Hyperprolific author and anthologist Jeff VanderMeer recently completed and submitted Booklife, a non-fiction book about the writing life that promises to be full of insight, harsh truths, good ideas and (knowing VanderMeer) dark humour.
He’s been posting a few excerpts from it in various places, including a chunk of tips on PR and self-publicity for writers which are well worth reading even if you’re not a writer – they say a lot about the art of publicity in a world where everyone is already their own PR firm (whether they realise it or not).
That advice includes a warning on the dangers of listening to advice from those who aren’t as qualified to give it as they might like to think:
How did some of these people arrive at bad places? Horrible advice. Always keep in mind that advice, especially advice on promoting yourself, is often anecdotal or a Received Idea–received from a time machine from the Distant Past. Sincerely-given but idiotic career advice can be a shiv in the side, an icepick through the eye. Worse, it can result in a slow malarial fever from which you never recover, performing actions you later have no good rationale for doing. The worst career advice attempts to separate you from your work, you a shucked oyster wondering what happened, and why.