Wednesday, August 29, 2018

A Round of Applause for the Good Guys

I saw some frustrated sentiments on social media this week, and I thought I would chime in.

This pertains to the world of publishing, but it could probably apply to almost any profession.

It's human nature to crave the satisfaction of "fair play." 

We like to think the good guys will win, and the bad guys will lose. Unfortunately, life doesn't always work out that way.

It's incredibly frustrating to see folks who lie, cheat, and steal get ahead and "win."

There are plenty of folks in the publishing world who are engaged in shady business...slick, manipulative, and unethical marketing techniques; plagiarism; copying brands, story concepts, book ideas. Folks lie about their true identity, use people under false pretenses, ghost people when they're finished.

And then...there are people who DON'T do these things.

People who are transparent, who come up with their own original story/branding concepts, work hard, and engage in above-board promotion.

It can be really discouraging to see the folks who engage in the crappiest behavior rise to the top of the pile.

It's especially discouraging if you are on the receiving end of some of this bad behavior.

It's even more discouraging when you and all of your ethical behavior are not accomplishing the same level of success.

I have two bits of wisdom about this...

1. Redefine success.

It's a dangerous thing to define success in an art field by the numbers.

Number of books sold. Amount of dollars earned.

And yes, I consider writing an art.

I know there are folks who only see it as a business enterprise, and plenty of writers who depend on their income to live.

But the slippery slope here is that if you see publishing romance novels only as an unlimited cash cow, you are creating a monster. There are folks who will push that to the limits. And beyond. They think nothing of crawling over other people to get that magical pot of gold.

If you are an author who is clinging to ethical behavior, I have a few things to say to you. Things you might not hear a lot...


Great job!

Way to go!


Excellent work!

Your success does not need to be defined by numbers. You need to stop comparing yourself to others. 

This leads me to Bit O' Wisdom #2...

2. Own your path.

Comparing yourself to others is extremely unhealthy in this business. You will never be proud of your own accomplishments, because someone out there has accomplished MORE. Bigger things. Better things. And not always by honest means.


If you are committed to being transparent, authentic, and hard-working...good for you.

Own it.

Don't worry if you don't make a million bucks this year.

Be proud of who you are and what you are accomplishing.

The two most important things in a writing career--in my humble opinion--are quality and integrity.

If you can stick to these principles, and also sell a million books, do it.

If you can't, that's okay.

Be your authentic self, and own it.

Sending out positive vibes to the good guys...