Pull in close so I can whisper it in your ear.
EVERYBODY KNOWS EVERYBODY ELSE IN THIS INDUSTRY!
Truly they do. And they all talk. Now if you have a good reputation, someone likes you, they will tell others about you. That's a good thing.
If you screw up it also means you will be talked about. Word will spread.
Now does this mean you have to sit on your hands, remaining meek and mild, super self-concious and on edge so that you don't ever offend anyone?
No of course not.
Have you met me? I'm loud. I'm big. I have strong opinions about a lot of stuff and gladly share them.
What you do have to do is maintain a level of professionalism.
According to Dictionary.com a Professional is: "a person who is expert at his or her work".
A professional handles their work. They maintain their commitments. You take a deadline, meet that deadline. Yes, sometimes you need an extension and there is a professional way to ask for that extension, but a professional holds that card tightly. You don't get to play it very often.
What a professional does NOT do is blow off their deadline because they are too "busy" playing Skyrim (or whatever frivolous distraction you are wasting your time with.) or just being lazy.
A professional doesn't blow off a panel at a convention simply because they aren't interested or it's the last day.
A professional doesn't treat readers like some kind of second class citizen, somehow lesser than the esteemed writer class.
A professional doesn't smack talk their fellow authors, or publishers, or agents, or bloggers. If you have a legitimate beef with someone, be an adult and take it to them. Don't tweet it or blast it on your blog.
A professional walks away from a bad review, no matter how unjustified it may be.
BE COOL AND NEVER MAKE GEORGE TAKEI DO THIS
If you can maintain your cool and be professional then you could have Dean Winchester doing this instead: