Support Other Writers: 10 Great Ways

Getting Known

In today’s publishing world, more and more writers are taking the leap into the online world. We blog, we Tweet, we participate in chats and bloghops and tribes and Google+ and a thousand other venues for GETTING KNOWN.

Wordle

Because that’s what it’s all about, right?*

Well…not exactly. I mean yes, as authors we do need to get our names out there, but if we focus solely on what the Internet can do for us, we’re missing the point. Newsgroups, Blogging, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest (did I miss any?) enable writers and readers to connect. These platforms provide places for us to engage with one another and, ultimately, develop relationships.

And online relationships, like most relationships, benefit from the age-old attitude that “it’s better to give than receive.”

If you want to be heard, stop thinking about how to shout louder. Think about what you have to offer.

In my opinion, the biggest thing you can offer other writers is simply your support. And here are ten great places for you to start!

  1. Read: If you’re a writer, you are reading other writers’ books, right? Buy their books or pick them up at the library (because libraries do keep track of how often books are checked out). Make sure that you’re counting as a consumer.
  2. Share a review: If you *like* that book, consider giving it a review on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, or another book-selling venue. Share a review or give it a rating on GoodReads. If you don’t like it…well, I personally don’t see the point in giving public negative reviews, but others certainly disagree. Maybe that’s because I don’t usually end up finishing books I don’t like, and how can I review a book I haven’t finished? IMHO, (honest) positive reviews are the most helpful because they point me toward books I might like to read.
  3. Recommend books to friends: Word-of-mouth recommendations count more than you’d think. People tend to trust the opinions of their friends, and if you influence a few to read a great book, they might influence a few of their friends, and so on, creating the proverbial snowball. Give it a try!
  4. Help create some bloggish buzz: If you blog, use it to help others broaden their reach. Post an author interview or book review. Participate in a blog hop. Encourage guest posting. Use your online influence, however much that may be, to help connect writers with readers who may love them and vice versa.
  5. Get in touch: Did you like a book? Let the author know. Be specific. Did you enjoy someone’s blog post? Leave an appreciative comment.
  6. Tweet the good news: One of the things I love about writing in community is that I can share so many others’ writing victories. Hear a bit of good news? Help spread the cheer!
  7. Linkish love: Find a blog post you love? Create a weekly list of favorite links such as those collected by Patrick Ross on The Artist’s Road. Share them on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever you hang out online.
  8. Engage in conversation: Wherever you exist online, make sure you listen and respond more than you spout variations of ME-ME-ME! Join in others’ conversations. Bounce ideas off one another. This is how relationships evolve.
  9. Offer encouragement: When you listen to other writers online, sooner or later you will hear someone who sounds discouraged, depressed, or overwhelmed. Do you have a bit of encouragement to offer? Sometimes a kind word is enough to change the course of another’s day.
  10. Be generous: The way I see it, I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the generous writers who encouraged me, critiqued my first books, shared their knowledge for free online, and mentored me when I needed it most. I’m a firm believer in giving whatever I have the resources to give. Sometimes that’s only a little bit; sometimes more. It’s my shout-out of thank you to the world, I guess. What do you have to share?

How do you support other writers? Have I missed anything?

* I mean, besides the Hokey Pokey. We all know that’s what it’s really all about.

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You’ve probably read the same tips I have: Have a smart phone? Check Facebook while standing in line at the post office! Respond to Twitter messages while waiting for your dentist! Catch up on your news feed while sitting on the pot! For years, I thought the path to increased productivity was to squeeze in MORE–more […]

Comments

  1. says

    Great tips, Cheryl. I think writers are really supportive to one another on the whole. So much nicer to give a shout out for someone else than just blah blah blah about oneself.

    • says

      Hi Claire, I’d have to agree with you there–I can’t tell you how grateful I am for all the support and encouragement I’ve received along the way. That’s something I should write about, too!

  2. says

    This is me, appreciating your blog posts 😛 But seriously, I’ve made some great writing friends online. I’m about to jump into doing a fundraising auction for the first time ever, and it’s a little less scary since I have blogger friends for support (and to point out where I could improve things, I’m sure).

    • says

      :) Me too!!! A fundraising auction? That sounds intriguing–what will it be for?

  3. says

    Ah, number seven. I pretty much got that covered, since I stole Adventure’s in YA and Children’s Literature’s idea of the (discontinued) weekly round-up as my most stable feature. I advertise it in at least three different places, although I’m working hard on figuring out how to read and link the best of the best.

    Oh, and bloghops. I really want to participate in some more bloghops, but I can’t figure out how to find them in advance. Do you have any advice on finding upcoming ones? Thanks.

  4. says

    I love your top ten lists, Cheryl. So much more positive than Letterman’s. :)

  5. DivinneGrace says

    It is really important to support our fellow writers and bloggers so that we can have their support in return…Thanks for the great ways here!

  6. says

    I have discovered so many great books and super advice through blogging and making new writer connections. I can’t believe I was so resistant to blogging at first. Crazy.

  7. says

    Thank you for the reminder about reviewing. It’s something I always intend to do and never seem to get round to. I must make time for this.

  8. says

    Thanks for those tips! That’s great. I especially like the one about making sure you stand up and be counted as a reader by purchasing and checking out library books to support other authors. I’d add to that to be sure and support the authors you love soon after their new releases whenever you can because sales figures in the first few weeks really matter to publishers (not to mention author morale).