Pub Rants

Author Camaraderie

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STATUS: Finished up a deal negotiation and continued work on the accounting upgrade. I’ll be so happy when that is complete and all the reports are in order for my Tax CPA.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? I STILL DO by The Cranberries

There are some authors in this world who view themselves in competition with other authors for the ever-shrinkingbook buying dollar slice of the pie. And then there are authors who know and understand that this is a unique community, that book buyers will buy a range of authors if they are interested enough, and there is no reason not to support each other.

And let me tell you, it’s the latter authors who I want to work with. And nothing proves that good karma goes around and comes around more than what has happened for debut author Patry Francis.

Here’s the story if you haven’t heard it. Patry is ill with a cancer and knew she would not be able to promote the release of her debut as most authors do.

So what did the writing community decide to do? They decided to pitch in and promote it for her since she was unable to. Over 300 bloggers committed to participating in THE LIAR’S DIARY blog day.

Check this out by clicking on some links. Here’s an article in the Sun-Sentinal about the effort. Here’s some more at Red Room, Lit Park, and Backspace.

Look at all the links on Technorati!

Wow! And of course some of my authors joined the party, but here’s what I want to say. Don’t ever let anyone convince you that publishing is “an every person for him or herself” industry because it’s not. There is a real community of writers and if you haven’t got connected, ask yourself why not?

22 Responses

  1. karen wester newton said:

    I think that’s a heart-warming story that jibes with my experience in asking for help form those farther along than me. But I had to comment partly because I ready the name of the song wrong! Instead of “I STILL DO” by The Cranberries, I read “I STILL DO The Cranberries.” I was wondering what that meant!

  2. Dr K said:

    I agree 200 per cent with you, Kristin. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than mentoring and helping other writers — in effect “paying it forward” for all the kind souls who took the time to show me the difference between plot and story, etc.
    — Gregory Kennedy, Edmonton

  3. Getting There With A Passion said:

    Attitude is a small thing that makes a big difference. Enough said.

    But what of titles? I’m curious -if you get past the query letter and read a really outstanding novel, if the title has one word in it similiar to another book you’ve published (but it’s a good title), does that automatically put you off as a literary agent, or do you work with your authors to taper that?

    Ah, the Cranberries. Good band.

    -Rachel Glass, Utah

  4. cynjay said:

    I think that is even more true in the kidlit world. Everything I’ve learned from how not to sub a picture book to meeting my agent has come at the hands of another author.

  5. Maggie McDonald said:

    Hi Kristin,

    Your blog really resonated with me tonight because I have just experienced the same encouragement and support by one of your authors… Hank Phillipi Ryan. Being from Boston, I’ve always known of Hank and being a faithful reader of your blog, I’ve known of her literary success. Through a recent serendipitious event, my mother met Hank at an event and told her about me. Hank graciously and generously offered her email and responded when I wrote her! Hank offered her support and encouragement and offered to help me in any way she could. As a budding new writer, these words could not have meant more to me. Two other authors have also emailed me to offer their encouragement and support after I contacted them to tell them of my new blog. These authors were Jodi Picoult and Andrea Seigel. What these three amazing authors and ladies have taught me is that writers truly do want to help each other and when you are trying to break into a business that is extremely difficult to get into, nothing could inspire more hope or be more encouraging.
    Maggie McDonald

  6. Susan Helene Gottfried said:

    I’m a firm believer in the idea that us authors are all in this together and that the success of one lifts us all, published or not.

    Thanks for standing up for the folk like me who think this way. I do feel that we’re few and far between.

  7. Maprilynne said:

    True words, Kristin, true words. I have also been touched by the overwhelming support of Patry. (And her book sounds fascinating! I’ve been reading about it all day.:))

  8. Joelle said:

    It’s interesting to me how many, many children’s authors I’ve heard complain about JK Rowling taking over the market and ruining it for them. Her books came out, what? once a year? And created a HUGE number of new readers. Kids read more than one book every couple of years (knock on wood) How can you be jealous of her creating a market? We should all be thankful!

  9. Eileen said:

    I was thrilled to be a part of the blogging event for Patry. I am seeing more and more group blogs and marketing pushes where authors are working together. It makes sense that by working together we can all do a bit better.

  10. Diana Peterfreund said:

    Are you kidding, Joelle? Most of the kidlit authors I know are cobbling together our pennies to build JK a shrine. We all have careers because she created a generation of readers.

  11. Music Critic said:

    I Still Do gets a #5 (good band, average song).

    However, that’s meaningless compared to the authors and bloggers who are helping this woman. Love it! They all get a #1

  12. Ghost Girl said:

    Wow, Kristin! We were just chatting about this subject on another blog. Like Cynjay, I’ve found the kidlit world a particularly supportive community. I think most of us find others’ success inspirational rather than threatening. As I said on the Author2author blog, writing is a personal journey, but we all have something to put on the map. Let’s lay out a rich path full of attractions for all those sightseers out there!

  13. Kelly McCullough said:

    Thanks for the post, Kristin. I heartily agree.

    One of the things I most love about my job is that I get to hang out with my heroes. Another is that I get to help out the new writers coming up behind me in the way that the generation ahead has helped me.

    Oh, and a lot of us in adult F&SF also feel a shrine to Rowling is in order.

  14. Vinnie Sorce said:

    Have to admit I thought this was kind of cut throat business but this has definitely warmed my heart and given me some ambition to get finished and get into the game.

  15. Bija Andrew said:

    I find it ironic that my most-published friend occasionally meets people who scoff, “I guess publishing’s all about who you know.” If people do believe that publishing’s about who you know, then why aren’t they making the effort to get to know other writers? Why sabotage your interactions with jealousy?

    Rachel: You asked about titles. I can’t speak for an agent, but I was surprised when I started working with a publisher that the title was always up for grabs. I thought I had a perfect title for it, but my editor countered with a few other ideas for what the title might be. We… have yet to settle on one. Given that titles can and do change up until the moment the presses run, it’s hard to imagine a title being the deal-breaker for an unpublished manuscript.

  16. Getting There With A Passion said:

    Yet another example of how authors can fellowship one another and pass along info. Chalk up an another victory for the authorship spirit. 🙂

    Thanks Bija.

    -Rachel Glass, Utah

  17. booklady said:

    I’ve been off the internet for a few days, but when I came back today what I saw was amazing. Everywhere I go in the blogosphere someone is talking about Patry Francis and The Liar’s Diary. It’s wonderful to see.

    I love to help others. It’s the teacher in me. And you know what? I find that when I later need a hand, I have someone to ask. It works both ways.

  18. Nicki Greenwood said:

    At my very first RWA chapter meeting, another newbie asked if we were in competition with each other. What did I say? “Not at the rate people read!” I still believe that to this day. 🙂

  19. Trish Ryan said:

    It’s so true–the great community of writers is probably the biggest surprise I discovered when I dove into the writing world. It’s an amazing, beautiful thing 🙂