Why Authors Should Help Other Authors

photo by nicdalic

Author Catherine McKenzie returns to WU as our guest today, to discuss a topic near and dear to her: helping other authors. Catherine, who is one of the most generous authors we’ve known–working tirelessly to help promote other authors works via her Facebook group I bet we can make these books best sellers and in many other ways–has a new books out. Hidden was recently released in Canada and will be available in the U.S. next spring. Her other novels–Spin, Arranged and Forgotten–have been translated into French, German, Czech, Slovak and Polish are all international bestsellers. And if you want to know how she has time to do all that, her answer is: robots.

What’s Hidden about?

When a married man suffers a sudden fatal accident, two women are shattered—his wife and someone else’s—and past secrets, desires and regrets are brought to light.

While walking home from work one evening, Jeff Manning is struck by a car and killed. Not one but two women fall to pieces at the news: his wife, Claire, and his co-worker Tish. Reeling from her loss, Claire must comfort her grieving son and contend with funeral arrangements, well-meaning family members and the arrival of Jeff’s estranged brother—her ex-boyfriend—Tim.

With Tish’s co-workers in the dark about her connection to Jeff outside the workplace, she volunteers to attend the funeral on the company’s behalf, but only she knows the true risk of inserting herself into the wreckage of Jeff’s life. Told through the three voices of Jeff, Tish and Claire, Hidden explores the complexity of relationships, our personal choices and the responsibilities we have to the ones we love.

Learn more about Catherine and her novels on her website, and by following her on Facebook and Twitter.

Why Authors Should Help Other Authors

Way back in 2009 when I got my first book deal, I didn’t know any published authors. I mean, no one. I had not yet joined the social media world (ah, those were the days) and, as a lawyer, it wasn’t something I came into contact with. So, when I had the opportunity to sit down with bestselling author, Louise Penny (How the Light Gets In, Beautiful Mystery), I jumped at the chance. Here, finally, was someone who could answer the thousands of questions I had but was too afraid to ask my editor for fear of sounding stupid/annoying/make her change her mind about publishing me.

Louise was great. She met with me for two hours and answered every question. I don’t remember everything I asked, but I do remember asking what the one thing was she wished she had known before she published her first book. Her answer? Patience. What she meant was that the first book—hopefully—is just the start of something. That publishers are trying to help you to build your brand so the second book will sell more than the first etc. So keep writing, be patient, work hard, hopefully success will come.

That advice has certainly panned out for Louise Penny. And while I’m not sure that it represents reality for a lot of authors—I know many who feel that unless their books are blockbusters they will be dropped by their publishers, or have been—it has certainly shaped my own approach to this crazy business. Do what you can when a book comes out, keep your head down, keep writing. Hopefully, they’ll keep publishing you.

My biggest take-away from the meeting? How great it was to have someone to talk to who had been there, done that. And it was this meeting, really, that led me down the path to discovering what I think one of the most important lessons in being a writer is: there is nothing to be gained from bashing other authors, and everything to be gained from supporting them.

If you’ve been published you know that the vortex of me-me-me-me that surrounds any release can be overwhelming. I’m not complaining, but man do I get sick of talking about myself when I have a book out (Oh yeah: Hidden just released in Canada! You can buy it here!). This was one of the reasons why I started my “I Bet We Can Make These Books Bestsellers” project several years ago (where I’d pick a book I loved that hadn’t gotten the attention I thought it deserved, and encouraged people to read it). In fact, I recently restarted the project, picking The Banks of Certain Rivers  by Jon Harrison in April, The Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Myers in May, and When She Was Gone by Gwendolen Gross in June. I love all these books for different reasons, and you should read them if you haven’t. Really!

Anyway, I got a lot of press for the idea (not my intention), but I also learned just how important supporting other authors can be, not just for those authors, but also from the reader’s perspective. I cannot count the number of times readers have told me that one of the reasons they follow me, and, I suspect, at least try one of my books, is precisely because I am not talking about my books, but others. And I think that’s because readers are often looking to know more about the authors they like, and book recommendations is a window into that.

