Barrett Manor

Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

A Follow-Up to Yesterday's Publishing Rant

Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett

Dear Author reports that two more e-publishers are having problems.

Really, I have nothing against e-publishing. In fact, I think it can be a good small business opportunity. But like any other small business, you need to know what the heck you're doing and you need a plan. Heck, I could hang out an e-publisher shingle anytime I want to. So could you. What's holding me back is my lack of experience in that end of the buisness and the amount of time it takes to do the job right. Of course, that doesn't seem to stop some people. Good intentions are wonderful, but so is good business sense.

Early in my freelance career I hooked up with a few people who had many grand ideas, but didn't have the skills to follow through with them. Most of the time I ended up not getting paid (or at best, I was handed a "token" pittance) for my work. I was hungry, and I took anything that came along. The best that can be said from those days is that I learned a lot about how small businesses worked and learned how to separate the well-intentioned but clueless from the folks who had their acts together. Yep, sometimes I miss the mark, but I've found that it's less stressful for me to work for people who have a clue, even if things don't pan out. Those with clue are less likely to make promises they can't keep.

When someone tells me "there isn't much (or there is no) money upfront, but down the road..." I generally run away unless that person has a proven track record. Why? I have bills to pay, and it's too stressful for me to argue with someone over monies promised but not paid than to not work at all. I'd almost rather flip burgers.

Yes, there are exceptions. (See "proven track record" above.)

The lesson: Hone your Spidey Senses. Sure, they may be off sometimes, but more often than not you'll save yourself some serious grief.

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Filed under: Writing   Publishing         
3/24/2008 11:19:07 AM
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