Ethical Publishing and Marketing


Let’s start with a definition:

Ethics – The study of principles relating to right and wrong conduct; Morality; The standards that govern the conduct of a person, especially a member of a profession.

Being ethical is about doing the right thing. Is that possible 100% of the time? Probably not, as much as you and I focus on doing so. In the context of publishing and marketing, here are just a few things to get you thinking when it comes to right and wrong conduct. While some of it may seem like an amazing grasp of the obvious, it might also give you pause about how you present yourself and your business in the world.

  • Publishing original work or clearly citing the source when it’s not your own
  • Getting permission to use other people’s work rather than merely assuming it’s okay to do so
  • Presenting accurate information regardless of the genre or format
  • Keeping confidences as appropriate
  • Creating clear and complete agreements with vendors, colleagues, and clients alike
  • Charging a fair price
  • Paying commissions/royalties when that is the agreed arrangement
  • On-time delivery of information, product, payments as promised
  • Truth in advertising, eliminating sensationalism

These are just very few things. You can probably add more once you start thinking about being on the receiving end of something you didn’t appreciate, when someone in your world acted unethically toward you or toward someone you knew.

You do realize, of course, that this short list applies to all businesses, not just publishing. Increasing your awareness brings you great personal benefits and a much stronger business. People know they can rely on you, that you’re a person of your word, that you deliver good quality, that you are someone to enjoy knowing for all these reasons and more.

Will you trip once in awhile? Yes, you most likely will. It won’t necessarily be malicious as much as going unconscious about it, being unaware. You may get caught up in a wave of common practices in marketing, for instance, using sensationalized headings on your marketing materials. Or you might not have realized your work was very similar to someone else’s until it was brought to your attention. Or your agreements were left as verbal rather than clearly put in writing because it’s someone you’ve known forever.

Stay tuned in as best you can. It’s probably the most any of us can do. And at that point, it’s better than most in running your life ethically.

Paulette Ensign’s San Diego-based Tips Products International teaches people worldwide to ethically and effectively transform your knowledge into money-making tips booklets and other formats of information products, online and offline, thousands and thousands at a time. Visit for free and fee-based resources to propel you to the next level.