Indie Publishing – how’s your ethics?


First: a warning – don’t buy Likes or Followers.

You will come across such offers. Maybe a new follower appears and then there is an offer that sounds great: ‘I can guarantee you 100 likes in 5 days!’ and you think Wow!

These offers will cost you. Not just cash either. A recent BBC News report (screened on 18.6.2015) looked into the growing business of fake paid-for reviews. It is a recognised International issue and now big companies are checking & removing these. It’s another form of scam, some businesses pay for dishonest and negative reviews on rivals (that’s low) whilst others are seeking to boost their own appeal by bumping up the 4 and 5 stars on their web-sites.

So maybe you think “oh it’s worth the risk” – nope, no, no. You will get found out. You will get a poor reputation. You will lose genuine fans. You may get blocked/banned from sites.

Equally don’t buy or add your own fake Likes or Follows. Post good material and people will follow/like/RT/comment and tell their friends. You want real fans. Fake fans pump your ego nothing more.

Ethics is personal – it is your own moral code of conduct. What you may think is acceptable behaviour, others will think of unfavourably.

But you don’t need to water yourself down to a muddy little puddle just be honest. As an Indie writer more than ever you are working hard to build up fans/customers that trust you and want to buy your great books; so be nice to them:

Don’t lie about what you have achieved (awards/credentials)

Don’t steal other people’s work

Don’t re-publish your own work in different guises to spread content

Don’t fake reviews/likes

Don’t run scam competitions or ‘special offers’

Respect copyright laws {flaunt them & you may need a lawyer}

Don’t publish a 30,000 word book that repeats the same 10,000 words of content re-hashed, again, and again (yes seen that one!)

Don’t ‘hard sell’ to people that have chosen to follow you – that’s just rude

If you want to use different author names be prepared to be honest, if you don’t readers will get suspicious. Many writers starting out nervously may prefer to keep their writing separate from their other career (that’s fine, Stephen King did) but know that it will come out eventually.

Be carefully of using many pen names too, readers may feel cheated. Plus if they LOVE your YA Romances they may want to read your Sci-Fi Crime Thrillers – don’t make it difficult for them ~ they will get fed up.

Do watch out for scams ~ Writer Beware is a great site for ‘what to be careful of’ covering agents/publishers and other scammers.

Put effort into your work and be proud. Hey we can all have OFF days (Oh For F**ksake!) when the flow isn’t flowing and I have posted stuff that wasn’t my best but that’s life. I wouldn’t constantly post crap just to fill space.

Don’t create poor books; you may get one huge sales burst but those readers won’t be back and they may post genuine Bad reviews. If you have issued a book that you are not happy with, edit it! And tell people.

Do Be Nice 😉

~~~~  Next week: looking for… Help! Contact-building & finding friends that ‘get it’ …

Lizzie HW


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