by Carole Brown
Why helping your fellow-authors is beneficial to YOUR writing career.
- Don’t ever think one writer is more important than another. Why? The simple answer is, because they’re not. We’re all equal. We’re all important in our own rights. We’re all traveling on different paths of this journey, whether by our own efforts, desires, decisions, God’s will, or whatever. No one should be able to say, I’m superior because of blah, blah, blah.
- Promote other authors. But that takes time away from my own limited time frame, you say. Yep, but not much. So then, how?
1. Begin with your local friends and local or close writer groups. These people are those who you no doubt associate with frequently or meet with often. They might be closer friends, those you talk with online more often than others.
- How long will it take to hit a share button for a new release or promotion? Requests to help by tweeting? Do it if you have a Twitter account.
- When fellow/friend authors hold online promotions, try to take a few minutes and show up at their event site. Like a few posts, make a comment or two, let her/him know you’re there to support.
- If you have a blog, host an author now and then, or maybe do like I do sometimes and have a post recommending (and promoting) another (or two or three) author’s book(s).
- Share your knowledge, speak when the opportunity opens, help guide newbies with hints and ideas on how to they can proceed successfully in their journey.
2. Branch out. These are new people, those who’ve already “made it” and those who could be beneficial to your career. How to do this?
- Be friendly, but not pushy. Almost everyone appreciates a smile, a compliment and a word of encouragement.
- At conferences, sitting with others you might not know that well, be prepared to share a thought or two or, if the chance comes up, a question or two. Know how to phrase your own credentials in a positive, but unboasting way, even if you’re not a bestselling author yet.
- Reach out when opportunities come up. Doesn’t matter what they are, if you’re comfortable with the offer, have the time (or can make the time), do it.
Look for opportunities to do something nice. An example:
At one conference, sitting at a table next to an editor I had thought I might want to approach about a book, I realized after a bit, that we wouldn’t be a good match. So when another author from across the table and the editor began talking and seemed to be on the same level, I offered my seat next to the editor to the author. I immediately saw how impressed the editor was that I would do that. No, at the time, we weren’t a good match. But down the road? Who knows what might/could happen?
Benefits for You:
- Gets you attention. People notice when others do nice things. They may not let you know about it at the time, but believe me, they will see and remember. When you need a favor or an “in” you’ll already have established yourself in others’ eyes as a worthy person.
- Gives you a leg-up on opportunities. You may not need or even want many that pop up, but occasionally you’ll find one that interests you or benefits your writing efforts. Grab it and to with it. You earned it.
- Gives you Author Exposure. Whether you’re published now, or it’s in your future, you want to get known. Yes, this is similar to the first benefit I mentioned. That one pointed primarily toward view you as a polite, charismatic person nice to be around. This one is more business-oriented. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is worthless when it comes to getting your name out there, and when you help others, you get noticed. More people will be encouraged to buy your books, ask you for endorsements and reviews and to write blog posts for their sites. You want all the exposure you can get.
- Gives you a great feeling about yourself.
A couple warnings:
- You’ll never be able to keep up with all the requests you’ll eventually get from others wanting/needing endorsements and reviews. You’ll have to follow your heart on this one. Just remember that the one who might not be quite as popular may appreciate and need that review more than the more successful author. Think about it.
- Secondly, a pet peeve confession! 🙂 I see on some of the author group sites I’m part of, that a person may share an achievement, an event or some other good news. Two, three, sometimes more will like and congratulations, but what do I see? Many who’ve viewed that post, but didn’t have time to hit, at the least, a like? Why? Well, I’m not God, not even a judge, but it makes me wonder, and it hurts me to think that people can see a wonderful happening in their “friend’s” life and not even show their happiness for them. Think about it.
Remember: It’s all about YOU and ME.