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,...

Critical Failure

If you failed to do the work, and I have to complete it for you, you do not get to complain about how it got done afterward....

The Fool’s Gold(en) Rule

It never fails to amaze me how some people will inflict upon others behaviors that they would never tolerate from someone else....

Wishing Doesn’t Make it So

Authors, I appreciate that you sold more books than you expected to. (Yay! This is always a pleasant surprise!) But there are certain restrictions that I cannot afford to overcome. You were informed, from the start, that we need at least two weeks advance notice to ensure that you...

Missing Deadlines While Killing Your Career

There is a reason that deadlines exist. While your agent, editor, or publisher might set them to ensure that a project does not drag on and on … and on, there are probably even more likely solid business reasons behind almost all of them. If your editor informs you...

What is a Group of Writers Called?

I’ve always been a little leery of writing groups. Even moreso now that I have also become an editor. It’s not that they can’t be helpful and provide much-needed support. By general experience has been that if you have 5 writers in a group, you will get 4 different...

Keeping Up Appearances?

Colleague: You can’t do that! You’ll make them look bad! Me: Umm. Maybe if there were actually doing their job that wouldn’t be an issue?...

When You Only Read the Headline . . .

Sending criticism as a response after only reading the first sentence or two of an email does not endear you to the sender. And it also wastes everyone’s time at least two-fold: It tempts the recipient to ignore you for the rest of the day. You have to spend...

Fake It ’til You Make It — Part 2

Pro Tip: Beginning your inquiry to a publisher regarding the status of your submission with “Still waiting.” is probably not going to get you the kind of attention that you want....

The Sound of Silence

When presented with verifiable facts, and your response is, “Then we’ll just have to agree to disagree.” My silence is not assent; it’s me making a conscious decision not to waste any more of my energy on you....