Pirated downloads of my entire trilogy -The Divide, Back to the Divide, and Jinx on the Divide. Get it free, complete with mistakes. Be put off the author for life.
Emails from people asking for free books, preferably signed, because you obviously don’t have to pay anything for them yourself.
People who come to a talk, and ask you to sign copies of books they’ve bought second-hand. They think you ought to be equally delighted that they managed to find a copy at a fraction of the list price.
People who come to a talk, and ask you to sign copies of someone else’s book.
Kids who only want to know how much you earn, and whether you’ve met anyone famous.
Teachers who think you have it so easy compared to them, and refuse to keep order when you’re doing a talk at their school – usually free of charge. Fortunately, many authors have been teachers in a previous incarnation. If you control the class better than the form tutor it will not go down well.
Kids who want to know why you obstinately refuse to make a film of your book, and have them in the starring role.
An entire class who write to you because they’re doing book reports, and want you to write back to them all individually by next week. Usually on another continent, in which case any stamped addressed envelopes will be useless. Usually there aren’t any, of course.
Kids who write to you about a book by someone else.
People who turn up to an event to buy a book, but don’t have the correct money and want you to accept half the price in very small change.
People who think they’ve found a spelling mistake on page 342. They haven’t. They’re American.
Someone who asks whether you’ll give them the rights free of charge so that they can translate your book into Mongolian/Mandinka/Quechua. Explaining that translation rights are held by your publisher only results in another email asking the same thing again, and whether you’ll pay for them to come over and discuss it.
Someone else writing a book with the same title. Titles aren’t copyright.
Someone else with the same name with a URL very like the one for your website. You’re a children’s writer and they’re a porn star.
A publisher who will neither produce a digital version of your book, nor revert the rights to do so to you. And you can’t claim it’s out of print because these days they publish on demand.
People you don’t know you from Adam who want you to read and critique an entire manuscript of 150,000 words.
An illustrator who hasn’t read your book, and gets everything wrong.
A reviewer who gives you one star on Amazon because they’ve muddled you up with someone else, and the plot they’re talking about bears no resemblance whatsoever to your book.
A reviewer who tells you you’re destined for hell because you mentioned evolution.
Someone who books you for a conference, and then tells you the night before that it’s been cancelled when they’ve known about this for ages.
A bookshop that asks you to do a reading, and then does no publicity and puts you in a corner next to the toilets.
Children who pick up books with chocolate-covered fingers, and then don’t buy them.
BUT all this is counteracted by the emails that tell you your book was the book that started them/their daughter/their grandson reading, and they've named their puppy after you.