Credibility Matters Even If You Write for Free

The world is quite small when it comes to the Internet and blogging. I’m constantly amazed at how well-known journalists and authors will connect with me because of something I’ve written in these entries about the Writing Life. Over a year ago, I quoted a brief passage from The New Yorker magazine which wasn’t online but related to publishing. Like any news story, I attributed the quotation to the journalist and later that same day I received an email from the author (who I previously had no connection) thanking me for using the material.

78 Reasons book coverOr some time ago, I blogged about some fascinating portions in Pat Walsh’s book, 78 Reasons Why Your Book May Never Be Published and 14 Reasons Why It Just Might (Here’s one of those links from my entries). Walsh is the former founding editor at MacAdam/ Cage, an independent publisher of fiction and nonfiction. Before my entry, I had no previous contact with Walsh yet later that same day as my entry, I received a brief note of thanks from Walsh.

While these experiences are a bit jarring for me, they should come as no surprise—for me or for you. In our fast-paced world, there are many tools to collect this information. You can google to find the information or set up an automated way to feed you this information as the tool finds it.

Last week I was searching for a brief biography of someone. I googled their name and ran across the website called ZoomInfo. Have you ever seen it? I recommend you give it a whirl and you will be surprised. The site stores biographical information. With my friend, the old Internet page with her biographical information had been removed and wasn’t accessible—yet the old data was stored in ZoomInfo. I suggest you type in your own name and see what you learn from it.

About a year and a half ago, I found Jon Bonne’s interesting commentary on MSNBC called, Blog nice, everyone, Why Credibility Matters Even if You Write For Free. Here’s a significant quote from Bonne’s article, “A credible reporter should remain credible no matter where he writes, or who is paying her (or not).”

One of the keys from my view is to be aware of the power of information and the visible forum of anything that is online—including these entries on the Writing Life. As I’ve mentioned in other entries, the active publishing world is a small community (notice how I qualified it). For me, I only want write things which are going to continue to build my reputation and foster new friendships in this business. It’s the best way to operate and maintain a lasting career.

One Response to “Credibility Matters Even If You Write for Free”

  1. C.J. Darlington Says:

    Thanks for the link to Zoominfo. I’ve bookmarked it for future use. Great resource.

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