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(reblogged from Legends of Windemere)

Hero Cover Final

This was a tough decision to make and I ended up talking to a few people about this. That got me thinking about advice.

First, I’m going to admit that this is going to be odd. By discussing advice, I’m also going to be giving advice on advice. So this post can easily untie itself and make funny faces when my back is turned. Still, this is something all of us deal in our lives.

One thing I wondered about after making the decision to go perma-free was how to handle questions about the tactic. Something that came to mind was how it was presented to me years ago by other authors. Perma-free was a new rage at the time and many told me it was the only way to go for success. There wasn’t much thought into what I wanted when people made the suggestion with more force than a charging rhino. To make something you worked so hard on a free item is not an easy decision. So what happened is that I railed against the idea until a friend pointed out that I was in a position to use the tactic to create a loss leader. The only thing is that I had to swallow my pride.

That’s a part of giving and taking advice that I think many people overlook. What is a good idea to you is a terrible idea to someone else. Pushing too hard can causes problems for everyone involved. You might never be listened to again by the person you annoyed and they might never change their mind even when it would work for them. Pride, ego, stubbornness, and all those blinding emotions can appear when advice is being given without a thought to the person you’re speaking too. I’m sure many of us have been on both sides of the coin here.

So, what can you do when giving advice?

  1. Listen- This should be self-explanatory. Hear what your friend is wanting and thinking before you interject your own opinion.
  2. Adapt- There is a good chance that your initial advice will need to be altered to fit what your friend is planning. Pushing ahead with your first instinct can cause friction.
  3. Sense- Pay attention to the emotions of your friend. They are probably stressed and nervous about whatever decision they need advice on.
  4. Talk- I was going to use ‘discuss’, but ‘LASD’ was weird. Advice giving should be a discussion instead of a one-sided conversation. The truth is probably in the middle.

So, what can you do when getting advice?

  1. Listen- Don’t assume a piece of advice is useless until you hear all of it. There might be a piece that you can use to improve your idea.
  2. Adapt- There is always a chance that your initial plan has a flaw that your friend has picked up on. Be flexible while continuing to stay true to the core of what you’re doing.
  3. Sense- Pay attention to the intentions of your friend. Yes, there are some who simply want to make you obey them, but those aren’t as common as you think. Especially if you went to this person for help. They are talking out of concern and support more than anything else.
  4. Talk- I was going to use ‘discuss’, but ‘LASD’ was weird. Advice giving should be a discussion instead of a one-sided conversation. The truth is probably in the middle.

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Something I always say is what works for one person, won’t work for everyone else. So in regards to me going permanently free with a book, I would say to follow your heart and consider where you are with your writing. I have 8 other volumes of this series, so I can afford to take this risk now. Those who have trilogies could have better luck with bundle deals while those with solitary books could get more from temporarily sales. It’s all about doing what is right for you as an author.

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