First of all, let me apologize for not blogging much lately. I am so far behind with everything. The kids started back to school on August 8th, I am desperately trying to finish book two of the Celadon Circle series – Refracted, I have at least five #bookreviews to write up, and a #newsletter that is due to go out on August 27th that I have not made a single dent in. Yeah; as usual, my plate runneth over (and not in a good way).
With all this going on I have found it difficult to even decide on a topic to blog about, but one kept coming back to me, showing itself in examples (both good and bad), and I knew I needed to “talk” about it.
I have discovered during the past few years of my writing career (yeah, it’s a stretch to call it a career, but let’s go with it) that people you can depend on come and go, even among #Indie authors. For those who have stood by me through thick and thin, I consider them my closest friends, even though most of them I have never met.
Most of my friends live in my computer in a group I admin (along with a few other peeps) called Books Untamed. This group is mostly #IndieAuthors, some #readers, and a few #bloggers. We support one another, share good news, talk each other off ledges, and learn from each other. Members come and go, especially when they learn that we don’t allow very much promotion, but the core group that started it all has basically stayed the same. They are my best friends, my second family, and I love them dearly.
I am lucky to have such a strong foundation to lean on. Some authors don’t and yes, I have been in their shoes and do know what it feels like to give, and give, and GIVE, and barely get anything in return. From the members of Books Untamed, I learned the value of “Pay It Forward,” and that is what we do – not only for each other but for other authors, as well. Still, we remember that there must be balance. Everyone must pitch in to make it work. There are some authors who love to milk the cows dry and move on. I am finding that many of these type also band together in groups. They love getting new members to share their promos and books, yet rarely give anything back.
One positive in all this is that, eventually, some members of these groups wise up. I recently had a conversation with an author who had such an experience. Week after week, I would see her promoting the authors of this group, yet rarely seen any of them reciprocating. I felt it wasn’t my place to say anything. I was once a member of the same group. Thankfully, my extent as one of their “cows” didn’t last long. I saw what was going on and (pardon my French) shagged arse. All I will say is that they used her to an extent that went beyond their norm and I am so happy that she is no longer among the vampires.
Another incident I witnessed was not surprising, seeing as how I know how this author “works” (in actuality, she doesn’t – not really), but was sad nonetheless. This particular writer loves to ride coattails. She will be your best buddy as long as she is gaining something (promotion, free services such as illustrations or editing, or POSITIVE feedback), but the moment that stops, she is off and running to the next person she can use. I noticed via Facebook that she had become chummy with the vamps and knew it was just a matter of time before she joined their clan…and she did. You see, the vamps still have plenty of members (cows) they can milk and of course, this appeals to those who ride coattails. You would think by now that “seasoned writers” would know that in order to make it in the publishing business, you have to work, and work HARD. All of this running has gotten her nowhere. It’s a vicious cycle that never ends.
Now, what does all the rambling mean? I guess my point is that, as writers, we all have the choice to decide what type we want to be. Do you want to be an author who pays it forward? Do you want to surround yourself with positive people who strive for success without compromising their principals? Or do you want to be a vampire who takes and takes and never bothers to give back? Which do you think will be more productive? I try to be the best person I can be no matter the context. I’m not perfect but I do know the value of having people share my work, and I try to return the favors. It’s only right. We all want to be successful. We all want to make a name for ourselves. The question is, what are you willing to sacrifice to make that happen? Your time? Your friends? Your morals?
It’s your choice.