Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Professionalism (is a Bloody Long Word)

On my travels through the world of publishing, limited though they may be, I have come across all sorts of authors, and made some great friends as a result. There are the consummate professionals, the hard-workers, the writing-machines, the absolute nutcases (hi!), and myriad hybrids.

And then there are the unprofessional.

I don't mean the ones that like to goof off. After all, I am one of those. I'm referring to the authors that somehow have no clue that what they do or say has an impact on those who listen. Those that bitch about some aspect of the business, or go to a public place and rant about their agent/editor/publisher.

In the past few months, I've seen several occurrences of the latter. People complaining, publicly, using their real name/real pseudonym, about publishers and editors, again using names.

The internet - as well as being a repository for podcasts, pornography, and awesome webcomics - is also very easily searchable. Also, once something is put up, it's damn hard to take it down again (Google caching makes sure of that). Search "Adam Slade", for instance, and you'll see my public Twitter feed, this blog, and a bunch of forum posts. While I do occasionally bemoan my luck in finding an agent, I don't name names, and I don't rag on publishers.

If I can search for a name, so can an agent/publisher, and why on earth would they take on someone that is quite obviously going to be a liability?

Now don't get me wrong, in some cases, things must be brought to light. If your publisher is refusing to pay you, or is stealing rights, that needs to be shouted from the rooftops. But even in that case, it needs to be handled correctly. If you sit there and curse and insult, people aren't going to pay as much attention as if you'd calmly laid out the facts.

Short version - Behave, or be prepared for the consequences.

Bleh, I sounded all stern, then.



PS - Back to silly posts now, promise.


Dolly said...

That was a very good, very true post. But wow...it was also so non-Adam. I mean you didn't even use silly words right until the end. But I suppose serious topics deserve serious words :-))

You are perfectly right though. I think it's the casualness of the online medium that fools people into thinking that whatever they say somehow doesn't count.

Adam said...

I can do serious! It's just really, REALLY hard. :P

Thanks for the comment, D! :-)

It's something that's been bugging me for a while, and I felt I needed to put my opinion out there. :)


June Kramin said...

I've seen a lot of posts about such ranters and how it has seriously hurt their careers. It's a good reminder to all of us (even though it should be "common" sense.) :)


Adam said...


Common sense is in short supply these days, it seems. :P


graceunderpressure said...

I once (as a very green youth) worked for a restaurant who claimed that as I was in college (but over 19), I should get Student Wage (over a dollar less per hour). I quietly called the Labour Board to confirm what I thought. Then I calmly suggested that as I was over 19, student wage did not apply. When they balked, I suggested (still quietly) that they ALSO check with the Labour Board. They later told me that they had decided to give me regular wage, but didn't have to! I just smiled. I had won, they were the macho type who also needed to 'win'. I kept getting paid. If they had refused, I would have called the national paper. :)
Point- quiet but confident won the day. I didn't need to shout to everyone what idiots I worked for. Mind you, we didn't have internet then.. (don't faint!)... so I didn't have the opportunity.

Adam said...

Awesome, Grace! :-)

And I agree. Shouting and swearing only gets you so far, and it often leaves you in a worse situation. :)