I really didn’t think I need to publish a policy statement for this, but I’m told that “most authors don’t mind” the behavior discussed below. As it turns out, I very much mind this behavior, so!
Sharon Lee and Steve Miller are delighted to meet and chat with their readers at conventions, readings, and similar events, and to sign their books, as time and the constraints of the event permit. We are committed to being accessible to our readers. We really like you guys, right?
However. When we retire to the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory, we are on, as the union used to have it, Our Own Time. We willingly engage with our readers via a number of online outlets, we publish contact email addresses so that readers may ask questions, and a Post Office Box address for folks who prefer paper.
We do not publish our home address as a contact. The internet being the internet, I’m sure it’s there to be found. What folks from cities don’t quite seem to grasp, though, is that we live in the country. Mail that doesn’t fit into our mailbox is simply left on top of it, open to the weather. As we also live in Maine, that weather can sometimes be quite challenging. Not to say, wet. Sending anything to the home address is really just putting whatever it is to additional, unnecessary risk.
Everybody comfortable with the above?
OK, now we get to the:
Sharon Lee and Steve Miller do not, as a policy, encourage anyone to send books through the mail for us to sign. In point of fact, we don’t want anyone to send books through the mail for us to sign. I’m being as clear as possible, here.
If, despite the above statement, you feel that you must make the attempt, the proper protocol is:
1. Write to either Steve or myself at one of our widely available email addresses, on Facebook, at Live Journal, or mail a paper letter to the PO Box address, asking if it’s all right for you to send X number of books for signature.
1a. We will most likely say “no,” but we will answer a civil inquiry. Do not assume that we will say “yes,” and mail the books before you receive our answer. This will only cork us — well, me; Steve’s a lot more even-tempered than I am — off.
2. If, against all odds, we agree to receive your books, and sign them, please send them properly packaged for travel, and include with them a stamped, self-addressed envelope of a size and kind that will easily and safely accommodate your books for the return journey.
3. Unless we’ve discussed this with you in depth, do not send anything to our home. Not even a surprise. Especially a surprise. Just. . .don’t. It’s creepy.
Thank you for your attention to the above.
For those looking for signed editions: Signed editions of our books are often available through Uncle Hugo’s Bookstore. If Uncle doesn’t have a signed copy in stock, you may contact our local bookstore, Childrens Book Cellar. We have an arrangement with Ellen where we will stop by and sign books for which the customer has requested a signature.