I’ve recently tried very hard to become part of the author community. I try to support both indie authors and traditionally-published authors in any way I can. I’ve decided a really great way to support other writers is to read and review their books, and connect with them through social media to let them know I enjoy their writing.
I don’t do this in anticipation of any reciprocal actions or reviews. I do it to help support the author community, one that I claim.
I think authors should help other authors when they can, and if another author has helped me, I’m going to help them back. It’s a matter of caring about your community, of professional courtesy. Recently, I wrote a review for an author’s book on Goodreads and sent him a copy. He was so friendly, we struck up a conversation on Twitter. It turns out I was able to help him with something relating to my book-club on Goodreads, and he was so gracious he told me to let him know if I needed anything. I asked if he knew any readers who would like a free copy of Life Before to read and possibly review. And he did! I was so grateful for his concern and willingness to help me.
Conversely, when I first began reviewing books for Writers’ League of Texas, I received an email from an indie author asking if I would read, and possibly review, her new book. I readily accepted – of course I’m going to help a fellow author needing reviews. Now two years later, when my novel is in need of reviews, I asked if she would consider having someone read and review it for the literary newsletter she sponsors. She said my novel didn’t meet their criteria, but told me I could seek a paid review for $250. Seriously?
I remember each and every struggle I’ve gone through in my journey to become a published writer, and I’m not going to forget my roots. Ever. I will do what I can to help other struggling authors (and even those who aren’t particularly struggling – they’re still people; they’re still authors.)
I will remember.
What can you do for a fellow writer today?