by Dan Smith, Founder
Too often, business competitors see each other as virtual enemies – each trying to get the customers the other needs and wants. It can get ugly sometimes.
But competitors can also forge great relationships – more than willing to help others out, even refer clients to each other, and offer guidance and advice.
In the book marketing industry, I’ve come across all types of competitors in my nearly 20 years running Smith Publicity. Some stay distant and we pass each other silently in our part of the publishing world. In some cases, I’ve virtually had to go to war with fly-by-night book publicity hacks and con artists. One even stole all of the copy from our website, and—believe it or not—basically tried to steal my identity to get clients, rip them off, and then shut down and pop up later as a another fraud agency. Others do something I have never done – say disparaging things about my firm and bad-mouth my good company to authors. To me, that’s just bad mojo, and sooner or later it comes back to you.
I have been neglectful in not publicly thanking a few wonderful people in this crazy book promotion world. The first is a long-time mentor and friend of mine, the legendary Irwin Zucker, founder of the Book Publicists of Southern California and owner of the book publicity firm, Promotion in Motion. Very early on in my career Irwin provided advice, pointed me in the right directions, and helped me get some of my early clients. At Book Expo America, he always walks authors to our company booth and introduces us as “the best book publicists in the industry.” Irwin is pure class.
I’d also like to thank Jessica Glenn of Mind Buck Media. Jessica and I connected on LinkedIn a year or two ago, and she’s kindly sent a number of authors our way who weren’t the best fit for her publicity agency. I’ve also tried to reciprocate and send some authors her way. Jessica, too, is an example of class in what can be a rough and tumble industry.
So, to Irwin and Jessica: a long overdue and public “Thank you.”