Why I don’t do coffee, lunch or wine with authors and authors-to-be …

I would love to have a buck for every time I have had an email, a voice message, a text or even a face-to-face comment:

I would like to have coffee or wine with you …

My response is always a No.

Okay … I’m going to say it again: don’t ask me out for coffee or to meet you for a glass of wine late in the day. “Why?” you ask. Because it is a money drain—my kiss-off time costs me way too much to the bottom line.

What you are really saying is, “Judith, I want two to three hours of your time and advice and I don’t want to pay for it.”

Hmmmm. Maybe because the internet is peppered with so much free info, that it’s become the new normal—everything and everyone should be free?

If you are my friend, you know that I don’t drink coffee and I don’t drink wine. I start my mornings early (4 to 5 a.m.) and rarely work less than 12 to 14 hours a day. And, I don’t do evening outings unless they are social with friends and I can just unravel with no strings attached. I just don’t—I’ve had a long day. A cup of tea, salad or chai isn’t going to do it for me. They aren’t payment for what you really want from me to help you with a strategy to market your books, write a book or just become successful in the publishing path. That’s why I created ongoing time and events where you can get that:

I love sharing information and giving advice and have done it for years. I do it when I speak from the platform; I deliver my online coaching via tele-coaching where you can ask me ANYTHING about publishing, book marketing, your own strategies, etc., on Fridays at 7 AM and Noon Mountain Time for subscribers( a bargain at $27 a month); my weekly radio shows offer tons of publishing and marketing advice (free); my blogs and articles are topical and in-depth (free); the webinars I deliver are loaded with sage advice and how-tos (free); and my social media via Tweeting, Facebook postings and LinkedIn (all free) share nuggets of ahas, info and tidbits daily.

I’ve got decades behind me in gathering my intel. I put in time every day expanding my knowledge. I take the time to attend functions, conferences and read books that I pay for so I keep my learning curve in motion.

I have many clients with finished books who have a “quick 5-minute” question that needs an immediate response. They get it.

And, of course, my monthly paying clients who are deep-in-the-heart of getting their books created, written, and published.

Yes, I love giving advice and sharing info. With the Tuesday and Saturday blog, Wednesday ezine, Thursday podcast plus the daily Tweets, LinkedIn, Google+, and Facebook postings. Now, John Kremer has kicked me in the tush to concentrate on Pinterest and my eye is turning toward to Instagram after one of my podcasts. So, there is plenty of “free” stuff to gather from my brain already.

So, my question becomes:

What would make anyone think they have the right to “pick my brain”?

It’s not gonna happen, sorry. My brain costs money to maintain. There’s training, classes to attend, reading (I have to buy books), costs of memberships so I can network and absorb information groups share only with members, attending conferences and mastering my skills. All cost me money.

I have to protect my investment. I’m still in my “A game.” How fair is it to me to give away all the knowledge I have acquired that I use to make my living, pay my bills, support my family and eat?

If you are offended … well, I believe it’s your problem, not mine. Maybe brain picking is part of your MO … it’s not mine and never has been.

If you are an internet user, and I certainly am—Google is my online best friend, check it for what you are looking for. But, and it’s a BIG but, if you need more info or help, it’s time to pony up. All professionals do some form of freebies—but there is a limit to it. Before you ask someone for “free” help, ask yourself this: What have you done to earn credit with him or her? What have you done to already repay him or her for what you are now asking? What have you done …?

I have one full-time person and two part-timers who work for me. I wonder how they would feel if I told them I would decrease what I was paying them because I could get something on a project that they are working on for free—online? I tad pissed, I suspect.

My two bits for today …



Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and coach. She empowers authors and works directly with authors who want to be seriously successful and has been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the ’80s. Judith is the author of 35 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms (Foreword IndieFab Book of the Year), Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers and a speaker at publishing conferences. Book #35, How to Avoid 101 Book Publishing Blunders, Bloopers & Boo-Boos has earned 7 national book awards in 2017Get your copy now.

Each summer, she holds Judith Briles Book Publishing Unplugged Bootcamp, a three-day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. In 2018, the dates are June 23-25.  Participate in her Judith Briles Speaking Unplugged Bootcamp held in March and November. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for “AuthorU-Your Guide to Book Publishing” on the Toginet Network at bit.ly/PublishingShow.

Follow @AuthorUYOUBooks and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU, and join the Facebook group Book Publishing with The Book Shepherd. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact me.

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