Hypocrites and Shysters

Someone’s always trying to sell you something, aren’t they? Even me. In addition to my books, I’ve got affiliate marketing links all over my blogs. It’s subtle, but there it is. A sales job.

At least I’m open about it. I always try to be. I don’t like when people try to game me and aren’t upfront about it. Since I live by the “treat others as you would like to be treated” rule, my blogs have visible disclaimers that many of the products or services I share are from my affiliate marketing companies.

However, I also only put up links for products or services that I either have bought/used or would. I’m very upfront about that too.

The other day I attended a webinar that sounded really good. That should’ve been my first clue. If it sounds too good to be true…

But it was being co-hosted by an author I trust and have known for years. Because I’m disappointed by this person, but not wanting to bad-mouth or smear their name, I’ll give this author the pseudonym of W. (I’m mad now, but I know forgiveness will eventually come and I don’t want to compromise the relationship.)

I’ll also give Author 2 a pseudonym, because their affiliation with my author friend could easily be an identity-revealer. We’ll call this new person S. (For Shyster.)

As the webinar progressed, I heard S (who I’d never heard of before) touting some techniques (mainly giving away free books) that W regularly and vehemently lobbies against.

Yet, W was endorsing S’s techniques. What gives?

Then came the sales job. S had a whole program to sell for hundreds of dollars. W was all for people buying it.

Why? I’m sure it wasn’t out of genuine concern for our writing well-being. I’m sure it was because W was being compensated.

Yet, I could find no evidence of this. There was not one revelation from W, except that S was identified as W’s “sponsor” for a product line she sells herself.

But knowing what a savvy business person she is, I know she was being compensated.

I was extremely saddened she didn’t disclose it though. I was also sad to see her being a hypocrite about an issue she’s passionate about. Which is books being priced right, not giving them away, and writers getting paid for their work.

In fact only two weeks before W had raised a big stink about how wrong she thought even 99 cents-priced books were and she was not interested in being lured in by bargain prices. give her a good book to read and win her with good writing. Yet author S was saying price low, sell more, even give away to get reviews and sucker more people in to his concept.

Frustrating. Disappointing. Disheartening.

But not discouraging. I did get a couple ideas from it all, so in the end I learned that W is not as pious and righteous as I first assumed (emphasis on the first three letters of “assumed”), and we’ll see if I can put a couple of the free takeaways to any productive use.

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