Friday, June 14, 2013

Supporting other authors

by Vivian Zabel

     Posts pop up all over the place asking authors to support other authors. Authors beg for reviews and for people to purchase their books. Pages on Facebook and different Yahoo! groups lists are clogged with authors promoting themselves, and occasionally others, to the point that important posts are lost in the babble.

     I believe in supporting other authors. In fact I'll review and purchase and promote other authors' book before I will my own. However, I am tired of asking for reviews for my book or books and being told by other authors (including one whom I've supported over the years), "Oh, I don't review other people's books." Yet, those same people expects us, including me, to review their books. 

     I have supported other authors by buying their books, until I discovered that even those I thought were friends never bought even one of my books. Now, I'm much more stingy with my limited income when I choose books to buy. 

     Have you noticed among all the self-promotions on social media that some people promote others, while others promote only themselves? Yes, it becomes quite noticeable after a time. I will share and retweet and give notice for other authors if they in turn do the same for other authors and, possibly, for me.

     I love reading, but now I read books I want to read or ones sent me to review. However, I have stopped reading some authors whose work I enjoyed in the past (and whom I know personally) because of their "buy my books but don't expect me to buy yours" behavior.

     Supporting other authors, or illustrators, is good, but that support should never be a one-way street.

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  1. Wow Vivian! You have hit the nail on the head. I have seen this selfish practice, and I agree with you 100%. I do find that writers are very helpful to each other. It's one of the things I love so much about most writers, but I have seen people who come around only when they have a book to promote. The last time this happened I declined and have decided to use my precious time to help those who truly appreciate.

  2. This aggravation has been festering for some time, and I finally decided to say something. Next I will write about the authors and illustrators who not only do not promote the books of others, but who refuse to promote their own books.

  3. I've been very blessed in this regard, as the people I've dealt with have all been the "Wash my back, I'll wash yours" kind of people. What concerns me more is being asked to recommend someone for a task or job when you have no clue about their performance. Or how about being asked to vote for something when you're not even familiar with what you're asked to vote on?

  4. I have run into this problem often, maybe, because I know so many published, I mean major published, authors who won't support other not-so-important authors. Don't get me wrong, some are supportive, such as Elizabeth Ann Scarborough who co-authored with Anne McCaffre. Now, she is one major author who is very supportive of other authors.

  5. Vivian, you've summed up a frustration of mine as well. I really try to be supportive. Mind you, I know my limitations. I've got two young boys who are active and I'm driving to gymnastics, dance, boy scouts, cub scouts, but when I find time I get on the net and do my best with marketing/promo. I'm seriously time challenged but I do my best to make it work.

    Needless to say, I've become a lot more selective about who I chose to support simply because of my time constraints. If you've made an effort to support, I'll do the same for you.

    I've learned from my time in the miliary and even as a dispatcher - teamwork will get you far.