That being said, the main reason to support other authors is not self-promotion, but because it’s promoting the industry you’re a part of. While some authors might feel like they’re in competition with one another—if Customer A reads their book, they might not read my book—I haven’t found that to be the case. Think of it like an industry association, like the one formed by the milk producers (remember all those white milk moustaches?) a couple of years ago. That was about a group of competitors coming together to encourage use of the product category. And while the evidence—last time I checked—on whether this kind of category marketing works across all products is debatable, my own anecdotal experience makes me believe it does.

“McKenzie is fast proving herself a force to be reckoned with in women’s fiction.” —Publisher’s Weekly

For instance, I recently wrote two articles on summer reading recommendations (you can read them here and here). Those articles are some of the most “successful” (in terms of likes, shares etc.) of any I’ve published in years. Many, many people have commented on my Facebook page that they will try the books I recommended just because I recommended them. I trust you, they write, and then they purchase. While there is a certain level of flattery that comes with this, of course, my main point in relating the story is that authors can make a difference to other author’s lives, at least in terms of book sales. And the bigger the author, the bigger the impact they can have.

One more reason why I’m such a big proponent of authors helping authors has come out of my experience of befriending other authors online, and also from belonging to The Fiction Writers’ Co-Op, started by Cathy Marie Buchanan a couple of years ago. The original idea was simple: 50 authors would band together to announce one another’s releases on Facebook to help spread the word. I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine. But that group has come to mean so much more. Besides having read and discovered books I never would have, the group is a safe place for us to vent, share, commiserate, and celebrate all the ups and downs and ups of this crazy thing called being an author. Writing, as you know, is a solitary exercise, and it’s invaluable to have access to the wisdom and (virtual) shoulders of people who are going through the same thing.

A couple of months ago Brenda Clarke Gray wrote an article called “Readers don’t owe authors shit.” Her premise was that all she had to do was read a book, and that she was sick of being asked by authors to review books on Amazon, Goodreads etc. While I disagree with many of the points made in that article I will say this: Whether readers owe anything to authors is debatable. What’s not, in my opinion, is whether authors owe something to other authors. Because we’re all in this together folks, and our industry will survive and thrive if we work together, and might just disappear if we simply hold fast to ourselves, and just me-me-me-me ourselves into obscurity.

Do you do anything to support other authors? We’d love to hear about your effort in comments. (The more unboxed, the better!)



  1. says

    If they can make the time, I believe it’s a good idea for authors to help other author and potential authors, because the industry is being bombarded with too many weak manuscripts. (That’s what I read anyway.) Of course the help needs to be sound, and the learners should be open, patient, hard working, and teachable. We don’t want to waste the time of the busy people who are willing to help.

    I appreciate the individuals here who are helpful.

    I will be sure to return the favor to the industry someday.

    Thank you WU People!

  2. says

    I couldn’t agree more- I’m not yet published myself, but in the last few years I’ve benefitted hugely from the generosity of other authors, including the wonderful Diana Gabaldon, Barbara Rogan, Joanna Bourne, Vicki Pettersson, Kristen Callihan, Darlene Marshall and many others, at the CompuServe Books and Writers Community.

    Diana in particular gives a ridiculously generous amount of her time to both engage with fans and offer all kinds of support and advice to upcoming writers in the community, and it has left an indelible impression on me. I now work to support people who are newer to the writing journey myself, and the simplest reward is in seeing people’s skills grow over time with help from others. It goes back to that old theory of abundance- the more you give, the more you get back yourself.

    So, I’m hoping for a good long writing career of my own, and I’ll continue to dedicate plenty of time and attention through it to helping others. Being part of a community of writers where everyone gives to everyone else is a wonderful thing.

  3. says

    Thanks so much for the post, Catherine. It dovetails nicely into a lot of the the discussion that came up in the comment section of Porter Anderson’s June 22 WU post.

    The authors that came to visit our writer’s group have all been extremely generous and one author, Dawn Metcalf (dawnmetcalf.com) had us blown away with the platform she had created and most importantly, how she built it. Patience is a virtue she was quick to emphasize, as well.

    But the thing she stressed most is how important it is to help other authors for the same reasons you gave in this post.

    I have yet to finish the first draft of my first novel, but the reason I check in on WU every day is to read stuff like this and get that shot in the arm I need to trudge on. (I’m also going to reopen my FB account just so I can join “I Bet We Can Make These Books Bestsellers.”)
    Rosemary Freeman´s last blog post ..It’s Sad When You Have to Read Your Blog to Find Out What You’ve Been Doing

  4. says

    I’m always grateful to the authors who have answered my questions or been kind in other ways, and I try to pay that forward whenever I can. (Can I admit that I’ll always remember the few who weren’t so nice, too?)

