On the Golden Rule and authors supporting authors…

The Golden Rule goes something like this: do undo others as you would have them do unto you. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Most of the authors I know do this. Some, not so much. They’re so focused on selling their books, they either don’t notice what others are doing, they think they’re too busy, or they choose not to help out.

Why would you want to help a fellow author?

Unselfish reason: to be nice, to do the right thing because it’s the right thing.

Self-serving reason: because the goodwill you generate will come back to you.

Here are 10 ways to pay it forward:

  1. Review other author’s books. Reviews don’t have be to a long. Three or four sentences can make a difference. Reviews are “currency” in the publishing world–they influence readers’ buying decisions.
  2. If you see another author’s book has gotten what you consider to be an unfair “driveby” attack, click the “this review was not helpful” button. If a review gets enough “nos” it drops down the list and becomes less visible.
  3. Mention other author’s books in your interviews. What??? Often authors are asked what their favorite book is and/or what they’re currently reading. Too often writers answer with a classic work of literature or a famous bestseller. The authors of those books don’t need the publicity. New and midlist authors do. Call attention to their books.
  4. Buy other authors’ books. Particularly in your genre. Some authors don’t read the genre they’re writing to avoid being influenced, but that shouldn’t prevent you from buying the books.  A purchase helps tremendously with Amazon “also boughts,”  sales rankings, and visibility. Mention your book purchases. Announce it on Facebook, on Twitter, on Goodreads.
  5. Respond to other authors’ promotional (cover reveal, new release, review announcement, etc) posts on Facebook. Do more than click “like,” comment on the post. Even a simple “congrats” helps because high activity posts are boosted so more people see them. Share other authors’s posts on your own timeline and in groups you belong to.
  6. Visit other author blog tours and leave a comment. You don’t have visit every leg of the tour, but drop in on occasion and show your support.
  7. Add other author’s blogs and website to your blogroll. If an author adds you to hers, reciprocate.
  8. Open your blog to authors for guest posts and appearances.
  9. Include a board(s) on your Pinterest and pin other authors’ books.
  10. If you’re on Triberr, share other author’s blog posts. Even if you haven’t blogged in a while, check in and share anyway.

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56 Responses to On the Golden Rule and authors supporting authors…

    • Cara Bristol says:

      This seems like a lot, but so much of it is just instinctive. Writing a review or hosting a guest blog takes some effort– but commenting on FB, or clicking “share” takes very little.

  1. Gina Kincade says:

    Excellent post! I couldn’t agree more! It’s not a competition between authors, even if we write the same genre, it’s a leg up for all who participate. <3

    • Cara Bristol says:

      The help I’ve received from my fellow authors has been invaluable–and I think it’s contributed a great deal to my sales. It really does take a village to promote a book.

  2. Excellent post and some good points. Thanks for the reminder about commenting on other authors’ Facebook posts vs just liking them.

    Another thing—if you have Kindle Unlimited, borrow books from authors you know (if they are in the KU program). However, be sure to read at least 10% of the book for them to get credit.

  3. Livia Grant says:

    As always, excellent advice I’m trying to live by!

  4. Wanda Fittro says:

    Good reminder Cara. I am always doing my best to help other authors. Even something as simple as a re-tweet. I also try to offer my blog once in a while for other authors to be spotlighted.

  5. Rollin Hand says:

    Good tips. But what is triberr?

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Triberr is a social media site where you automatically or by one-click share other people’s blog posts on Twitter. Users are grouped into “Tribes,” centered around a topic. I belong to several tribes and am “chief” of a spanking fiction tribe.

      If you’d like to join the Spanking Fiction Authors Tribe, Rollin, I’d love to have you. You have to have a Twitter account, and would need to open a Triberr account. Then “follow” Spanking Fiction Authors, and I can upgrade you to member.

  6. agreed on everything!
    Thanks, Cara

  7. Lisa Medley says:

    Cara, you are AWESOME at this and really practice what you preach! xoxoxoxoxo

    There’s a great meme going around (which I can’t seem to post here) that says:

    I’m not interested in competing. I hope we all make it.

    Amen to that!

  8. Mary Wehr says:

    Awesome post, Cara. Sharing does go a long way <3

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Yes, sharing is big. Especially on FB. Did you know you can share blog posts on FB, Twitter & other social media. Most blogs have buttons at the end of the post allowing one-click sharing.

  9. Great post, Cara. All too often the small things we can do for each other slips through the cracks of every day going-ons and we miss opportunities to help. Thank you for the reminder!

  10. Ashe Barker says:

    Great post. In any case we’re in one of the probably few industries where we don’t have to compete to any great extent. Ebooks are still fairly cheap so readers don’t so much choose to buy this book or that, if they like our stuff they buy both. The more we can encourage readers to sample other books in our genre, and hopefully find even more things they like, the stronger we make our market, and ultimately we all benefit from that

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Here’s the thing about sales and marketing: people who are most likely to buy your product are buyers who’ve bought from you in the past. The people who are second most likely to buy your product are people who’ve bought similiar products. If authors reciprocate and share each other’s work they could better build a pool of readers/buyers, because, as you say readers don’t just buy one book/one author.

