Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What's Wrong With Marketing?

We’ve had more ice and snow in north Texas than what we’re accustomed this year. Following one storm, KTVT showed a couple of guys out in subfreezing temperatures helping people who were stuck on the ice. They had high praise for these guys and their willingness to help, but when they saw someone pass them some money, they backed off their praise. Somewhere along the line, we’ve picked up this idea that if someone is getting paid to do something they don’t deserve praise for it.

This same notion carries over into publishing. If an author visits someone’s blog and mentions a blog post that is related to the subject that is on his blog, most people will see nothing wrong with that. But suppose the author mentions a book he is selling that is related to the subject. Many people would frown at that because he is getting paid for it.

I agree that people who do things without compensation deserve recognition for that, but it shouldn’t be considered a bad thing when people ask for compensation. Sometimes I don’t want to cook at home, so I eat out. I pay someone at a restaurant to cook for me. Just because I’m paying for it doesn’t mean I can’t be appreciative of them for offering the service. And if I am traveling along the interstate and I see a sign advertising a restaurant, I don’t complain because they just want money. I’m actually appreciative of the fact that there is a sign telling me where I can find a place to eat.

Some people don’t like it when we promote our own books. Well just how are people supposed to know about our books if we don’t? Yes, we want money. We can’t afford to give our books away for free. We have no reason to feel guilty or ashamed for promoting the books we write. If anything, the people who have problem with us doing that should feel guilty for expecting us to give them something for nothing. I’ll admit it. I write good books that I want everyone to have the pleasure of reading, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to give them away free.

Do you place less value on something you pay someone to do than something they do for free?