Friday, April 5, 2013
Authors Helping Authors
After years of helping my husband achieve his dream to become a chiropractor, I decided that it was time I chased my own. To be an author.
I will openly admit I had no idea how to become a successful author. Obviously, I would have to write a book, but what next? How do you take that book and make it a success? I was completely clueless about the process. So while I was writing, I started researching as well.
I went to conferences. I read countless blogs about writing and publishing. I bought books on the subject. But I was failing to utilize the best tool that exists in the market today. Other authors.
That's right folks, those people you are competing against will be your best allies. Sounds like a really good plot twist doesn't it? Kind of fitting if you ask me.
This was a new experience for me. I spent ten years in the banking world. Not once in my working career did I say, "Hey, I know we have a great checking account program, but so does First Federal down the street. You should go check them out." I would have been fired before I hung up the phone.
That is where the writing world is so extraordinarily and wonderfully different. Writers (for the most part) want to see other writers succeed. They really and truly do. Why else would they host Twitter competitions, query critiques, and even offer their own publishers or agents to pitch to?
I'm sure I have some cynical people who will read this and say, "Well by helping others they are helping themselves." That's true. It does. I can't tell you how many people I recommend to follow Brenda Drake (@BrendaDrake) on Twitter because she hosts so many contests. Does it help Brenda? Absolutely. I've probably sent around a hundred people her way. But honestly, she's making authors dreams come true. Why the hell wouldn't I want to help her? It's the circle of life, without all of the killing.
When I won Pitchwars, I was amazed that the awesome Fiona McLaren (@bookomnivore) would take so much of her time to make my book shine. I was awed at how supportive the other contestants were of each other. Even now it gives me the warm and fuzzies. I made some great friends from that competition and we are still cheering each other on now.
Now that I am an author at Entranced Publishing (@EntrancedPub), I find that my astonishment at the camaraderie of that group of authors grows all the time. I couldn't ask for a better group of ladies to have my back, and I'm equally willing to put my time and effort into helping them succeed as well.
So many people helped me get to where I am today. People that I had never even met before and I can't tell you how eternally grateful I am to them. They are an inspiring group of people. I can't wait to return the favor to some new author just looking for a way in. Just like I was.