Wisdom #6: A Letter to a Marketing Company



Good morning. I wrote a blog post, "Why is it so hard to form a publishing team." (Visit my author website at to read.) I have been a businessman, a Marine Corps officer, and a high school teacher. Now I write novels. I only do business with people who see me as a partner, not a client, as a friend, not a means to an end. Over the years, I have worked with editors who demand outrageous sums of money and deliver really bad results. Website designers who demand outrageous sums of money to take a year to develop a horrible site that does not allow me to change the website or do what they say it will do. I have worked with professional marketers who take my money and deliver nothing. I have sold more of my books than a marketing company I have hired. Companies in this day and age lack probity, employ legal thievery, and hire people with no conscience or desire to do their job correctly. Instead of looking at me as an author... as a potential source of income, they decide to take the money first and hell with me. No longer do I do that. I'm looking for an editor to join my team, but they will earn that right by editing for me first and completing the job before I pay them. Sounds strange, doesn't it? Just think of clients who have to pay and hope for results—that is even funnier! My team consists of an actual artist who does my covers; now he is my friend who knows me and knows he will get paid because he cares about me, and I care about him. When his cover is complete, and I like it; I pay. My narrator for my audiobooks delivers amazing results, then I pay him, and he works until I'm happy. He is my friend, and we share funny stories all the time. He also goes over my books and makes me think of changes that are needed. He does this because he is a professional and a friend. I hope this is sound advice from a writer who just wants to write. Good luck.

Steven Walker

Author of the Gunny Mac Detective series.