    Writing does tend to be a solitary business, and finding out about the details can be crazy-making. It is always a great thing to connect with other people who are going through the same issues — or who have blazed a path ahead and can reach back and extend a hand to help you over the rough spots.

  5. Janet Church-McCormick says

    If I had known ten or twenty years ago that writing was not the most frightening event I would ever willfully encounter, my life would be MUCH different today. It still amazes me that this is the most generous industry out there. Oh for sure, there is competition but in this case it is healthy. And I have found that to be true in every single encounter, not just a couple of random places. It even took me years before I would attend my local writing group, being certain that I would be in over my head. And in truth, I was, except that their supportive generosity overcame the fear and intimidation. No one likes to be ridiculed, particularly in public so critiquing is like petting a strange dog. Approach it carefully and in a low key manner, and you won’t get bitten.

  6. says

    Authors need to understand it’s not a competition. What helps one helps many. I recently hooked up with a small group of authors and we’re all about helping and promoting each other, not ourselves.
    Terry Odell´s last blog post ..Beta Readers

  7. says

    I think supporting other authors is great. I’m in some writers groups that are very supportive. But, I think having the support of other published authors is even better, because they can offer great practical advice.

    Cutting Edge Indies offers a great author mentorship program for indie authors (http://cuttingedgeindies.blogspot.com/2013/04/announcing-cutting-edge-mentor-program.html).

    I think when authors get together to help out like that, it’s great for everyone in the industry, because you don’t want newbies to make avoidable mistakes. It reflects badly on the industry as a whole. Readers love to read good books, and the more good books there are, the happier they are to read them.
    RJ Crayton´s last blog post ..Going after foreign sales

  8. says

    Having been to a writer’s conference, attended a couple of book promotions, and talked with more than a few writers and aspiring writers – I applaud your efforts. Writing is hard. Getting published is hard. Sure, there’s a lot of bad manuscripts out there, but there’s also a lot of good ones that never get read.

    Anything we as writers can do to help each other, to make it easier for new writers to get discovered, to make this endeavor a little less lonely and bewildering is all to the good.

    And I want to give a shout out to Dawn Metcalf – a writer of YA paranormal and other good stuff. I met her at a workshop and she offered to read my query. I’m indebted to her for her knowledge and willingness to lend a helping hand. I hope every wanna be writer is lucky enough to find a Dawn in their journey.
    Lynn Guelzow´s last blog post ..Checking out “WRiTE CLUB 2013″

  9. Denise Willson says

    “Lean on me, when you’re not strong, and I’ll be your friend.” Come on, everyone, you know the tune!


    Denise Willson
    Author of A Keeper’s Truth

  10. Cat Moleski says

    I agree with so much that’s been said already. I have found other authors to be amazingly generous with their time, but I haven’t done any Amazon reviews nor do I have a Goodreads. You have inspired me to do both. Thanks!

  11. says

    I agree that authors should support one another as time permits. I also agree with the idea that readers don’t owe authors shit. As authors we need to give people a reason to read our work. Our writing must stand on it’s one. It must be so good that people want to read it rather than be begged.
    Dan Erickson´s last blog post ..ten tips for better public speaking delivery

  12. says

    A very noble sentiment – but sadly, everyday time constraints do prevent things going according to plan. Many start out with the best of intentions, but they have to save themselves from the time-sucking social media and book-reviewing merry-go-round. I would consider myself a very loyal friend, thinking often about my dear friends scattered all over the world… but I still find it difficult to keep in touch with them regularly. Same with all of the books I read. I try to respect them, tweet and blog about them, review them, but sometimes… alas… I have to admit defeat.
    Marina Sofia´s last blog post ..David Bowie is… all I expected and more

  13. says

    I have always been amazed and honored by the support other authors have offered me, and I continue to be. There are too many to list, but I am humbled by those who’ve taken the time to offer me aid, encouragement, and kindness (most of whom I know as a direct result of my involvement with WU–so T. Walsh gets top billing–thank you, T!). If there’s one thing I wish I’d known about at the onset of my journey (at least since typing the words “the end”) it would be the patience that would be required. But I’m not sure anyone could’ve warned me.

