In our quest to gain traction in the distribution of our books we have encountered many experiences in the nature of responses we receive. Most bookshops and distributors we engage are glad to help and readily accept copies of our latest book even when they are not sure how it will turn out. We definitely get a few “NOs” or “Not at this time” responses which we completely understand. The aspect we are a little concerned about is silence. Silence can be interpreted in a variety of ways, but we are not sure how to interpret it in the current context.

  1. Uncertainty

A person could be uncertain of an answer and choose not to commit when asked a question. For example, the question could be “Will You Marry Me?”. It is a very serious question that requires deep thought and some ladies fail to engage in such deep though or prayer as the case may be and simply choose to wait it out in silence. “Will He ask Again?” they may contemplate. They are uncertain of the answer thus keep silent on the question.

  1. Emotions

We are created to a very serious extent as emotional being. When we have become involved with people as friends or business partners we tend to avoid “hurting feelings”. One of the ways in which this position manifest is the tendency to fail to respond to a request in the negative because we are concerned about how the negative response will affect the person involved. The question could be “Can I have a loan of $20,000 to start a business?”. We have the resources, but we are unwilling to commit such an amount to our friend because we do not trust his prudence, so we go silent, stalling and hoping he forgets about asking again.

  1. Cowardice

There are people in our lives to whom we feel a sense of debt because they helped us in the past or because they are senior to us. We cannot see ourselves say “NO” to them on any request. We go out of our way to give them all their hearts desires but when we hit that point where the heart’s desire is simply beyond our own reach we do not know how else to handle the situation other than being silent and avoiding the person.

In our case, we feel we may be victims of number 2. The bookshop simply does not want to hurt the feelings of a budding author so goes quiet on a request to distribute books. They hope that the author will become fed up with “We shall get back to you next week” and eventually stop asking. That happens most of the time with any reasonable person but we do feel that a quick “NO” gives the requester opportunity to ask the next person. A quick “NO” is a good response. So, when next you get a request you cannot grant or are unwilling to grant, do not be afraid or too concerned about the requester’s feelings to say “NO”. You could be doing the person a big favour.

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