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People who take offence when you decline their request

(58 Posts)
Tinksee Mon 23-Oct-17 23:19:02

I am a writer and have been asked to donate some of my books, free of charge, to a local fundraiser.

The funds being raised are going towards repairing a historic clock in my town.

I have no interest in the clock and can’t afford to give away my books.

I have politely declined and the organiser has taken offence.

Am I being mean?

Lovelylovelyladies Mon 23-Oct-17 23:23:08

I always think if you don't want the answer to be no then don't ask the question!

BewareOfDragons Mon 23-Oct-17 23:25:00

You were asked; you said no, as was your right.

Let the organizer be offended.

user1471449805 Mon 23-Oct-17 23:27:40

Perhaps they should approach your publisher? Would've thought marketing might be up for it.

DramaAlpaca Mon 23-Oct-17 23:28:29

You're perfectly within your rights to decline and you aren't being mean. Don't give it another thought.

OneMoreTune Mon 23-Oct-17 23:39:54

It might have brought more attention to you as a writer though, especially a local one confused and ultimately have led to selling more books than the ones you gave away?

monkeywithacowface Mon 23-Oct-17 23:44:50

I'm guessing you may be self published? Either way it is perfectly fine to decline any request that you cannot afford.

MrsOverTheRoad Mon 23-Oct-17 23:58:40

I'm also guessing you're self-published in which case they're a bit cheeky to ask as obviously, you've borne the costs of printing.

Italiangreyhound Tue 24-Oct-17 00:13:12

Let them be offended, perhaps they will not ask again.

What sort of books and how did you get into writing! Nosy me! (you don't need to reply).

Tinksee Tue 24-Oct-17 00:29:08

Thanks all...

Not self published, but I have a limited number of free books my publisher gave me to give to friends etc.

It’s poetry - not a genre a writer makes any money from.

If I was rolling in royalties and could afford to give away free books, it wouldn’t be a problem.

FeralBeryl Tue 24-Oct-17 01:33:04

I often get asked for donations. I just say (mainly truthfully) that I can only allocate a certain amount per annum to donate and I’ve already exceeded the quota wink
Unless it’s for children or sick people, I’ll gladly skint myself then.

LolaTheDarkerdestroyer Tue 24-Oct-17 01:36:43

Kids,dogs considered..broken old clock fuck that, yes publicity for you but what a shitty cause.

Cavender Tue 24-Oct-17 01:51:32

OneMoreTune I have a cousin who runs a cottage business from home. She receives multiple requests a week for donated products. Every single person says “but it will be good publicity for your business”.

She’s booked solid months in advance through repeat custom and word of mouth referrals. She doesn’t need the advertising - they need a free product.

She gives away a few items a year to specific local organisations she has a connection with.

It’s fairly insulting to local businesses to assume they need to give away products to succeed.

Besides which, she’s good at tracking her marketing and has never had someone order an item because they received a free one.

Tinksee Wed 25-Oct-17 10:46:05

Thanks all - I explained that I can’t afford to give out freebies and got a rather PA “ok, don’t worry about it - I think you misunderstood”.

Not quite sure which part of “Please send me free books” I misunderstood, but I’ve just left it there.

I don’t really need the publicity - I know that sounds really wanky, but I do get the “I can’t pay you, but you’ll get exposure” line. I usually say that Asda doesn’t accept exposure when I pay for my weekly shop.

Cakebaby123 Wed 25-Oct-17 10:49:06

I've always found it difficult when I get asked to make cakes for fundraisers, almost like it doesn't cost me anything to make them? I'm a SAHM and my income is pretty much zero. I'm always getting taken advantage of because people know I can't say no, even if it leaves me in the s**t.
Good for you.

MoistCantaloupe Wed 25-Oct-17 10:49:53

It might have brought more attention to you as a writer though, especially a local one confused

Bit patronising to use a confused face. I often get approached for donations, and I don't need the publicity but people always suggest it would be a bonus. Because they want something for free!

Whambarsarentasfizzyastheywere Wed 25-Oct-17 10:55:50

I had this recently too.

Someone messaged my (tiny) business and asked me to donate my product for a raffle.

When asked what it was for I got a vague reply about a family having lost a loved one to X.

I asked if the donation was for a charity connected to X but it turns out they were just raising funds for the family.

I sent back a very carefully worded reply saying I was sorry but I can't afford to do this as I'm just a small business but I do support 2 charities per year, one of which is (charity relevant to the situation) and I was very sorry for their loss.

20 seconds after I sent it I got a reply - fuck you then shock

SilverSpot Wed 25-Oct-17 11:01:11

20 seconds after I sent it I got a reply - fuck you then

RunRabbitRunRabbit Wed 25-Oct-17 11:01:40

I would respond taking his message at face value.

Sorry for the misunderstanding, I thought you were asking for free copies. I am happy for you to sell my books on a sale or return basis. We would charge you a special rate of £x per book to cover costs and I would recommend you sell them at £y, making you £z per book. I should warn you that poetry books don't sell in large volumes so keep that in mind when deciding how many to order.

OneMoreTune Wed 25-Oct-17 11:33:05

Moist - not patronising. There isn’t a “maybe, but I don’t know” face. That’s the closest to it.

People invested in things like local clocks and history usually also invest in local artists, writers, etc. Op said she couldn’t afford to give books away which suggests (sorry if this is wrong assumption) that maybe the books aren’t as profitable as they could be. My thought is that sometimes you have to speculate to accumulate. Maybe it would have got her name in the paper or something, or op could have been part of the presentation.

Sometimes it’s good to have other opinions on matters. A while ago I rejected an idea given to me from someone else out of hand (in fact I was scoffing in private whilst politely nodding) and right now I am actually engaged in that plan I initially rejected. I wouldn’t have thought of it myself and wanted to not like the idea when I heard it but it turned out to be the perfect solution.

Tinksee Wed 25-Oct-17 12:48:50

Wham - how bloody rude of them!

Tinksee Wed 25-Oct-17 12:49:21

Wham - ha, I should have done that!

Tinksee Wed 25-Oct-17 12:53:21

Moist - I knew what you meant; it’s tricky because I don’t want to sound precious about my books and obviously I want people to read them... it’s just that this particular person has a tendency to be demanding.

She even had the nerve, when she initially asked for the books, to tell me that I had “better have a good excuse” for not “supporting” her cause!

cathf Wed 25-Oct-17 16:01:48

I think small business cotton on fairly quickly that nothing ever comes of donations you give to charities.
They always promise the exposure and publicity, then one they have got the free product, if you're lucky you might get one tweet and a logo in their programme.
We regularly get an email from Top Shop asking for free products to give their staff in head office. Now that's cheeky!

Tinksee Wed 25-Oct-17 18:29:26

Cath - totally agree.

Give me a freebie and I will somehow ensure you infinite sales.

Doesn’t happen.

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