Tuesday, March 8, 2016

From Old Hands to New Mouths - Authors Helping Authors - Publishing Helping Hands

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I had a typesetting job I needed to work on today, and I've been hemming and hawing about how to approach this topic. I'm gonna warn you now, my opinions are strong, and they're about to be vomited all over my blog. If you're not sure you can handle it, I suggest you get on outta here now. However, if you think maybe, just maybe, you'll be interested in hearing what I have to say, grab a cup of Jo, get comfy, and read on.

*rubs hands together*

Here we go!

I was interacting with a few authors a little while back, and one of them said something that made me pause and think.

Here's what was said (no, you don't need to know who said it): "I usually see big time authors only helping other big time authors. It could be because they have been friends since the beginning, who knows. But I rarely see a best selling author promoting someone new."

How true.

My immediate response was anger, and then I thought about it. Now, I'm beyond pissed.

Why?

Well, once upon a time, we were ALL brand new authors. Yeah, we kicked and clawed our way up the ranks, writing and fighting, promoting and extending hands to help those in the same boat we were in. Ergo, people rose up together. When one person got a piece, they shared it with those who've been by their side from the beginning.

Nothing wrong with that.

Until...

Once you get a big name (or even a semi-big name) and you start to crap on the little guys because they're all "nobodys" or you snub new folks at signings because you can't be bothered. Better yet, you're rude or just don't bother to respond when someone approaches you or asks you a question.

Yeah, those folks are all new to this publishing and marketing stuff, and you know what? They could use a friggin hand. Even if you just take five minutes to share your process or give a tiny piece of advice that isn't "keep writing." Everyone knows they have to keep writing. Duh. That's like telling a painter they need to keep painting or a bricklayer to keep building. That's not the advice they're looking for.

What is there to lose, really? An hour or two of your writing time?

Really?

But stopping to give someone advice isn't all there is. Nope. You can share a Facebook post (or two—gasp!), swap backmatter, or even—dare I say it?—read or buy their book. Holy crap! Now there's a new idea! Actually buying the books of your fellow authors. Who would've thought?

Next time you're on Facebook, head over to a book page and like and share a couple of their posts on your page. Even if you don't know the author. No, especially if you don't know the author.

Because, believe it or not, those new authors of today will be where you are tomorrow, and some of them will rocket past you to the top. How silly will you look when they recall your reaction to their query or request for a handshake when you step up to get your copy of their book signed?

Truth be told, you never know who'll make it in this industry, so be kind to everyone while you can. If all the people you know stay on the bottom rungs forever, that's okay, too.

Know why?

Because you've made new friendships that'll be there forever. And those, folks, are worth more than gold.

So, my call to everyone who's up there now: Get a kid sister or brother author. Help them out when you can. Offer to put a snippet of their book in the back of yours. Put out a call. I guarantee someone will answer.

Be kind. 

Lift as you climb.

Be a mentor.

You can't write enough books to fill all the hungry brains out there. These authors aren't your competition, they're your partners.

Think about this:

What if you offered to swap backmatter with a new author and their book takes off, hitting the top twenty? Guess what? Part of your book is in there! What if your book rockets up the charts? Well, that's a win for them, too!

It WILL work if you work together, but a house divided against itself cannot stand (thank you, Abe, for that sage advice).

Tell me in the comments what you plan to do. Then, go out and do it. Come on back and tell me how it went or how it's going.

Help one another, because there isn't another magic formula that'll do it all for you.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

4 comments:

  1. Wow. I appreciated this post. I'm definitely not up amongst the experienced pros (yet!), but I've believed in spreading good karma throughout my journey. It's why I help by promoting authors on my blog--author spotlight, cover reveals, release day posts, and even book trailers. It helps everyone. I never thought about the back matter. Do tell how to pitch this to seasoned authors!

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    1. I try! LOL! I agree about spreading good karma. Shares are always appreciated. As far as pitching the back matter swap, I'd just ask and say, "What can it HURT?" :)

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  2. Backmatter! It's so simple I high-fived my face!

    I've also had some experience with the backhand from "bigger authors". Every once in awhile, I come across a book that's amazing, and I reach out to that fellow author with praise and appreciation. Sometimes I'm met with a simple thumbs up or "Awww. Thanks." (Like, awe-your-so-cute-down-there-at-the-bottom) *clears throat* Excuse me, I'm 30. Sorry, I wasted my breath.

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    1. This cracked me up :) Backmatter, indeed ;)

      Wow. Are you kidding? Well, if you reached out to me, I'd thank you up one side and down the other :D Keep plugging away. You'll eventually find one (or more) you click with!!

      Thanks for the comment, and welcome to the blog!

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