Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Help One Another

I am a big fan of authors helping one another.

(I'm a big fan of tying all things into the medieval era too, if you haven't already noticed. In this case, it is a squire helping a knight.)

When I was getting started as an author, back in May 2012, I noticed a few things that rather bothered me - and hurt me. Big-time authors had no time for the new kids on the block. Whether it was for writing advice, a quick critique, or just me being friendly, they didn't have the time. Most times, they didn't even respond to me.

And, right then and there, I resolved that no matter how famous (or not) I ever might become, I would always devote some portion of my time to helping budding young authors. We can't always get to that eager email from a younger writer immediately - but we can make sure we do respond in at least two weeks. We can't always accept every book review or endorsement we are asked to do - but we can reply kindly to the email and we can make a point to do as many as is in our power.

Now don't get me wrong. I know how busy authors are. A lot of us don't have the luxury to devote ourselves just to our writing and marketing. I certainly don't! But, as a very, very busy person with a very active lifestyle, I can tell you firsthand that we can make choices about how we manage our time and how we respond to others.

And not all big-time authors are like that. I've been blessed to get to know Betsy St. Amant and Anne Mateer. Both are traditional, big-house authors with successful author careers. Both are sweet, real, and take the time to care about other writers. And they've always made me feel that I can go to them with my author questions. In fact, I have - on more than one occasion! Others, such as Douglas Bond, the office of Francine Rivers, and Priscilla Shirer, have always been very prompt and courteous as well.

But all we all tend to fall into a rut. We can all do better with helping each other out. So here are a few ideas for you to help an author or writer you know!

  • Not only take the time to write reviews, but write good ones. Click HERE for a previous post on the subject. Be mindful of not plastering negativity all over the internet or becoming a hater.
  • Buy a book or ebook every once in a while. By the time the publisher, retailers, and taxes get their chunk, authors tend to not make much. 
  • Like an author's Facebook page, follow their blog, and occasionally send them a card or email to encourage them. Even the big time authors get discouraged. 
  • If a young writer contacts you, be sure to reply. You don't always have to invest hours of time into them, but if you see some promise, be certain to send them some helpful tips. 
Yes, it is a tough marketing world out there. But if we are more concerned about competition and the almighty dollar, I don't think God will bless our books.

Now to practice what I preach!

I'd like to introduce you to two books that I had the pleasure of endorsing and reviewing during the last few months. They are both best for girls 10-16 and are written by two very sweet home-schooled authors.


Adventures and Adversities:

Family Reunion

Check them out!

Alicia A. Willis is a home-school graduate, published author, and avid historian. She is a firm believer in the principle that one can accomplish anything by substantial amounts of prayer and coffee. Visit her at her blog to view her historical-fiction novels and all the goings-on between writing!

8 comments:

  1. You sweet girl! I've loved getting to know you.

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  2. Agreed! I also do my best to give tips and answer emails from aspiring authors. I think it's a sign of humility and grace to do that as an author. 'Tis a great virtue to remain accessible and down-to-earth when one has achieved success.

    I've always been encouraged when "famous" authors (or illustrators for that matter) are willing to share advice and be helpful! I had one bad experience with an illustrator who didn't reply, and then another one who was so kind and said something along the lines of "everybody is special".

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    1. My constant prayer. How is that we as individuals bear the head knowledge that we really have nothing to be proud over (it's all God), yet struggle with pride? I keep praying and praying God keeps me from it! :)

      I so agree. Everyone is special.

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  3. This was a very good post, and not often something that's touched on. God didn't give us the ability to write for us to be proud over -- He gave it to us to help other people, and that includes others who write. Relationships, encouragement, and love are more important than anything else.
    Thank you for recommending my book! : ) You are such a precious person.

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    1. Thanks for commenting! It is always a joy to have you over here. :) Thank you - I was so glad to do it.

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  4. I agree with you, Alicia. It is important for us to be available for others. Thank you so much for recommending my book. That touched my heart.

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    1. So glad! :) We love having you at Word Painters.

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