There has always been a camaraderie in networking with other authors and writers. I’ve been around a long time now, and it’s just common knowledge that we can all learn from each other. We’re all in this together, we’re all aiming for the same goal, and there is plenty of room for all of us. Right? That’s what I’ve always thought.
Until recently. Don’t get me wrong, I still think this way. Every day I look forward to networking and chatting with the other writers I’ve met on Twitter and on Triberr. (and quite occasionally on Facebook but I really, really hate FB now.) Networking with my friendly, fellow writers, is still very much a part of my day.
However, I’ve noticed something more recently. I had the unpleasant experience of congregating with a bunch of authors that don’t see it like I do at all. In fact, they come across as arrogant, self promoting, and with an in it for themselves only attitude. This makes me sad. Aren’t we all focused on the same goals and dreams? Aren’t we all looking for exactly the same outcome? Or at least similar outcomes? This post isn’t about this group of angry/self promoting authors though, this post is about how you can pay it forward, and keep helping others if that is what you really want from this too.
1. Retweet other writers. This is such an easy one. It requires a click of a button. Hit that retweet button and show the love. When you see a post that is helpful or just really good, go ahead, retweet it. It takes a second. I’m always surprised when someone I don’t even know RT’s my stuff, but I have made many a friend this way.
2. Shoutout their accomplishments. Don’t keep it to yourself when you are impressed with something. If you admire a writer or author or you are particularly proud of their accomplishment or maybe you just want to say hi, then for goodness sake, shout out to them. “Hey @irishwords, I am so proud of you, 1000 words on your WIP is simply awesome!” If you remember NOT to put their twitter id first, others will see this go through your stream and perhaps maybe that person will gain a new follower out of it. (Sorry Declan if you don’t get any new followers out of it! ha)
3. Talk about them. I swear, with as often as I talk about some of my great twitter friends, you’d think I meet with them several times a week and have coffee. My children know several of my twitter writer friends by name, because I talk about them so often. But I don’t have coffee with them, I have never even met most of them. But I talk about them anyway. Guess what happens when I do that? Friends and family get curious, want to know more, and often times wind up buying their book. Yes, it has happened several times.
4. Refer others. Yes, I know in some ways this is the same as #3, but it’s not. I’m talking about referring strangers. Example: Recently I was in B&N and there was a lady looking for a new book to read. She had just asked the store clerk if she had any recommendations. The store clerk gave her titles to big name books and went on her merry way. I made my way over to her and gave her several suggestions of some fantastic books, and assuring her I had read them and they were good.
She bought two from one author and one from another – based on MY suggestions. (@joannaslan – it’s easy to sell your books, they take place here and us locals like books that are … local. 🙂 Plus they are just plain good.) (@sarahdessen – she said she’d already read one by you and picked up another, go figure – you’re an amazing author) … So see, I was able to sell three books to a stranger because I took the time to tell her about them. For the record, I talked about several authors, those are just the books she chose to get. I’ve done this on twitter and Facebook too, and definitely in person on many, many occasions. P.S. Results are not typical (I don’t ALWAYS get them to buy the books I suggest, I got super lucky that day)
5. Buy their books. If you are a writer, you have to be a reader. I know I tend to pick up books by my twitter friends, much more frequently than I pick up the newest New York Times Best Seller. I like supporting them. I like reading them. Plus, you can get books for fairly cheap on Amazon a good majority of the time. Support fellow authors, because I bet if you do that, they’ll support you right back.
6. Review them. If you read the book, review it. You can either write a short blurb on Amazon, Goodreads or even write a blog post about it. Or write a blog post about several recent books you read, offering a short review on each of them. But at any rate, write something about them, it gets others curious. Reviews are like gold to an author. Especially one just starting out.
7. Make friends. This seems like such a simple idea. The problem is, there are so many writers out there that are all about self promotion and not interested in making friends and networking. I think that is sad. So make friends, network with them, toss around ideas, learn from them. It’s not difficult. It’s so easy.
What do you do to spread the love and pay it forward?