Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Wordsmith Collective Thursday – An Author’s Reputation

October 21, 2021
mandyevebarnett


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.

  1. Behave professionally online and offline.
  2. NO plagiarism.
  3. Do not mislead readers about our books, their status or their content.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. I will not damage another person’s reputation.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

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Follow the Guidelines – It’s Vital…

December 9, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Guidelines – definition: an indication or outline of policy or conduct

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Guidelines are important and should be adhered to when submitting your work. Whether it is for a competition, a particular genre or for freelance submissions. How we submit is almost as crucial as the work itself. Many publishing houses and agents now accept email instead of snail mail, but remember to read  carefully how they expect your work to be received. Some prefer attachments while others want everything in the body of the email.

When freelance writers are contacting potential clients the guidelines change from company to company and an incorrect submission can mean the difference between success and failure. Researching the company’s profile, any articles already published and establishing the correct person to contact enables you to refine your work and ensure the piece is received and not lost in the internal mail system of the company.

For manuscripts, submissions are more tricky. Which agent or publisher to send your novel to requires a good deal of research before you send anything to them. Find out which genre they publish. If one company publishes or represents numerous genres ensure you identify the correct agent and read up on their profile before sending. Try to make the ‘match’ as perfect as possible for the genre and the person you are contacting. Send exactly how and what they require – no less, no more.

Competitions are a great way to practice submitting your work but again who, how and where to send is still important. A horror story will not make it with a romance competition even if there is a romantic element within it. Again adhere to the instructions given.

A handy tip is to print out the guidelines and tick off each item to ensure you have crossed your T’s and dotted your i’s as per the guidelines. It may be time consuming but worth while if you want your work published.

Do you have any tips or experiences you would like to share?

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