How About a Little Professionalism, Please?


I recently discovered my dislike for a small indie publishing press that someone from school had told me about. I’ll keep all names out of this, and firmly state that I am in no way bashing this press, or any people associated with it.

My reason? A serious lack of professionalism and focus. I “liked” the press on Facebook, and never saw much of any literary postings on their blog. It was mostly a lot of the owner’s personal achievements and activities, and that is fine. That certainly doesn’t make them bad, or even unprofessional. However, as a publishing press, I would have liked to see more posting about the future for the press, seeing as how the only book they published was the creator’s first book. That is more of a critique than anything else.

However, when it comes to professionalism, the owner was professional when I contacted them. And, I imagine whenever they have personal contact with someone, they maintain their professional persona. However, how you act when you are interacting with the rest of the world/friends/fans as a whole is a different story.

When one decides to put their work out there for their friends, family, and potential fans to see, one should most certainly create a new standard at which they speak and interact. Me? I’m careful with what I post and like on my own personal Facebook, Twitter, my author fan page, and any other social media. I mean, these are all potential customers! I’d rather not scare them away with anything inappropriate that I may find funny.

But when someone who is trying to sell their work of fiction is screaming on Facebook “F*** this politician,” and “F*** this religious person,” that definitely doesn’t make me want to buy their book, or even really associate with them. It would be much different if this person was a political or religious writer. If that’s what you do, more power to you. Express yourself however you wish. But, nothing attracts internet trolls like discussing politics and religion; and if you’re trying to sell your literary work, the last thing you want to worry about is trolls bashing your work, and spreading the word around of how “terrible” you are. Whether it’s false or not, someone who has no idea who you are is hearing it, and is believing them.

Perhaps it’s just me? I don’t particularly believe it is, though. I mean, I certainly don’t mind cussing up a storm in every day life. I can be quite vulgar. I’m not particularly proud of it, and I don’t when I’m in certain environments, but it’s who I am. But we all need to act as professionals–to some degree–if we are to survive as writers. Sure, if we hit it big we can relax at home in our pajamas writing novels all day long. But, the second you start spewing vulgarities and things you hate, you’re putting yourself at risk.

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7 thoughts on “How About a Little Professionalism, Please?

  1. I agree. I’m always aware of the messages I send out from my author page and may even hold back when in doubt. You are acting as a business as your page. I know that we live in a culture where even celebrities who have influence put opinions out on media, but even then I’m turned off by so much of it.

    • I agree completely, Brinda. Being a writer and selling your work makes this a business, and one must act as a business professional if they want to succeed.

  2. Totally agree. It’s obvious that you simply cannot convey a professional attitude effing and blinding, especially about sensitive topics such as religion and politics. I wonder what this guy was thinking?

  3. Nothing sends me in the other direction faster than unprofessional behavior, especially if it is regarding a service I am contemplating for use. It speaks to the owner/operator’s character if they can conduct themselves appropriately (or not). I try to comport myself professionally especially when interacting with others both in real life and online. A couple of cliches come to mind: ‘There’s only one first impression’ and ‘A person will tell 5 people something good about you, but tell 20 people something negative.’ Getting people’s attention in a postive way is hard enough. I do not wish to fit a negative reputation on top of it.

  4. Great Post Chris, Mur Lafferty speaks alot about being professional and I think it is the least we can do. A writer I know also reviews books and she was asked by someone to review thiers and when she gave a polite and honest, but negative review the writer verbally attacked her and asked others on amazon to gang up on her.

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