Authors are some of the most gracious and generous people when it comes to supporting other authors. Tapping into this reserve of readily available help can make a remarkable difference in your author journey.
Barbara Conrey, the USA TODAY best-selling author of Nowhere Near Goodbye, reached out to Facebook groups even before her book was picked up by a publisher.
Debuts Groups are Facebook groups dedicated solely for supporting the work of debut authors. Each year, the authors that are coming through traditional publishing for the following year, create a debut group to share their learnings.
In this group, authors come together to commiserate, review each other’s books, help promote each other, help drum up attendance for each other’s events, and so on. It can be a wealth of resources to any author just starting out.
Conrey also believes the more helpful you are in the literary community, the more help you will receive in return because authoring a book and getting it out there is not a one-person thing; it’s a collective effort.
For Linda Rosen, author of The Disharmony of Silence, it was the authors in her network, their communities, book clubs, and connections that helped bring her out more into the world. “I can’t imagine what it would have been like to debut without a community of people,” says Rosen.
Authors are also often misunderstood even in their own households. Being part of a community of like-minded people can help bridge this gap as they lean onto their friendships to share the unique experiences that comes with authoring a book.
“Establishing contacts with authors well BEFORE your book comes out is key to having a nice book splash,” says Lisa Braxton, the debut author of The Talking Drum. Her acquaintance with the New York Times Best-Selling author Harley Efrin from over a decade ago proved useful when she wanted to draw in numbers for her book launch. Efrin volunteered to interview Braxton, and helped build credibility prior to the launch.
“You need to have people you can go ask to return the favor,” adds Lainey Cameron, who volunteered for several years as part of Women’s Fiction Writers Association before her debut novel The Exit Strategy came out. She says nobody refused her requests to write her a blurb or review, for they already knew who she was and were eager to return the favor.
The good news is that you don’t have to wait for your debut to start building your network. The earlier you start, the better equipped you will be when you are finally ready to release your book out into the world!
Shafeeka Hafeez grew up escaping into a world of books where she discovered a love for writing and a fascination with trees. When she’s not taking up a new marketing skill, or typing out a blog post, you can find her Googling the best therapy for abandoned cats.