Friday, May 29, 2009

Are you safe anymore?

I want to bring up the issue of professionalism again. I am doing so with a couple of things in mind here. We are talking about web presence (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, chat rooms and the like) and also your presence at conferences since we are approaching serious conference times.

Let's start electronic first.

We all love this technology but you have to remember that your presence out there is not only being recorded but you are being followed by not only your readers but also editors and agents. We watch what you say. We see the photos you post. We track your tweets. And guess what? We remember! These electronic messages are giving us a lot to work with when we have to consider your manuscripts.

Now let's talk about your presence at conferences. Sure this is a fun time to hang out with your friends and talk. Sure this is a chance to potentially complain about how things went with an appointment, or with another editor or agent, but you never know who is listening in. This is especially the case when you are sitting in the bar having a drink with your friends. I don't know how many times I have seen this before but it isn't uncommon to see published authors simply having a bit too much and letting their mouth say a bit too much. There are several authors out there that frankly, I will never buy their book again after the things I have heard them say, or seen the way they act. Simply not cool.

The key is to be aware. Think before you write. Think before you talk. This is a professional business and you need to act that way.


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