Happiness: Marketing Ethics

Happiness Series

Marketing Ethics

Every day that I wake, I begin a battle in my conscious. What I want to do is at odds with what I feel I should do. “But it’s wrong. It’s got to be. So then why do I feel so guilty?” What I am certain is wrong is the feeling of urgency to sign on to the computer and join my author friends and community in a relentless marketing campaign to blast our message out there. A year ago, without hesitation, I would have told them and myself that this was the right way to do this.

Today, I’m certain it’s wrong.

What I want to do is watch my children grow. I want to tend to my gardens and learn how to cook over a campfire. I want to read books about self improvement and learn this thing I’m trying to figure out called intimacy. I want to learn what nearly every parent in America continuously fails to teach their children: how to have a marriage and how to raise a child. These are two lessons I must impart on my children. But I have to learn them first. I’ve turned to the Old World. But if I’m pursuing all these goals,  I can’t be online marketing my books to the masses. Does it matter anymore?

Don’t get me wrong, Kallan is kick ass and I would love to be known for my stories and to never have to worry about money again, but marketing isn’t sitting well with me these days. Recently, marketing has burned me.

You see, in addition to my gardening, I’ve also gone “all natural” in the food department.

I didn’t realize how bad things in America has gotten until only this last few weeks. Fellow Americans. We’re being lied to.

Example: This last year, I’ve been gradually switching my family’s diet from processed to raw ingredients. Raw ingredients consist of stone ground flour, cane sugar, molasses, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, meat from the butcher, eggs, butter, cream, and yogurt just to name a few. Nothing else. If I can’t make it with raw ingredients then I go without. Let’s talk bacon. I priced bacon and realized that the bacon from the butcher was two whole dollars cheaper than what I buy. That didn’t take a second for me to switch.

Let me tell you about fresh bacon. It cooks faster and there is less grease. You will feel full eating fewer pieces. I also learned that bacon will keep in the fridge for nearly 6 weeks. In the meantime, packaged bacon that was sealed in the factory wouldn’t last longer than three weeks. This fascinated me so I researched the why’s. I learned that factories, have been injecting water into bacon so they can sell you less bacon for more money than what you get at the butcher. The added water creates a breeding ground for bacteria and grossly reduces its shelf life. The grease is due to the poorer quality of meat factories use.

I can’t look at packaged bacon anymore without thinking how much I’ve been “tricked” into buying their marketing. The bacon example is just one of hundreds I’ve discovered this last month.

More and more I’m learning about ethics and also, what marketing entails. I guess you can say, I’m having an ethical movement and the more I learn about marketing, the more it challenges my ethics. And my ethics are winning.

Simply put, marketing contradicts my ethics. So how can I sell my book to you when the very act of marketing rubs me the wrong way? What does this mean for Brain to Books? What does this mean for my writing? I want my writing and my stories to be so good that you tell your friends and my stories sell only on word of mouth. Does this mean I just need to get better at writing? Better at story telling? Better at…

What do I want?

My thoughts immediately turn to my gardens. My birds.

I just got back from camping. I found a nest of black-eyed juncos. There were four babies all with adult feathers. I watched the mother purposely under feed each child. Oh, she fed them… just enough. Her decision, in turn, motivated the fledglings to leave the nest. After the second feeding, when babies were still squawking for more, I watched the mother sit with the male and lounge. She could have gotten them more food. The male was guarding the nest. Instead, I watched the impatient fledglings stretch their wings and flap, eager to leave the nest. I almost could hear them say, “Fuck it! I’m getting my own food!”

They beat their wings, eager to fly. That’s when I realized, they beat their wings, which built up the muscles so they could fly. In a week, one or two would make their first flight. This happens in my yard all the time. The fledgling, not yet ready for flight takes the leap and glides to the ground. The mother continues to feed the out-of-nest fledgling. The fallen fledgling will fly within the week.

I return to camp with my babies and breath deep the forest air. What I want has never been clearer. The question I’m now faced with is, “if this is what I want, then what am I doing online?”

 

About the Author: Angela

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