What are authors willing to do to succeed? Which ethical
lines will they cross, rules will they violate, or laws will they break? To
what means will they take in order to achieve their ends?
A good friend of mine, a baseball fan like me, recently had a discussion with me about steroids and professional athletes. He asked: “If you are a struggling ballplayer but can make tens of millions if you take steroids, why wouldn’t you?”
I told him my ethics wouldn’t permit me to do it. It is illegal and violates the rules and spirit of the game, an institution that I love and respect. But obviously some disagree and are willing to put their health on the line while they check their morals at the door. Their priorities are not mine.
The world is full of cheaters.
From inside traders on Wall Street to low-level employees who alter their timesheets, to those who enter the country illegally, fudge their taxes, ignore their wedding vows, or fake a covid test and vaccine status, people lie, cheat, steal, and resort to violence every day, whether to win a game, make money, or gain some type of advantage or reward.
Not all of these things are on the same spot of our ethical spectrum, nor are the potential risks and rewards. But the idea is the same: What are you willing to do to get what you want?
For authors, I pose this question only from the perspective of acting legally, but what are you willing to do to get what you want when regular channels, procedures, or systems get in the way of you breaking through?
Being polite, reserved, quiet, or conservative simply will not work in the highly competitive world of getting published, marketed, and sold. You need to cut lanes and jump fences. Color outside the lines. But how?
To answer the question, it begins with you deciding that you will commit to doing more than you have, to work harder, smarter, and more aggressively. You will need to be dedicated to experimenting, taking risks, and doing things that feel unfamiliar or
So, dear author, it is a matter of how and when, not what. Are you ready to embrace a new approach, to associate with new people, and to throw time and money at things that may open doors for you?
Throw away your limiting thoughts. They are not getting you where you need to go. There is no should or must about what you are to specifically do. But the only rule you need to honor is to be flexibly persistent. Keep at this, but switch up your approaches.
Don’t read this as a declaration to be a morally bankrupt piece of shit but don’t be turned off at the idea of crossing into uncharted waters. You can break through without being ethically broken.
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Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres.
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About Brian Feinblum
Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2022. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent. This blog, with over 4,000 posts over the past decade, was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Susan RoAne, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, IBPA, Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult: linkedin.com/in/brianfeinblum.