The other day I was introduced to someone as an author.
The conversation (not the first of its kind) went like this:
Me: Um yes. I've had two books published.
Him: How many copies sold?
At which point I go into mutter mumble waffle mode about sales being ok but given the state of the publishing industry ... etc etc.
And then you watch the other person's eyes glaze as they turn away, clearly dismissing you as unworthy of further attention.
Of all the questions you could ask when introduced to someone who writes books, why is it that the one that so often comes first is related to sales?
I need to come up with a standard response in situations like this that doesn't leave them feeling justified in writing me off and doesn't leave me feeling like a two-headed twat with an unpleasant dribbling habit.
Any suggestions would be gratefully received.
(On a brighter note, I met someone else yesterday who said how much she'd enjoyed both my books and that she'd passed them on to her sister-in-law who had also loved them and had now loaned them to another friend. Those readers won't have registered as sales, but are the kinds of responses every author craves.)