I was watching a documentary series on Netflix, Bad Sport, which looks at the underbelly and criminal side of sports. Greed is one of the main components of why ‘deals’ are done. In all of the cases, a person’s reputation is dragged into the gutter. Their honesty and integrity are forever questioned from that moment on, no matter where they go or what they do.
It got me thinking about how authors need to, not only guard their reputation, but also ensure they uphold a certain integrity for their work and their place within the writing collective. As authors, we have an obligation to be honest and transparent in our dealings with our readers and others in the writing community.
As many of you know, I am a staunch supporter of my writing group, the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County, of which I am the Secretary. I am also more than willing to encourage and assist other writers in their careers and I advocate for the writing community as a whole.
I have created a list of steps I adhere to to uphold and protect my reputation. I would hope other authors would take similar steps too. These guidelines will ensure we are providing the best content, but also the best support for fellow writers, the writing community at large and our readers, that we can.
- Behave professionally online and offline.
- NO plagiarism.
- Do not mislead readers about our books, their status or their content.
- Be respectful and courteous when dealing with readers, other authors, and all industry professionals. These include, but is not limited to, publishers, reviewers, publicists, agents, etc.
- I will not air grievances, complaints or engage in public attacks on someone, either online, in person or to the press. Instead I will seek consultation and mitigation to resolve the matter.
- I will not damage another person’s reputation.
- When reviewing another author’s books, I will not mislead or deceive the reader for my own gain. If I know the author (or not – this has happened before to me) and find something that requires attention, I will contact them directly and privately.
- I will not make false statements concerning my books.
Personally, I do not engage in, or post on social media or anywhere else, any religious or political content. These subjects are inconsequential to my author platform, my branding, or my narratives. This is a personal choice and one that all writers/authors can decide upon themselves.
Can you think of any other steps an author can take to build and maintain their reputation?
Please share in the comments your thoughts and ideas and rules you abide by.