Oh, you’re an author? Would I know any of your books?
Well, that depends. My audience is primarily children. Do you have any children? If you don’t have children then chances are the only kids’ books you can name are Where the Wild Things Are (didn’t write it) and a few by Dr. Seuss (not him). In fact, I dread this question because even if you have children chances are good that you’ve never heard of any of my books, so you’re not going to recognize their titles, and then you’re going to get that embarrassed look on your face like you’ve caught me in a lie, like I’ve just claimed to be an actor when what I really am is a tour guide at Old Tucson and second understudy to Rum Tum Tugger in a community theater production of Cats.
But that’s fine, go ahead and insist that I tell you some of my book titles. Preface this by telling me that you’ll probably know them because you “read everything.” What you undoubtedly mean is that you read a lot, or possibly that you read a significant portion of the bestseller list. I’m pretty sure you don’t actually “read everything” because even if you restricted yourself to mass-market American adult fiction you’d still have to read a novel every thirty-five minutes.
I swear I’m going to start doing this to other people: “Oh wow, you’re an accounts manager for a medical equipment manufacturer? I love medquip manfac! I know all the companies–which one’s yours?