    It’s been a long road toward publication, and I’m not sure I can see the end of it yet, but I’m so glad for the experience I’ve gained along the way. And the best part has been my association with some of the most fascinating and generous people I’ve ever met, in any arena of my life. I feel fortunate to call so many of them friends.

    Thanks for a wonderful post, Catherine, that all writers, at all levels, should read and heed!
    Vaughn Roycroft´s last blog post ..Life’s Too Short

  14. says

    I admittedly was able to help authors so much more before my books were published – now, it seems I receive requests from so many people that I feel myself in a bind — if I help this one and that one and not the other one, then will it create hard feelings?

    I am a member of a local writers’ group and I’ve enjoyed reading their works and helping them shape them and brainstorming with them and giving them whatever advice I can, for whatever it’s worth — without submitting anything of my own. It’s a great outlet to help authors who aren’t published yet.

    I try to retweet when authors have good news, or share on Facebook, but I even fall behind doing that lately – – and again, I get into the trap of helping some and not others, or constantly asking followers/friends to go check out a book, so I may risk hurt/hard feelings. The more authors I come to know, the more difficult it is for me to keep up with helping them! Lawd.

    BP – Before Published – it was so much easier to put myself out there and talk about other authors’ books and review them and etc. without worrying about hurt feelings or digging myself into a whole of constant doing. Dang! And worry over stretching myself so thin, I’m exhausting myself–which I have done a lot in the past.

    I’d love suggestions on how to help without making myself crazy and exhausted, and without causing hard or hurt feelings for authors I can’t help/tout because I’m over here, there, and yonder. I truly sincerely want to encourage – and I hope I do that in other ways even if I can’t always review or share or retweet or whatever.

    (I will also say that I very very rarely tout or talk about my own books – so it’s not that I’m helping myself while ignoring others!)
    kathryn Magendie´s last blog post ..Work-out writer: Music to get you off your ass – excuses just piss me off – time for some WHUPOW, y’all.

  15. says

    I love the concept of the Fiction Writers’ Co-Op. It’s an amazing resource for writers and readers. I’ve discovered so many fabulous new authors based on the recommendations of other authors.

    Having fifty other writers to share this crazy journey would be a dream come true. Writing is solitary, yet we need connection and support to keep going when times get tough or the creative font runs dry. I feel guilty each time I ask questions of those so far ahead of me in the publishing game, yet their wisdom and advice helps me more than I can ever express thanks.
    Kerry Ann Morgan´s last blog post ..Should Authors Write Book Reviews or Stick with Book Promotion?

  16. says

    Many years ago, I knocked on Clive Cussler’s door. I had a research question for my first novel. Surprisingly, he answered the door himself. I stumbled around and finally got out my question. (It had to do with the first demonstration of a steam boat at the Constitutional Convention.) He took me back to his writing room and spent over two hours researching the subject. I used the information he found and it added color to my novelization of the Constitutional Convention. At the time, Cussler had sold over 100 million books and I had yet to write my first fictional piece. Now, when I’m approached by an aspiring writer, I remind myself of how one time a highly successful author gave me a helping hand and a big dose of encouragement. Although I occasionally forget, we all need to help each other.
    James D. Best´s last blog post ..Slice of Life vs. Bigger Than Life

  17. says

    I would not have made it as far as I have without the support of other authors. We are definitely in a pay-it-forward industry. Great post. I enjoyed the read.

  18. says

    Patience, yes, please tell me where I can get a big jug of it. My book’s not publishing until February and I’m fortunate to have the time to build some interest in it. Couldn’t do it without the help of other writers. John Grisham was the first to help, then Jan Karon and now I’m hopefully getting support from other helpful writers. Writing is living in a shell and selling and publicizing means coming out of the shell with an accompanying degree of discomfort and unease. Grisham said that he thought writing books was hard until he tried selling them. It’s something we all face and need friends around to cheer and encourage.
    Tony Vanderwarker´s last blog post ..How To Wreck Writing

  19. Ronda Roaring says

    The issue of writers helping other writers or authors helping other authors is an interesting one. We help each other in many ways: critiquing, providing self-help info, etc. But when it comes to groups, I have a real problem there.

