Monday, March 16, 2015

How to Support an Author ~ #MondayBlogs

We may act all sure of ourselves, but writers are really an insecure bunch. We depend, like Blanche DuBois, on the kindness of strangers.

I've been writing professionally as a career since 1981, mostly non-fiction (newspaper and magazine articles, ad copy, and more). In the 1990s I decided to pursue my dream of writing fiction, so I wrote stories that had basis only in my mind. Finally I had a full length manuscript in my hands. After a few false starts and a new and different manuscript I was able to call my self a published author.

One of the nicest things I've found since becoming a novelist is the general support amongst authors. Definitely there are a FEW who are too competitive and allow their not-so-nice side to rule their day, but fortunately as I said those are the few.

I have found other authors who are willing to constructively critique current WIPs, will post, re-post, Tweet and even host other authors, are willing to include others in book store signings and provide helpful advice and tips based on personal experiences. I honestly don't know, at least not personally, any other professional field with the same support system.

If you are venturing into writing for (hopefully) publication, yes you will find those days when, for lack of a better description, you just want to crawl under a rock and hide. There will be days when you face your first, or even subsequent book reviews, with trepidation so gripping as to seemingly paralyze you. Mailing a query to a publisher, whether or not you've already been published, will have you holding your breath until you get a response. Wanting to become a professional author is a little bit like asking to be flogged in public daily.

If you are an author here are some things you can do to support your fellow authors - Use your social media accounts to boost other writers by sharing posts or using the link buttons at the bottom of an author's blog post. Even clicking the "LIKE" button on the other authors' FaceBook posts will help. Tweet or re-Tweet their special news. Interview an author on your blog, with both of you publicizing it you'll probably get a lot of new traffic which also helps you in the long run. Review books, authors LOVE getting reviews. Get involved with other authors both online and in-person. Join Street Teams and help spread the word about your favorite authors in person and/or online.

Enroll in periodic and seasonal blog hops and other combination events. Two weekly blog hops that I participate in are Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday (on FaceBook) where writers from various genres post mini-excerpts from their work and invite everyone to comment. Seeing your work through someone elses's eyes is truly eye-opening and even if this work is already published you will get helpful insights for your current and future writing. There are also various email groups where authors can share, in a sheltered environment. Get involved.

Do not tear into another author, especially not publicly; yes you may do them some damage, but you will hurt yourself even more — no one likes a whiner, or worse, a nasty SOB. Chronic complaining online, about your life, other authors, publishers, etc. will make you unlikable to many would/could be fans. Respond to other authors with the same respect that you want to be treated with.

Smile and the whole word smiles with you.

I thank each one of you for your support.
Chelle & Charmaine Gordon at a multi-author event

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