Hi everybody, today I have a few tips for authors who exist in a community of the same. The reason I’ve done this is because often, in some circles, authors would rather lie to somebody to receive positive feedback than tell others the truth about their work and help them progress.
When you’re an indie author you’ll be given lots of opportunities to review other people’s work in exchange for them doing you the same service. While I do not condone lying to the people you’re helping out, and believe you should maintain a good level of integrity we do absolutely believe that there is a certain way to review a product.
For example, a book you have read is terrible and you in no way want to be advertising the product as good for fear of losing said integrity, but you also want the author to come away from your exchange happy and with an understanding of what they can do to improve their work. In this instance you should pick at the parts of the book you did like; i.e. strong character development or a plot device that worked really well, or even the potential for an amazing story. Make sure the elements you pick out are genuinely strong points and tell people that this is what worked within the story, and give the author the same feedback, but make sure you do it in a friendly and supportive way. In offering this positive feedback you are always going to stroke somebody’s ego and that’s a far better way to review a bad product than by slating its worth. People don’t take kindly to being stomped on and we absolutely understand why; there’s never a need to diminish somebody’s worth or their work because you didn’t like it, and the author in question will always come away a lot happier with positive and constructive criticism.
On the flip side of this however, there is, of course, those authors whose work you did enjoy in some format and these are the authors whose work you need to push in every way possible. To collaborate on advertisements with other authors with a high calibre of work will give you a good name, and other authors who want their work reviewed by you so they may receive some of your flattery will, therefore, offer to review your work, thus promoting you further, and so on and so forth. What a lot of independent artists don’t like to admit is that their product will not reach mainstream success without the help of fellow authors, if at all.
So when going into you writing career, make sure to bring plenty of positivity and a touch of grace with you, because it’s better to be a friendly advocate for somebody’s work as opposed to being superfluously unkind. It’ll make a better name for you in the long run.
My other point today is that sometimes you will have to shamelessly promote yourself sometimes and, again, it’s important that you do it in the right way. Some things you shouldn’t do: beg, reason, humblebrag, exclaim repeatedly all over social media how great your book is, lie, or annoy the hell out of people with repeated posts. No. You should find Facebook pages/blogs/twitter profiles to review your work and post it, so you can share it with an honest opinion from a consumer onto your social media accounts as an author. Believe me, the only thing worse than a badly written book is a badly written book being promoted by a narcissistic social media aficionado. Less is usually more in this instance.
I hope these tips help some of you in the coming months of your careers and look forward to having you back to the site next week. But until then, take care and many thanks!