    I personally know someone who’s in a group (not The Fiction Writers’ Co-op), and I’m constantly getting emails from her : “My friend XXX has just published a great new novel…” There’s a certain dis-ingenuousness with these appeals that irritates me. I doubt that she has ever had any contact with XXX other than via email, yet the two of them are fast friends. And she’s probably never read XXX’s book and hasn’t a clue as to its quality. If she would send me an email once in a while, saying, “I just finished the novel YYY by XXX and thought it was great…” I’d be far more interested in reading it.

    I think what’s happened with this little diatribe of mine is that we’ve gotten off the topic of helping other authors into how authors choose to promote their books and what works and what doesn’t. For me, these constant appeals of books by members of groups are a real turnoff. So, for those authors who feel bad about NOT promoting other authors’ books, I’d say don’t. Unless you’ve actually read the book and can speak about it honestly, don’t say anything. And don’t feel bad about not saying anything. When you do choose to say something, your words will have far greater value and people will be more likely to listen.

  20. says


    I value the WU community not only for its support of fellow writers but also because it has welcomed me, an agent, and allowed me to offer my perspective.

    For thirty-plus years I’ve listened not only to authors, but authors talking to authors. It used to be possible only at convention bars. Nowadays you can read this dialogue online. So what does it sound like to an agent?

    The focus of support often is sharing advice on the industry and on promotion. I get that. I do. In a somewhat opaque business, sharing such information is necessary. (Agents do this too, BTW, informally and via the Association of Authors’ Representatives, Inc.)

    But to me there is a certain (albeit understandable) cart-before-the-horse quality to what authors urgently want to talk about among themselves. What should they be talking about instead?

    Their stories. Ask me, by far the most important support authors can offer each other is critique. To receive one a mirror-honest, respectful and constructive take on your manuscript is worth a hundred golden marketing tips.

    If you want to support fellow authors read their manuscripts. Critique an essential step in the process and there’s no one better to do it than you.

    • says

      “To receive one a mirror-honest, respectful and constructive take on your manuscript is worth a hundred golden marketing tips.”

      Amen, Don! Thanks for saying it. And for being here for this discussion week in and week out. Your insight is a vital component of what makes WU so special. Much appreciated!
      Vaughn Roycroft´s last blog post ..Life’s Too Short

    • Catherine McKenzie says

      Thanks, Donald. I do actually do that too, both by participating in writer’s conferences that offer that service, to holding my own seminars and reading friends’ work. There is, of course, a limit to what any one person can do and what the Fiction Writer’s Co-oP has taught me is that sometimes you do just need a friend who has been there to help celebrate, complain, give advice – whatever is needed that day. We’re not a critique group – I think we all have our own ‘critique’ methods be it other writers, our agents etc. – we’re a support network. Quality first, yes, but support is important too.

  21. says

    “There is nothing to be gained from bashing other authors, and everything to be gained from supporting them.”

    Catherine – great post! I’ve been following your blog for several months.

    In April 2012 I attended my first conference and met Bill and Sharon Hopkins from Missouri, mystery writers and newly published. We formed a fast friendship; their help has been invaluable to me. I’m with you – helping others is always a good thing!
    Marilyn Slagel´s last blog post ..Blog Tour with Jill Sanders

  22. says

    Hi Catherine! I started a blog series where I invite authors who use music to write a post about it. I use music as inspiration for my novels, and happened to collaborate on a post about it with another author. It was a thoroughly interesting way to see another author’s book as if from a parallel room – their thoughts and feelings as they created their story. As I was posting it, I thought ‘hey, I’d like to see other writers tackle this’.
    And so was born The Undercover Soundtrack. It’s let me get acquainted with other authors’ work in a fun way, regardless of what they write. My readers and ether-friends love it, and come back each week to see how the author played the game. I’ve seen readers try books they wouldn’t otherwise have been provoked to try, and even friendships have blossomed because of the peculiarly intimate nature of these posts. I love having this way of contributing to the creative community and sharing the work of others.
    And if anyone here would like to be a guest, you are welcome to contact me. The Undercover Soundtrack is for everyone, regardless of what you write or listen to.

  23. Elsie says

    But at the same time – all too often the kind help is just so that the others will help you back and in the meantime a lot of feelings can get hurt when an author picks some and not other fellow authors. It all lovely when its real but its shocking how often it’s just not.

