Writer Wednesday: Authors Supporting Authors
Good Morning authors and welcome to the middle of the week! We are already rapidly approaching the middle of August and as summer begins to wind down we are going to see the fall season of books come out swinging.
Today we are going to touch something that may or may not be something that you as an author have actively engaged in or you have and this post makes a lot of sense. We are talking about Authors supporting Authors and how creating an author network can have ripple effects across your career. Whether you are a debut author or publishing your twelfth novel, authors supporting authors can be vital in our incredibly interconnected reading world.
Having an author support network can be beneficial from drafting to publication day and beyond. It could be a group comprised of authors you queried with in the trenches, rooting each other through victory and rejection, it could your publishing house sisters or the other authors represented by your agent. It could be a group of authors who write in your genre and share similar trope passions with. Whatever the make up of your support group, or groups, there are numerous ways you can mutually benefit each other, whether you are indie or traditional. Remember, the bulk of marketing, whether you have a trad deal or not, usually falls on the author. Your publisher might be able to provide some of a leg up and they will certainly push you where they can because selling your book benefits them, but smaller presses are limited by finances and larger presses and imprints are more select with marketing than some realize.
So what are some ways authors can support each other? There are straightforward ideas such as reading and reviewing each other's books. The very scary asking for another author to blurb your novel is something you can pay forward to another author. Simply sharing posts across social media can be huge because you've expanded their audience to include your audience. Word of mouth is a book's greatest selling point. If readers follow your profile on something like Bookbub or Goodreads, they see the books you review and recommend. Bookbub has a whole recommendation system that allows authors to recommend books to their followers and can be a great way to support the authors in your group or other authors in general that you love.
The modern publishing world is constantly changing. Sharing the knowledge goes both ways. The reciprocal giving and receiving of knowledge helps you, helps your group, helps everyone get a leg up in the vast ever shifting publishing landscape. That knowledge share trickles down to authors just starting out, and opens new opportunities for veteran authors. Being someone who openly shares their knowledge can open surprising doors for you.
This can applies to both indie and traditionally published authors, but there are many ways you can combine your marketing efforts to boost both your books, whether it's through shared promotional bundles, author take overs in your individual reader groups, release parties, co-hosted giveaways, newsletter shares, there is so much you can offer each other.
Ultimately the message here is that publishing is not always about competition. Sometimes we might feel that way when authors are competing for a piece of the kindle unlimited pie, competing for awards, or see other authors in their groups land agents and book deals while they are still querying. While it's easy to say 'don't compare your writing journey to others' in practice, it can be difficult to remember we all experience the same high and lows at different times. Every author's journey IS unique and for every exuberant success story you read, there are untold hours of anxiety and agonized waiting. There are down days and depression even when you are experiencing success, and you aren't alone in feeling that way. Having an author group can support you on an emotional and mental level as well. These are the people who get it, who understand how frustrating and taxing this path can be. Writing can be lonely venture, but creating a support network can help you thrive.