Dollars and Your Own Sense of Worth

Just because you paid for advice doesn’t mean that you have to follow it.

I see a lot of writers paying promotional services and “author assistants” significant amounts of money in efforts to help them better promote their work. While some of these services are legitimate and, potentially, worthwhile, many of them continue to offer guidance and advice that is outdated, misguided, or both — particularly in today’s rapidly changing marketplace. Yet many writers, having paid for the services, feel compelled to follow through on what they’ve been told … even if it no longer makes sense in the current bookselling marketplace conditions.

Some of this is, of course, due to many writer’s inexperience with the publishing, bookselling, and promotional processes. But if your gut tells you that the advice you’ve been given might not make sense for you — and this is one of the key problems with many of these services: they claim to offer personalized promotional plans, but they are generally provide the same plan they provide to every author (although perhaps tailored to your genre) — question it. And, if the answer doesn’t satisfy you, ask again. If the answers you receive remain unsatisfactory, vague, or clearly general, find another source of information and guidance.

Following bad advice — even if you paid for it — is likely to cost you more in the damage to your writing career than the amount you spent in trying to develop one.

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