It’s such a simple word, isn’t it? Yet so much of our lives and careers rest on it. Each book we put into the hands of publishers, agents, and editors is an act of trust, and we hope desperately that we’re not mistaken in the act. At the end of the day, regardless of how our personal feelings are affected by the actions of others, there is in this business a level of professionalism that truly needs to be observed by everyone.
Like most authors, I’ve had my dealings with less than ethical publishers who have questionable practices. IF asked, I will state that I have had less than enjoyable working relationships with specific publishers. I don’t discourage anyone from dealing with people I personally will not work with now or in future. I also don’t make it my life’s work to publicly trash and malign these publishers. At the end of the day if I’m going to have my titles with them until contracts expire, it doesn’t really do me any favours to put off the buying public of said books.
Every day our lives are affected by trusts. In our work, those of us in the arts, it’s always a mistake to bring your business to the public – they seldom forget. Circumspection is a needed asset, it’s vital to your survival as an artist. Always keep in mind the shit-storm you start today will inevitably cost you professionally tomorrow.
When a publisher signs you, they take you on trust in many ways – just as you do them. It is a partnership. Like any business venture, you have to work as a team. Changes happen, new players come into the game, but ultimately, the goal remains the same. It’s a lot like life...we create different trusts and partnerships in all we do. I’ve had a lot of trusts broken over the past couple of years, personally and professionally. It’s brought me to a place where I am now seriously considering if the next move shouldn’t simply be to shutdown and end my less than illustrious career.
Only time will tell, but by being a professional, and maintaining my personal integrity and code of ethics, I do the best job I can in whatever capacity I am asked to do it. I learned a long time ago not to pay much attention to what’s said about me, and that continues to serve me well. But trust... It’s badly shaken, I have to admit.