  24. says

    Great post! I totally agree that we should help one another. I’m all for constructive criticism and sometime feel like I beg other authors for it- granted I would never be so bold as to do this with authors I don’t know. I do have a few (small few) friends who write and write well that help with beta reading and I likewise do so for them. It’s give and take most of the time. But I have one friend who isn’t an author that just wants to read- she’s awesome is all I can say. I am completely rambling at this point…

    At any rate, this was a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing with us!
    Joseph D. Stirling´s last blog post ..Double Croste, part one

  25. says

    I can’t help but try to support other authors. One of my mentors told me long ago, once you have done something, you know more about that than the person who hasn’t. (It’s actually longer than that, but for the sake of this post – that’s the gist of it). So, when I have an opportunity to share lessons learned with other writers, I try to help.
    I, like many here, have been fortunate to have been supported and helped by other authors. I try to do the same. We are a community and have much to learn from each other.
    Thank you for the great post.
    Valerie Ormond´s last blog post ..Setting and Reaching Goals

  26. says

    I have been blessed to have many fabulous authors help me in my journey. Lisa Hendrix, Maisey Yates, Grace Burrowes from RWA, Marc Cushman (he’s got a Star Book coming out this summer, just saying), my awesome crit partners. I try to always pay them back, in small ways.

    Sometimes you can help other authors in a “pay-it-forward” way by extending help to newbie writers. Or recommending a book, or a series, or Tweeting.

    But finding the balance, and learning to say, “No, I can’t right now” is important, too. Sometimes we have to work on our own stuff.
    Beverly Diehl´s last blog post ..Lakely, Baby – Crater Lake, That Is

  27. says

    Why yes, what goes round comes around. I have rec’d, and it’s natural to give back to the community I love so much. I not only write, but teach, mentor, critique, laugh and commiserate with my fellow writers.
    Vijaya´s last blog post ..Our Summer House Guest

  28. says

    Other ways authors can help authors:
    • set up workshops and hire the authors to teach them.
    • set up reading/literacy events at bookstores and coffee shops.
    • volunteer at writing conferences and influence programming that will help authors
    • volunteer to help at local book fairs
    • head up author advocacy efforts for writing organizations
    • create loops such as the NJ and PA Author Networks, that amass requests from libraries and other institutions for author events and panels and distribute this info among their members
    • develop a cross-marketing collective
    • in SE Pennsylvania the Liar’s Club (one such marketing collective) runs The Writers Coffeehouse at various locations—the largest being at a Barnes & Noble—so that authors at various stages from wannabe to multi-published can share news and resources. They also have a huge Yahoo loop.
    …there are so many ways! Everyone doesn’t have to do everything, but if we all do something that fits our schedules and interests, Author World becomes a better place.

  29. says

    I have a blog, Becky’s Book Notes, and it is dedicated solely to the debut author, with 3 books or less published. I review their books, and share pertinent information that I either experience or read about. I originally got into this to start my own platform, because I am also a debut author, working on my first novel. I think it helps because everyone likes to associate with those that are going through the same thing, as your article states. I also wanted to help other “newbies” and in my own small way, promote them so their work can be noticed and appreciated. I think it is silly to think that just because the reader read someone else’s book they wouldn’t read mine. I got the love for reading at a very early age. I have always been an avid reader. I’ve never only read one author. We as writers are not in competition with anyone but ourselves. We improve the more we write. If we have a good story and tell it well, readers will be back. Many readers will forgive minor errors if the story is a good one, but they especially appreciate ones that are free of grammatical errors, or typos and misspellings. Unfortunately, with the advent of easier publishing, self-publishing, many of them are riddled with these errors and frustrate the reader. That is why I do what I do. It is to show the ones I recommend. The ones that I don’t recommend, I try to only give constructive criticism from a reader’s point of view, what worked and what didn’t. I am very honest, but I will never bash another author. I will always offer helping advice. Thank you for the article. All the articles on WU are great, but this one especially struck a chord with me. Thank you for helping other authors.
    Rebecca Vance´s last blog post ..6 Things to Avoid When Pitching to Book Reviewers

  30. says

    I’m part of a group of authors whose books debut in 2014 (the YA Valentines), and I’m also part of OneFourKidLit. It’s been so fun to help promote their cover reveals, etc. and they just did the same for me yesterday. It feels great to be part of a supportive, wonderful group of fellow writers. I also agree that helping other authors promotes books in general, which is an awesome thing!
    Kristi Helvig´s last blog post ..My BURN OUT Cover Reveal and Publication Date

  31. says

    As a writer who’s working on getting published and soaking up as much info about the industry as I can in advance, I really appreciated this article. Like you said, there’s the “me me me” aspect when a book comes out; that’s the marketing. But what you’re talking about here is relationship building, not just with other authors but with readers, too. I think that’s really important.

