Monday, July 7, 2014

Sharing is Caring!

As most of  you know, I've been hosting fellow Oak Tree Press authors on The Back Deck Blog on Wednesdays and Fridays during the month of July (and I've got a lineup extending into August!) I hope many of you have taken the time to read about my colleagues, their books, their road to publication, and maybe, just maybe, ventured further and looked into possibly reading their work.

I wish I could say that I've read every single book written by my fellow authors. Alas, there is only so much time to read (let alone write) after all the "necessary" work in life, not to mention sleeping and keeping the family alive. I have, however, lengthened my "to read" list considerably and will probably have to live to the age of 120 if I intend to get to all of them in this lifetime!

Still, I'm hoping that by featuring these talented writers on my blog and presenting them to my readers and friends who, quite probably, have never heard of these authors, that they may find a wider audience for their work. Of course, they are sharing the blog on their social media and websites as well and hopefully exposing their fellow authors to new potential readers.

It's all about helping each other out. None of us can claim the fame and exposure and following of a Stephen King or any other popular writer, but every one of us knows people who don't know the rest of us, and if we can get just one or two others interested in the work of our fellow writers, the ripple effect could be very encouraging and beneficial to us all.

In any field of work (yes, writing IS work), there are two camps: the people who want to help others succeed and the people who are terrified of any competition. Those are the people who may have struggled for a long time to achieve their success and fear that some young (or not so young) newcomer might take away a bit of the attention their work has garnered and possibly knock them out of the "winner's circle" for which they have worked for so long.

To a certain extent, I don't blame them. Some have worked long, hard years to succeed and it seems natural to resent an upstart who seems to want to coast to some success on their coattails. Maybe some of them, back in their struggling days, also hoped for a kind word of encouragement or a promotional boost from fellow writers who had some success and never received it.

I've been writing for over 20 years, hoping for the day when my work would be published and achieve some sales success. Now that I have been published and achieved some (emphasis on "some") success, I find it difficult to understand how a published author can turn their backs on others who have struggled along as well.

We can't always help out the ones who are still looking for the publisher or agent willing to take a chance on them (meaning I'm willing to give you the OTP website address and guidelines, but I'm not going to tout your book to my boss... unless it's something I wish I'd written!) It's those who are already out there, but lost in the teeming hordes of other new and newly-published writers, that I feel we (who are among those same people) not only can but should help each other with a kind word or a shout out on our social media.

Sharing is caring (I hope I got everyone for the month of July; I don't want to leave anyone out!)

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