every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main
if a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were,
as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were
any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind
and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls
it tolls for thee.
I have been fortunate to find many new friendships online with great authors. I really appreciate this because I haven’t found any local author groups to attend, so finding communities of authors to network with and learn from and share encouraging words with has been—absolutely priceless! It’s something that has kept me going when setbacks came in my career and I needed advice and a friend to lean on.
This last year, I started an online yahoo group called Authors and Readers of Romance. The purpose of this group is to provide an online setting where people—authors and readers—can connect and discuss books and accomplishments in their lives, offer advice and where readers can chat with authors. I am excited to see this group growing in members and if you’d like to join, please feel free to hop on over. We’d love to welcome you to our discussions.
If I was allergic to networking with other authors, I wouldn’t be moving forward and taking the beginning steps to expand my platform—as I’ve been doing this last year. I’ve blogged about this before—in order to achieve a healthy following for your blog, you need to provide interesting content. One way that I’ve accomplished that feat is that I host guest authors. They can blog about topics, which I provide (unless, of course, they have something more spectacular that they’d like to discuss); they can be interviewed and I also do book reviews.
Of course, as authors, we always need to work hard at promoting our work and branding our name; however, that doesn’t mean that we don’t need support along the way. The author who wants to stay closed in and thinks he or she can only succeed by climbing over someone else, will never make it to the top. There will be exceptions to this idea—but generally speaking, it’s been stated most aptly in Ecclesiastes 4:9: “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.”
I truly believe that theory! When we work together, we have a greater chance of success. Yes, you will always be out for number one--yourself—however, you need to find a way to marry this philosophy into your marketing perspective. Bring another author or two or three or four along with you as you climb the ladder of success. It will definitely be less lonely at the top if you’re not without author friends.
We really need each other. You may not believe me and maybe you want to try it your own way and claw your way to the summit, but I don’t believe you’ll be happy along the journey or when you look down and see the people that you trampled on, as you traipsed towards the pinnacle of success. We work better together. Find critique partners—find friends who can lend a listening ear—find authors who’ve traveled the road ahead of you and ask them for advice—then don’t be afraid to return the favor and help someone else on their journey towards success. You won’t be sorry you did…you’ll only eventually be sorry if you didn’t!