, in order to tour Spain (just as an example) I would need my publisher to invite me, and to set all that up.
However, the only tour signings I’m aware of are the ones on the signing page. If it’s not on the signing page, it doesn’t mean I’m not going, it just means I don’t know yet. The moment I do know, I put that info on the page. So if “Georgia” isn’t on the signings page, it’s absolutely definite that my only answer to the question “Are you going to sign in Georgia ever?” is gonna be “I don’t know.”
- I’m a teacher/librarian/bookseller who would love to have you come and read/speak at our school/library/store. What do I do?
Information about school and library visits can be found at the Educational Resources section of the website.
I wish I could accept books to sign and return — I used to, but came to the realization I was spending 4-5 hours a day dealing with snail mail requests and signed books, and that it was actually starting to prevent me from writing. So I made an arrangement with Books of Wonder, an independent New York City bookstore — I make sure they always have signed copies of my books on hand, and you can order any or all of the books by calling the store at (212) 989-3270. [You can 't order the books off their website. You MUST CALL them.] They have signed hardbacks, paperbacks, box sets, etc, and will ship anywhere.
I do get requests for “autographs” sometimes, but autographs aren’t really something writersdo. That’s why signed books are meant to be something special. Scrawling a signature on a piece of paper feels silly in a “Why would anyone want that?” way, and again, it’s a matter of time and the cost of postage, both of which prohibit me from being able to send out signatures. (Again, signed bookplates are only available to schools and charities — not to individuals.)
I wish that I could. Unfortunately, the idea that writers have hundreds of boxes of their own books lying around is inaccurate. I get ten free copies of each book from my publisher. That’s it. I want any more, I have to buy them. So be aware that what you’re asking is for me to buy a copy of my own book and ship it to you for a total cost of at least $20 bucks. That might not seem like that much, but multiply it by lots of requests and it really adds up. That doesn’t mean I want you to send me money to cover it, either: I don’t want the money, and it’s legally complicated for me to even *sell* copies of my own book directly: I’m not supposed to. I also don’t want you mailing me books to sign and send back: I did that for a while, but the books piled up at my post office box every time I went out of town, and the box guys started mailing them all back to the people who’d sent them, which worked out poorly for everyone. This is all a long way of saying that I can’t really send out signed copies of my books, but I can send signed bookplates, which you can paste into copies of the books, and then voila, signed book. So if you need a signed book for a convention or school or charity, contact me and we’ll arrange for you to get bookplates. I’m sorry, but signed bookplates are not for individuals —only charities and schools.
All blurb request must go through my agent, Barry Goldblatt Literary. www.bgliterary.com
- I’m a student who needs an interview for a class project/ a report/ my high school newspaper/ a paper on your books/ a careers project/ any school project. Can I send you a list of questions?
I’m sorry, but no. I understand that many high school career projects, business classes, and school newspapers ask you to send questionnaires to writers asking them about their writing, and about writing as a career, but I get so many of these every day that if I sat down and answered them all, that’s all I would ever do. I have a page with the most common questions and answers that appear on these questionnaires here and you are welcome to use them to enhance your project.
- I’d like to use Shadowhunters, your characters, Idris and other things from your books in my book. Can I?
Things like characters are copyrighted to the works they appear in — in other words, I own, say, Jace Wayland. You are welcome to play around in my fictional world by writing fanfiction or creating other fan works, but you can’t use them in work you intend to publish. It’s just not a good idea, not for anyone. Publishers want to see you can come up with your own ideas and characters so you are much better off doing that!