Monday, June 3, 2013

The Lure Of Great Things - Be Cautious and Do Your Homework

One of my jobs as an agent is to always keep my eye open to new opportunities for my writers. Just recently I had such an chance and it got me thinking about what many authors are facing on a daily basis. This experience confirmed for me, once again, what I have been saying time and time again here on the blog. Do your research.

Without going into specifics about this new opportunity, let me set the stage for you. I recently found an opportunity for some of my authors to take advantage of some writing exposure with a new start up company. From all that I had seen on the initial announcements of the company, this sounded like some potential. A little bit of money and a lot of exposure. The start-up would have the additional exposure of getting published authors working for them and the Greyhaus authors would get one more avenue to market their writing. It sounded good to everyone.


This is where the research comes in...

Before diving into the project, I did what I have told all of you here on the blog. I dug a little deeper. Eventually, I had the chance to connect with the owner of the company. This was a nice person and certainly has some great ideas, but in the end, it became apparent that all that we saw on the initial posting might not necessarily be what it seemed. No, this person wasn't making up stories. These were some initial ideas that hadn't really taken shape yet and details really hadn't been worked out yet. In the end, for my authors, this wasn't going to be a good use of their time and energy, at least for right now.

But as I talked to the owner, I saw how the lure of great things did have an impact on those not "in the know." The owner told me that she had already read a ton of submissions for their projects. People were diving all over the opportunity. Now here is the catch. I am doubting if they had the lengthy conversation I had with the owner. They were working off of that same information I saw that got me interested in the first place. The difference though is that - they jumped and I didn't.

Don't get me wrong here. Start-ups are fine. Getting in on the ground level of a project is fantastic! But, unless you are out there doing that research and really determining if this is the right thing for you, it could put you in a place you don't want to be.

Right now, there are a ton of "opportunities" for authors to be published. They offer great things. They speak of their "top" authors really making a career from what they offer. What we need to remember is that these companies are using a technique called "marketing." The goal of marketing is to drawn in a crowd, to attract attention, to drum up business. Still, like anything out there in the business world, it is still a "buyer beware" mentality that will keep you from being sucked in.

Just think before you jump, please? I hate to see authors getting hurt.

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