Indie writers should cooperate and never compete.
September 5, 2014
BUSINESS IS COMPETITIVE.
Selling cars is competitive. A customer will probably buy only one car in a year, maybe five.
Selling books isn’t. Chances are good that readers will buy a lot of books in year.
So authors have no reason to compete.
Authors should cooperate with each other.
Writing, as we all know, is a solitary business.
One person sits alone with a cast of characters.
Only one of them exists.
Characters tell pretty good stories.
They don’t review books.
Or promote them.
Recently, my running mate, Stephen Woodfin, had a great article on Caleb and Linda Pirtle about the importance of writer’s groups reviewing each other’s books.
He wrote: The new author, or the author who has yet to be discovered, soon finds that book reviews are as scarce as hens’ teeth. Even an author who does some free days on KDP Select and has quite a few downloads may suffer disappointment when none of those readers who now have her book on their eReaders takes the time to write a three-line review of it on Amazon.
What can we do about it?
Well, we can stop for ten minutes every day, quit worrying about our own newest or latest novel, and make the commitment to help someone else.
Sure, as Stephen said, it’s important for writer’s groups to review each other’s books.
However, I want to take it a step farther. In fact, I want to take it several steps farther.
Here are ten ways we can help promote each other and the books we write.
!. Buy an eBook once a week from strangers as well as from friends. At $2.99, that’s less than twelve dollars a month, only about forty cents a day. Surely we all have forty cents worth of love to pass around to somebody each day. It’s a cold, cruel world if we don’t.
2. Create and upload a short Amazon review once a week for a book written by strangers as well as friends. That’s half a dozen sentences, maybe fewer. Takes no time at all. If you think you have to read the whole book to write a review, you’re still living in the dark ages.
3. Showcase someone’s book once a week on your Website or your blog page. It’s quick and easy. On Caleb and Linda Pirtle, we showcase bout five books a week, publishing a large cover image of the book and picking up the synopsis, author’s bio, author’s headshot, and a couple of review off Amazon. Nothing to it. Authors are ecstatic.
4. Scan other author’s Websites. There are wonderful blogs about a myriad of subjects, and you can really help illuminate an author’s writing talent by re-publishing his or her blog on your Website or blog page. One a week is not too often.
5. Come up with a short list of questions that will benefit every author who has a novel in the marketplace. Email those questions out to as many authors as you want. Then when the responses come in, publish the author interviews on your Website or blog page. Readers respond to authors they have read about and think they know. Introduce them to new authors. The writer and the reader both will appreciate your endeavor.
6. Ask a writer, several of them really, to write the dream review abouit their book, then publish it for them. It’s what the perfect review should read like.
7. Ask a writer, several of them as well, to write a dream interview conducted by some celebrity of his or her choice, then publish the imaginary interview. For example, I would be honored and humbled for Carl Sandburg or maybe Raymond Chandler to ask me about my latest book. Who knows? Maybe they will.
8. For special occasions – like birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, or Goundhog Day, etc., – gift books from Amazon to friends, family, or a spouse. Every purchase helps some author like you get closer to breaking through.
9. Find books being promoted by authors and link them to your personal or professional Facebook page. You provide the credibility the author needs to have his book seen and appreciated by your own personal friends who don’t know him or her at all. It’s time they did.
10. Take a handful of minutes each day, jump in the middle of Twitter, and Retweet posts that authors have written. Pass their work on to your followers.
Let’s do what we can as indie writers to support and encourage each other.
You help an author today.
And he or she will take the time to help you tomorrow.
Bet on it.
As I said, writing is a solitary life.
We often wonder if anyone cares.
Let an author know you care.
It only takes one word of encouragement sometimes to let others know they should go on and keep striving to reach their dream in the writing profession.
A little money.
A little time.
It’s all worthwhile.
After all, we’re in this game togerher.
I have ten ideas. I know there must be a lot more and a lot better ideas. What suggestions do you have for authors helping authors.
I usually reserve this space to mention my own book. I thought I’d promote the work of another author instead. I haven’t read Marie Force. Maybe I should.