Don’t Sabotage Your Career: Part 2

In part 1, we looked at five things that can sabotage your career:

1. Unprofessional email addresses
2. Unprofessional Facebook and Twitter posts
3. Non-existent or Unprofessional web presence
4. Unprofessional business cards
5. Not being branded

Two more that can tank your reputation:

6. Free publishing
Services like and offer free e-book and print-on-demand publishing. (Everyone loves free!) You simply upload your Word document and post your homemade cover—and you can have an e-book on Amazon in a few hours and copies on your doorstep within a week. And you pay only the wholesale price. Such a deal. But it’s a deal if and only if:

● you have it professionally edited (and not by your English-teacher cousin). If your online or in-print presence is filled with errors, it can ruin your writing career.

● you have your cover professionally designed (not by your sister-in-law who happens to own Adobe Illustrator—unless she’s a designer.) An amateurish cover can ruin your career—or at least your book sales.

Take this to heart. I see so many self-published books that scream amateur! That free service can cost you your reputation.

And if you’re investing in one of the hundreds of self-publishers, please read these additional warnings (Hundreds of self-publishers are amateurs at best and scam artists at worst.)

7. Earning the wrong reputation
Christian publishing is a small world. Editors and agents see each other at conferences , and we talk about writers. We know who is committing professional suicide by:

● being high maintenance
● telling off editors who don’t appreciate their talent
● missing deadlines
● burning bridges

Likewise those with prima donna complexes who demand special treatment can sink under the weight of their bad reputations.

Avoid all these and protect your good name.

James N. Watkins is an award-winning speaker and author of 16 books and over 2,000 articles. Read more at

© Copyright 2012 James N. Watkins

Image credit: icetray / 123RF Stock Photo

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