So I replied to the note below – correcting several things – the fact that I wasn’t the person he spoke to in May, that I don’t write erotica but rather erotic romance and that I wasn’t amused by the joking manner this serious issue demanded. I have values thank you very much. My readers have values!
Anyway, he wrote back to say he apologized for his incorrect memory about the May contact but then goes on to “explain” his actions thusly:
That having been said, please let me explain the event process from my end. Whether it is a local or national author making a proposal for an event (signing/discussion/reading/or whatever), I make certain these proposals meet basic criterea (not print-on-demand, available from Baker & Taylor, Ingram, Partners, terms and return policies, outreach participation, etc.). Then I consider which store(s) have the best demographic match and submit this proposal to that store(s). I never insist that an event be held (unless it’s national, maybe) – the manager gets the final say. So when I say stores were polled for erotic romance (not “erotica”, you are correct) and elected to pass, I respect that decision.
He says he’ll bring it up again at the end of this month with his store managers to see if “any opportunities exist” for a signing. He even apologized.
But you know, while I appreciate the apology, it’s meaningless isn’t it? I mean, it’s very nice to be shunned by someone with a smile on their face but it’s still being shunned. The ugliness of the experience isn’t mitigated by a smile.
I understand that there are those in this country who make it their life’s goal to be offended by what other people do. But it’s a booksigning at a bookstore. I’m not doing a reading. I’m not going to display racy scenes from my books. Someone would have to go out of their way to come over to my table, flip open my book (which has a warning on it) and find a passage to be offended by. And are we really going to live our lives in public based on what this type of person does? Since when should a bookstore let that happen?
I wanted to add that if you wanted to write a note to Borders, as members of this “community” who buys books there and reads erotic romance and would like to see us signing at the stores we’ve been barred from – please feel free to write a letter about it to Borders. If you do so, I’d appreciate it and I know you’ll all be civil and thoughtful instead of angry because we’re smart people (who have values!) I’ve always considered Borders to be a really romance friendly chain and I’ve had really positive experiences with Sue Grimshaw and with most of the employees in the local stores (including the one who is apparently saying she doesn’t want us to sign in her store)
Borders Customer Service
100 Phoenix Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Or online -https://www.bordersstores.com/care/care.jsp?page=7
Lacking Shared Core Values in Washington, Idaho and Alaska since 1968