    Thank you for writing this!
    Jenn Burke´s last blog post ..Things That Go Bump in the Night

  32. says

    I am a HUGE believer in supporting other authors. I’m new to this publishing thing (just got a book deal last month) but have long supported authors, especially lesser known ones. This includes long and thoughtful Good Reads reviews, making sure I “yell” about books/authors I’ve loved on Facebook and on Twitter, and trying to buy hardcover debuts whenever possible. I only started my website a month ago, but my goal at least once a week is to highlight a book or an author. I have a lot of friends who say they won’t read anything I haven’t okayed first, which is pretty much the best compliment I could ever hope to receive. I love, love, love sharing authors with friends and colleagues (my favorite lesser-known one: T. Greenwood). I don’t understand the “competition” thing. Reading is not a finite cake. Many pieces for everyone.


  33. says

    “Whether readers owe anything to authors is debatable. What’s not, in my opinion, is whether authors owe something to other authors.” This post stopped me in my tracks. Last October, I did a blogfest called “Haunted-palooza” where I asked guest authors to write real ghost stories, horror fiction or talk about haunted tours and cities and posted them on my website. I found that I loved working with, editing and helping OTHER writers more than I loved writing my own work. I also regularly post quotes (both inspirational & writer education) on Facebook and Twitter, which has gained me a huge following. The #1 question that I get from people whom learned about these activities is “how can you make any money off of that stuff?” At first, I explained, explained, explained. But now I just say “I get something far more valuable than money. I make friends & I help people. They sometimes tell me I made their entire day or change their lives even (several people have been published who I have helped with edits—FREE). The questioners, wondering about the economic benefit of this helpful behavior, look at me like I am an Alien. Maybe I am. But I come in peace. ;-)
    Diana Cachey´s last blog post ..Venice Arrival

    • says

      I’m so glad you posted – I feel the same way. I absolutely love interacting with other writers, tweeting, FB’ing, etc. about and for them. The friends we are making far outweigh any financial gain. I may not die wealthy, but I’ll be missed by a horde of great friends!
      Marilyn Slagel´s last blog post ..Blog Tour with Jill Sanders

  34. says

    Really great post. I love helping other writers. I’ve set up book signings for them and brought them in as speakers to our local conference, reviewed their books too. Several years ago, I started interviewing Louisiana authors of all kinds for my blog and called it Louisiana Saturday Night. I posted their interview on Saturdays. I was surprised that I had to beg authors to participate. Eventually, I gave it up. Now, I interview writers for a magazine called Southern Writer’s Magazine.

    Most recently, I’ve started a new blog called Be A Real Writer. I invited guest posts of a How-To nature so what authors post might help new writers as well as promote their names and their books too. Again… very few takers.

    Every agent I’ve had in the past is because I was recommended by another author, so I’ve definitely been helped. I do like to give back but I’ll be darned if I know exactly how to do it. My blogs are available … and at this point, other than critiques, that’s about all I have to give. Check me out: http://jessyferguson.blogspot.com/2013/05/be-my-guest.html

    Thanks for writing this and the wonderful responses. You’re right–we’re all in this together. We should be hand in hand around the publishing world.
    Jess´s last blog post ..Markets and Moving and More

  35. says

    There’s something a little more enriching, albeit more ineffable than all that’s been mentioned. I’m thinking of Hemingway’s “Moveable Feast,” his life in Paris and the great times he spent with other authors. He had to be learning.

    Helping each other, whether in discussions at convention bars as Don Maass mentions or here at WU, is sheer pleasure for me–and it’s so helpful.
    Mary McFarland´s last blog post ..Picking and Choosing: Bloggers as Curators