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!