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Old 12-18-2012, 03:00 PM   #47
Hitch
Bookmaker & Cat Slave
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Location: Phoenix, AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exaltedwombat View Post
OK, but you won't like it!

My job that has paid the rent for the last 40 years or so has been as a performing musician. The trade, above all others, where amateurs constantly clamour to do your job for free. and are convinced they are "just as good".

Let's not get all arty-farty about "Karma". But I've found that if I'm free with advice and help, it brings me MORE work. Show someone how to do it properly, he often realises he CAN'T do it himself (or doesn't want to put in the time and effort to develop the skill). So I get the job.

(I'm also fortunate that, although I'm too old to have had any computer training at school, when they came onto the music-production scene I took like a duck to water. After a little time I realised that what I saw as an unremarkable skill was actually an unusual one, and a very marketable commodity.)

There's one particular parallel between music and ebook design/web design/programming in general. Less is more. Leave out the fiddly bits. State what needs stating clearly - then stop.
OMG, why on earth would I not like that? Thank heavens I stumbled across you!

Listen, I bought a guitar on Saturday. I had my first lesson yesterday. I have my first paying gig on Friday. My client wants me to play certain tunes. Can you teach me the opening riff for "Eruption," Van Halen, I think it was the '84 album? That's not a problem, right?

And, heck, if you think I'm not quite ready for that one, I do have some Clapton alternatives that the client said he'd take instead. Or a Townsend or two. Okey-dokey?


Now, on a serious note:

I don't know how on earth you think these two trades are remotely comparable. Firstly, any person who is stupid enough to hire a musician, or a band/group/whatever who doesn't hear them play first, or at least pick up a track, or a YouTube video, is an idiot. Even Bridezillas listen to the music that a DJ is going to play at their reception. Therefore, the amateurism of the person who bought their guitar on Saturday will be screamingly obvious. There's no reason on earth for you to worry that Bridezilla will confuse YOUR work with the amateur's work. Nor will the bad work that the amateur does reflect badly on YOU. After all, you lot are artists, right? Each one of you is unique, as we all know from the simple task of using our ears.

This is not the case with ebook-makers. I have lost more than one job just because somebody else picked up the phone, or answered an email faster than I. I should post the email I received several weeks ago from a publisher, who has been a repeat client of mine (about a 20 book gig, mind you); she'd emailed my home email address, not my business, at 6:00 a.m. my time. I'd replied, when I found the email, some 5 hours later, but in that five hours, she'd given the gig to someone ELSE, because, in her own words, I "hadn't replied in ten minutes." I wasn't even out of freaking BED ten minute later, much less replying to emails sent to the wrong address.

So, I'm sorry, but somehow, your idea that if you show someone how to play Van Halen's "Eruption" Riff means that they'll see it is too hard, and they'll hire you, has absolutely no correlation to what I do. You're sharing music with, what, fellow musicians? You think I'm sitting around, discussing coding bits with my clients? Most of my clients can't download files from a browser interface. (Go ahead: ask me if I'm making that up). "Sharing knowledge" with my clients won't do anything but piss them off and wreak havoc. "Sharing knowledge" with fellow Pros, or Bros? ("Pros and Bros" terminology courtesy of our resident peacemaker, ElMiko.) Fine, happy to do it. What I'm not happy to do is encouraging what is, to me, the flim-flamming of clients by encouraging people who don't know how to take data from a PP presentation and put it in a WORD file. Sorry, but that's just one reach (bridge?) too far.

And I'll be waiting for that lesson on "Eruption." I figure with about...oh, an hour's work, you can have me strummin' and hummin' just fine. RIGHT?

Hitch
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