The Power of an Apology

February 7, 2008

 Hey everyone,

Last week I had to do something I hate doing, something I’m not particularly good at, something I probably don’t do often enough…I had to apologize.

I misread a review of one of my novels and, in a fit of self-righteous pique; I posted a response on the reviewer’s blog, stating in no uncertain terms what I thought about it.

The reviewer posted back an equally terse reply, basically telling me to grow up (which, as it turned out, wasn’t such bad advice.)

Once I’d had a chance to calm down, have a cup of coffee, pet the dog, etc, I re-read the original review and, much to my chagrin, realized that I’d misunderstood the writer’s attempt at a bit of humor, and had responded inappropriately.

Actually, even if the reviewer’s comments hadn’t been tongue-in-cheek, I’d still responded inappropriately!

So, striving against my nature, I bit my lip and posted an apology, outlining my misinterpretation, and admitting that, no matter what, my response had been juvenile.

Luckily, this reviewer had a better grasp on his temper (and his sense of professionalism) than I had shown. He accepted my apology, and even went so far as to repost to the review, clarifying that his remark had been satirical.

THEN, he ordered a copy of another novel to review!

Talk about being humbled!

What I could have just left as a whiney, defensive comment for the world to read and judge me by, became an opportunity to create a relationship, garner a new customer, and even get some additional (positive) publicity for my books!

The reason I’m posting this is that I read a great article this morning by my favorite marketing guru, Shel Horowitz. I get Shel’s monthly eNewsletter “Frugal Marketing Tips” and the February issue is titled, “Rebuilding A Business Relationship That Went Bad.”

Shel’s experience mirrored my own so closely that I figured many of us, in the day-to-day mosh-pit of running our own writing business, had probably thrown a few elbows we wish we hadn’t.

I wish I’d read this two weeks ago, lol!

So, take a look at the article and good luck. I’m going to get another cup of coffee and see if I can wash the taste of crow out of my mouth.

Till next time,


PS – There’s lot’s of other top-notch info on Shel’s site, and you can sign up for any of his free monthly newsletters there as well. It’d be time well spent!



  1. Hi, Perry,

    I’m totally tickled that I’m your favorite marketing guru! We’ll have to get better acquainted.

    Shel Horowitz, copywriter and award-winning author of five marketing books – http://www.frugalmarketing.com
    Blogging at http://www.principledprofit.com/good-business-blog/ (intersection of ethics, marketing, sustainability, and politics)
    http://frugalmarketing.com/newsletters (monthly frugal fun, frugal marketing, ethical business, and book marketing newsletters)

  2. Shel,

    I blame myself for not staying it touch more, lol, but we’ve actually spoken several times. ‘Course, I don’t have anywhere near the customer-base that you have, and I sure can’t remember everyone I’VE spoken to!

    I teach classes for “Oregon Christian Writers” based on “Grassroots Marketing.” I think you have a review of mine on your testimonials page.


    PS – Anyone reading this, who’d like to get first rate guide to marketing themselves and their business, “Grassroots Marketing” is THE book!

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