  11. Great points. I’m careful about reviewing other author’s books (and do so under my real name) because especially Amazon is getting wise to that and removing reviews. I always try to pimp books, while not being obnoxious about it. I do believe we are not competitors, we are a huge support network for each other.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      I do know a couple of authors that that happened to–their reviews were removed and they were barred from reviewing period. I don’t think that happens often–there are too many authors (who are buyers too!) writing reviews. But using another name for reviews is an option. I use my author name because people know me by that name and I hope my review gives them a little more visibility.

      • I agree it helps visibility, but that’s a double-edged sword too. Readers seem to feel reviews by authors are “shill reviews” and ignore them from what they’ve told me. I’m not saying to stop reviewing, just playing devil’s advocate. 😉

        As for the other stuff, I really do try to help out when I can. Hopefully when my head stops spinning from the pace of writing I’m at these days I’ll be able to do even more.

  12. Gem Sivad says:

    *Yes* Guilty—frequently oblivious.Thanks for organizing the possibilities. Keeping your points in mind, I will try to improve reciprocation and support because I’ve definitely received lots from other authors.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      I think we can all be a little oblivious. I know I am sometimes. Add busy to that, and well…you know how it goes.

  13. Preach it, sista! Great post that I’ll be sharing. 😉

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Thank you! I do think the spanking romance author community is phenomenal in the way the authors support each other. There’s a few oblivious members, but mostly a very supportive group.

  14. This was a terrific reminder! Thank you for always practicing what you preach. So I went onto my pinterest board and made Warrior the cover of my Missouri Authors board and wrote a review for Breeder! Whew. Thanks for all you do. AND I’d like to interview you for my blog. See what you started.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Thank you, Tierney! I have a Pinterest board of author friends’ books. I need to be more discipline about adding to it. For those to who do pin a book to Pinterest–might I suggest pinning from Amazon or another retail site so that if people click on the pin they will be taken to a site where they can buy it. (This goes for pinning one’s own books as well!)

  15. Joanna Shupe says:

    Well put! Sharing this…

  16. Laurel Lasky says:

    I love visiting and commenting on author blogs. I have a double lifetime of books on my E Readers and yet I continue to by my favorite authors new books. It’s a wonderful addicting habit. I also like to review the books and I only review books I like. This has led to communicating and getting to know some authors. This has and is a wonderful experience and had led me to writing my first book. I totally agree with everything you said.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      You’ve been so good about reviewing and visiting, Laurel. I appreciate all the times you’ve left comments on my blog.

  17. A very good post. I am fairly new to the ebook world and am not great with promoting online, unlike the younger authors, and I have been very pleased with the help that I have been given. You all seem a friendly and supportive group and I am pleased to be a part of it. I have bought many books by other writers and have left reviews, usually in my own name, when I particularly enjoy the book. If I don’t enjoy it, I prefer to keep my opinion to myself, rather than leaving a negative review. I think we all need to help each other as much as possible.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      No, I don’t leave negative reviews either. If I can’t give a book a minimum of 4 stars, I don’t review it. But also, I don’t tend to read books that are less than 4 stars–they end up in my DNF file. There are too many books I want to read to spend my time on the ones that don’t grab me. But I figure, at least the author got the sale.

  18. This is an awesome post, Cara. I’m sharing it on FB right now! 🙂

  19. Great post. I tend to get caught up in writing and only check Facebook for messages etc. I do share frequently, but I am clueless regarding Goodreads. The community has been very kind to me and an enormous help in promoting my books. I’ve made some wonderful friends, an added bonus. BTW, I love you book, Naughty Words for Nice Writers: A Sexual and Spanking Thesaurus!

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Aw, thank you!

      I think there’s a lot one can do with Goodreads. I basically just post reviews there. Real live readers do hang out on GR, and look for book recommendations there.

  20. You make excellent points.

    With the exception of regular reviews, I try to do all the other things you mentioned. I don’t like reviewing some of my colleagues’ work and not reviewing others, and let’s face it, not every book grabs you and makes you enthusiastic enough to leave 4-5 stars. Although there is some competition among authors for those precious reader’s dollars, it’s not nearly intense enough to create jealous feelings. We need to encourage each other in whatever ways we can.

    You contribute a lot to the community, Cara. This article was only the tip of the iceberg.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Thank you, Patricia. I agree that writing reviews can be problematic. I could write a whole blog about reviews, because it is a can worms. But I know what reviews mean to me. When I started out, many authors who are my friends now, wrote reviews of my books (before we knew each other). It means a lot. Especially when you don’t get many.

  21. I’ve always believed high water floats all boats! Promoting within my genre is good for all of us.

  22. Jade Cary says:

    Great advice. I’ve been absent and a bit remiss. I’ll do better.

  23. Kelly Dawson says:

    Being a newbie, I have been absolutely blown away by all the help, encouragement and support that has been shown to me. It’s awesome how supportive other authors are! This is a great post, and something I will remember 🙂

    • Cara Bristol says:

      It’s a great community, isn’t it? I think authors outshine other professions in this regard. Let’s all do more of what we do best. (Besides write).

  24. Will LaForge says:

    An excellent post – kudos to you for putting it out there in print. We are all better off when we can all be successful. I think the other golden rule is – ‘If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.’ Tearing another author down serves no purpose and it’s petty.

  25. Wonderful post. It never, ever hurts to be supportive of each other and help in any little way we can. There is room out there for everyone, and everyone has a great story to tell.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      That’s true. We’re at different stages of our careers and abilities, but we’re all working toward the same goal. We’re in this together.

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