Sorry I’m a bit late today…I’m on the road, and catching up on sleep. Things — like blog posts — slip through the cracks. But here’s a quick thought I’ve been pondering: when not to take someone’s advice.
Remember, the advice a particular writer gives will reflect that individual’s own experience in the business. The person who broke into the business thirty years ago may not be the person person to listen to about how to break in now. The one with the most extreme position may be fun to read, but may also not have the best advice.
The solution to the problem of who to listen to and who to ignore is what it always is: do your research. Listen to lots of people, get lots of advice. Make your own plan — where do you want to be in ten years? What are the proven steps for accomplishing that? Listen to the people who’ve done what you want to do.
I have a lot of people asking me about e-publishing these days, and I’m a terrible person to talk to about it because I haven’t done any of it. I don’t have an out of print backlist, and I have more work than I can handle lined up for the next couple of years. That may change someday, but for now, I’m not starting up any e-publishing projects because it’s not part of my current plan. So, someone who wants to get started in e-publishing? They definitely shouldn’t listen to me.
You need to be very clear on what kind of career YOU want to have, and what your own plan for breaking in or conducting a career is. That will help you figure out what advice, amidst a vast sea of writing and publishing advice, to follow.