Monday, October 15, 2012

Expressing Views

This feels like a Jerry Seinfield question: what is the proper etiquette for writers? Is it appropriate for us to express any view on any subject? Or do we risks offending potential readers with a controversial opinion?

These questions were posed in a Facebook group I belong to and it raises a good point. I know from experience that the cardinal rule of selling products is: always be positive. Part of that includes not being judgmental or expressing an opinion that might send the consumer walking out the door.

Writers with published work are part salesmen. Therefore it follows that we should not express any opinion that might anger or offend someone. However, writers are human. We have opinions and, in this country at least, we have the right to express those opinions.

The other important thing to remember is that if you do offend someone and they complain and go to the press and the internet and so on, it could be really good publicity. Because people are curious and will want to know what is going on. Of course, it could also mean you’ll never sell another book in your lifetime.

So let me offer one small piece of advice on this topic: if you feel strongly about something, then express it. But a little tact might go a long way, especially on controversial topics, and keep you selling your books.

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