Note that this post first appeared on IR on June 30, 2017.
I don’t remember the last time I was on social media where there wasn’t at least someone talking about the latest drama in the book world. Sometimes I hear about it, sometimes I see it, sometimes I have no idea what anyone is actually talking about and stick my head back in the sand.
But most times, okay EVERY time, it makes me sad.
Legitimately, my chest aches a bit, sad.
Probably because I don’t see why it has to be that way.
Granted, I know some people are going to stop reading right now, snort, roll their eyes and say something silly like, “Oh, well, of course you’d say that.”
But hear me out…
It really doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, it shouldn’t be this way.
How many people in this industry have found instant fame by being the bully? I mean yeah you know their names for a few days, you may even remember their names because of it, but does that really make you want to go out and buy their book? Use their services? Support them in any way? If anything, it should turn you off completely.
I don’t care if their post has a hundred people supporting the online banter saying, “YOU ARE SO RIGHT!” I guarantee you, there are still a huge amount of people NOT commenting that either don’t agree or are just plugging their ears, closing their eyes, and waiting for it all to go away.
People do thrive on drama—as long as it’s not about them.
In our industry, there’s bound to be some drama no matter what, but I want to try to challenge readers, authors, editors, industry professionals, rather than let something get to you to where you spark a flame and cause something negative to go viral, why not something positive?
I remember the first time I was invited to an author release party. It was for Jennifer Probst (seriously one of the sweetest and most talented people ever) and she just asked me to promote my latest release at her party.
I was standing in the middle of Universal Studios, narrowing my eyes at my phone, going, huh? Surely I read that wrong.
So I typed back that I was more than happy to make it all about her.
“I find that when you guys are successful with your releases I’m successful with mine.”
She probably has no recollection of this conversation now but, it really stuck with me. I was probably two years into my author career and I felt like I knew nothing (a feeling that never goes away). Then here is this HUGE AUTHOR asking me to share my release, my tiny little release, in her group, in a group where there would be potential readers.
I almost dropped my phone on the ground.
One tiny little thing from her changed my outlook on my own career in an instant.
My success is your success.
It is. It really is.
Because guess what?! READERS WANT BOOKS (gasp…I know, crazy right?)
I’m a reader first, author second, so I get this phenomenon called, “Just release more books and nobody gets hurt!”
It’s a simple concept really. As a reader, what do you want more of?
BOOKS! Readers. Want. Books.
Authors write books.
Here’s another simple concept coming up for you…
If someone reads Jennifer’s book and likes it, then see’s my book in her reader group and loves contemporary romance….
*cue jeopardy music*
Do you think that maybe, possibly, one of the people in that group may want to read my book?
That is ONE person (that’s not my grandma) that wants to read it. (cue high fives).
I trust my reader friends, they are FAMILY! Just take a look at my reader group (nods to the rockin readers on Facebook). We support each other, lift each other up, and when someone recommends a book during share me Sunday, I’m 100% more likely to grab it because someone I trust recommends it.
Word of mouth isn’t dead. It’s the best marketing in the world. And the best word of mouth comes from trusted sources, like readers, bloggers, and yes other authors you love!
Ever have that pesky problem where your favorite author is in between releases and you feel like the world is ending because you just want that book? I’m always suggesting other authors books that I’ve read and devoured, and you know what? It actually makes me giddy that they take my word for it and we can discuss all the feels.
It’s not a competition. It’s a living connection.
And you know the best part? Once you finish a book—you have that incredible choice to pick something else up and read it.
Don’t let your own fear of failure keep you from lifting others up, don’t be the author that doesn’t wish for others success because you’re so focused on the lack of success in your own life.
Negativity breeds negativity.
You make a bigger impact together, than as an island.
Support others the way you want them to support you.
Quick Article Facts and Encouragement:
- Word of mouth from trusted sources is key.
- Jealousy only breeds hate (as well as self hate and pettiness)
- There will always be someone more successful than you. Better. Cooler. Taller. Stop worrying about their success and stop comparing it to yours.
- Measure against yourself. Turning in a manuscript is HUGE, your time will come.
- Keep writing. It’s not a get rich quick scheme, there’s a reason they call us starving artists right? Keep doing what you love.
- Support others the way you want them to support you.
About Rachel Van Dyken
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.
She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!
Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!