At our latest event we experienced a first. The worst first that has spawned things like stricter review policies on Amazon. A bad apple. This one almost ruined an event that hosts 20-50 indie authors every year. The IABE (Indie Author Book Expo) hosts a yearly event where they put authors in front of various crowds. Lately they have been pairing with a Des Moines Mall to allow people to naturally and casually discover authors. This year they expanded into doing live readings on stage to bring in a bigger draw. As with any event some authors sold out and others did not sell at all. Overall, it’s a friendly event with a host that bends over backwards to try and please her authors. To be honest, she’s too nice as we saw many people constantly demanding new spots, different tables, and leaving before tear down time. Each time she accommodated them. These weren’t even the bad apples.
The first step into the bad fruit barrel came from a report from the mall that authors were rude to staff and security. IABE was already on shaky footing because is this continued this event would have to find a new location. Then, the topper on the rotten cake.
After the event was over the mall made it know there was a thief amongst the authors. They had caught, on camera, an author stealing a money bag from one of the mall kiosks. This footage was handed over to police for the thief to be found. Even worse, the thief reached out on social media trying to say he ‘found’ the bag. A believable statement if they were not caught on camera. Ohh, yes before the footage came out there were suspects. Like a mystery detective, each author was analyzed. The reality was the thief was the least expected person.
A children’s author, outwardly nice, who donated several books to the raffle, was the culprit. It was a heart-breaking situation as the mall decided the IABE could no longer be there. After some pleading, it was allowed back under much stricter rules. Just like there became stricter rules on book reviews on Amazon after a bad apple, there is now more rules placed on this Midwest event.
What’s worse? IABE is a nonprofit that helps bring classes to children around the Midwest and is currently working towards investing in a printer to provide small indie authors cheaper printing. One bad apple risked it all for every author.
So, what’s the point of this articles. To raise awareness. People, even authors, are not always as they seem. It’s these bad apples that ruin the writing world for other authors. Don’t let this happen to you, and don’t be that bad apple.
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