Friday, May 8, 2015

When Your Friends have Book Deals . . . And You Don't

Reality check! Our emotions aren’t always pretty. We’ve all undoubtedly been on both sides when the green monster rears it’s ugly head! Jealousy. No one is immune but luckily we are not solely run by our inner-caveman. We have highly evolved reasoning skills and coping mechanisms. Whoo hoo! Go us! And yet, we still hear authors lament broken friendships as a casualty of their success. Almost as if we are bound together by our mutual flightless struggle, yet when one of the birdies catches some air they are leaving the rest behind. No room for superstars in our nest of brooding, misunderstood artists. Bullocks!

The thing I LOVE about the writing community is the antithesis of this jealousy issue. From the newbie to the best-seller, we ALL actually rely on each other in so many ways. In publishing the big fish helps carry the risk the publisher takes in signing the debut author. The award-winning author endorses your book or gives you a shout out because someone once did it for them. And conversely, the dedicated blogger reviews that best-selling book. Posts and tweets about their favorite author’s newest release. The middle of the roader hones their skills under the tutelage of the masters. Getting a leg up when they start floundering and succumbing to the heavy-hitting rejections. It may feel like a hierarchy at times but in reality, it’s a family. Each one of us starting as kidlets looking up to the big brother, or the mom and dad, or wise grandparent to mentor us along the journey until we can walk on our own and carry the torch they passed along.

No matter what you are feeling, we are better and more successful as a team.

And while it may suck that someone else has a book releasing and you don’t, it only sucks because you don’t have a book releasing right now and they do. If you don’t give up, your time will come. Perseverance is key. So while we wait…let your friends have their day in the sun.

So here’s what you do:

1.  Muster up some enthusiasm! Start with a “Congratulations!” and work your way toward more genuine happiness. Baby steps.

2. Street team like a superfan! Post, share, retweet! Help spread the word!

3. Be the bigger blogger! Have your friend guest post on your blog. This is great networking and gives your friend their due in the spotlight.

4. REVIEW and SHARE! Because books live and die by their reviews. Help give a friend a fighting chance to climb the ranks in an utterly saturated marketplace like Amazon where great books might easily fall through the cracks.

5. BUY BOOKS! Don’t expect a handout. BUY THE BOOK. Buy extra! Throw a giveaway! Give some as gifts. Do what you secretly wish someone would do if it were YOUR debut.

6. GUSH! Be a gusher. No matter how good it is, someone is going to hate your book. You will get dinged by a reviewer. You will be rejected over and over. And quite frankly, the writing life can be really discouraging at times. So when you have a kind word, say it. Say it with enthusiasm and give that tortured writer the validation they need to keep on going when the weariness and doubts are winning.

7. BE happy for them. Make up your mind to be happy and then do it. Mind over matter. Your time will comes and your community will have your back!


Alright… How about I practice what I preach a bit here? GIVEAWAY TIME!!!! And since this post is inspired by my immense pride for my crit partner and bestie Pepper Basham whose DEBUT novel The Thorn Bearer was just released yesterday, if you help spread the word I’ll buy someone a copy of her book!


Here’s how we’ll play this!

1. Leave your email address in the comments section (Or your facebook addy so I can message you there).


2. Share this post on Facebook with a SHOUT OUT for Pepper Basham and the giveaway for her outstanding book The Thorn Bearer!

I’ll draw a winner out of a hat and gift some lucky winner a beautiful read for Mother’s Day!


Loraine Nunley said...

Great article! I gave a shout out for Pepper on Facebook. I also shared on other social media. Congrats Pepper! Thanks for the article and giveaway.

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Great Loraine!!! Thanks for helping spread the word! 😊

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Such good words, Amy! And don't we ALL deal with that green-eyed monster sometimes?! I love your take on this. So gracious. :)

I'm going to share now.

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

You're such a sweet friend and great Alley Pal, Jeanne! Thanks for always supporting what we do here. Hugs!!

Casey said...

I am soooooo excited for Pepper, I can hardly stand it!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

I know, Casey!!! Me too! Eeeee!

kaybee said...

Amy, this is so timely with the contest season in full swing. I learned earlier this week that I was a Genesis semi-finalist. I was and am thrilled because that's the furthest I've ever gone with Genesis. But yesterday I learned that a woman from a critique group I used to attend is also a Genesis Semi. (Is that a noun?) She was the reason I LEFT the group, nothing real personal but just different styles of critiquing etc., and at first I was bummed and angry because her semi-final seemed to take away something from mine. So I got up this morning and the first thing I did on the computer was send her a short note of congratulations. Because it was the right thing to do. And I DO NOT want her to fail, because I know what that feels like. This was a special case, but I think in most cases if you establish really deep relationships with other writers, you can't help but be happy for them. My crit partner and I have been together off and on for 20 years, she's contracted and I'm not YET, and I think at some point I wanted this for her as much as she did. We evolve or we're not "Christian" writers. I wasn't always this way, but now I want people to do well because it means I'll do better, they are being used by God, and the INDUSTRY IS STILL ALIVE.
Funny you should mention the Green Monster, where I come from that's part of the Red Sox ball park, but whatever.
Thanks for letting me vent.
Kathy Bailey
Happy for others in NH

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

It's especially hard because we are talking about our dreams here, not something trivia. Most successful authors will tell you that The author who succeeds is the author who doesn't give up. But man, it can sure get discouraging at times. Really tests your mettle. Feels better when you let those green feelings go, doesn't it! Thanks for sharing Kathy! Hugs!

Robin E. Mason said...

wellll.... I kinda sorta had an advance digital copy - how I'd love a print copy!11 silly grin, silly nod!! I'm on Facebook of course, Robin Elizabeth Mason, or mine email robin (dot) mason59 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Susan Anne Mason said...

Great post, Amy! We can always count on you to be 'real' and talk about the feelings that many of us are hiding!
I always tried my best to be genuinely happy for the others that were achieving great success, and still try to do it.

Everyone's journey is unique and to compare contracts, covers, contest wins, etc. only serves to make you feel worse. So rejoice with everyone and one day it will be your turn and we will rejoice with you!

SO HAPPY for Pepper and I will be ordering her book this weekend!!

Will spread on social media too when I get home from work!

Love you guys!

Anonymous said...

I shared on facebook and twitter. is the one I check the most.My facebook is kim hansen-amundsen.

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Yay!! You guys are awesome! Thanks for helping spread the word! If we do ebooks I may give away a handful! Keep it up! :)

Pepper Basham said...

Wowzers!!! Amy, I love you!! So sweet!!

Thank you so much, sweet friend! THANK YOU

Pepper Basham said...

Thanks, Lorraine!!

Gail H. said...

Shared on Facebook!

Anonymous said...

Pepper you are popping up absolutely everywhere. I am so happy for you CONGRATULATIONS !!!!! YEAH !
Wow, you are just blowing everyone away ! The reviews are off the chart. I've seen so many people on facebook saying they already have or wanted to read your book. You are just that good ! I am so excited at the thought of reading this since I haven't yet ! Best of luck in your continued writing journey ! I gsve a shout out on facebook and twitter !

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Ya'll did so great!!! I picked three winners! Check your emails soon!

Claudia said...

It is so important to be supportive and encourage fellow authors! People are always looking for the best deals and bargains when it comes to books and e-books. It's an ultra competitive market and I know it can be overwhelming and confusing! I thought I would recommend a website that really seems to be giving back to the author as well as the reader. It's called and the reader can pay what they think the book is worth. I know you might think that people would really take advantage of this and spend as little as possible but you would be surprised. Open Books also gives authors 70% of the sales (publishers usually only give about 10%). It's a great way to support authors and find new books. I hope you will check it out! I can't recommend it enough. Happy writing and reading!