We have all heard of at least one author who causes an uproar or at the very least, drama. And we all know (or should know) that we don’t want to be “that” author. The indie community can be a wonderful place, when not polluted with a few entitled divas who want to show the world how diva they can really be. It doesn’t happen often but when it does….whew.
Want to help make the indie community an even better place for all of us? Here’s six tips to put to use (or to anonymously forward to someone you think needs it. I won’t judge.):
1. Say Please & Thank You
In a time when manners seem to have gone by the wayside most days, make it a point to use these two phrases your mama drilled into your head growing up. I always try to be polite when asking for something or comment when I see a blog or reader share a post, even if it’s just a ‘thank you for sharing’. It lets them know you appreciate their time and, if you show them appreciation and manners, they’ll be more than likely to do so again. It’s a give/take kind of thing.
Do I catch them all? Probably not, but I do my best to respond to any I see. And I also thank them in advance (such as when I request from blogs), so I’m usually covered if I don’t.
2. Help Others
The indie author community is a big, big world, with all levels of experience and knowledge. When you started, you didn’t come in knowing everything, right? You asked questions, learned along the way. Now’s the time, no matter your level of knowledge and experience, to pay it forward. See a question and know the answer? Give them the answer or point them in the direction where they can find out more for themselves. Notice someone having a rough time of things? Reach out and, if nothing else, let them know you’re there if they need help with anything. Actions like these will make the world better in general. :)
3. Don't Be An Attention Whore
This one is a fine line to walk. Yes, we want to be seen and have our work seen, but there’s a time and a place. Everybody deserves their moment to shine, so don’t be that person who has to steal the spotlight. For example, don’t hijack a thread about someone making the best seller list by posting a comment about your new book. Not cool. And stirring the pot for attention? Well, that leads me to...
4. Don't Start Drama
We’ve lived through the Cockygate saga of 2018. We saw how it turned out. Don’t be that author. Enough said, moving on.
5. Work hard/Don't Expect Something For Nothing
If you’re going to be a writer, you better be prepared to work your ass off. It’s not just about dropping some words on a page and calling it a book. You’d better be ready to put in overtime to get that book ready with revisions, editing, planning your release, and promoting. If you’re not willing to do all of that - and more - you may as well close your laptop now and save yourself the time. There’s no free ride in the writer world, baby, and you have to work to reap the rewards.
6. The Golden Rule
This ties in with the rest of the tips listed here. Treat others how you’d want to be treated. Don’t talk down to an author seeking knowledge, because you were there once (and probably still are there at times) yourself. If you have a difference of opinion with someone, agree to disagree. There’s no need to blow up social media over petty arguments. Now, I understand this *should* go both ways and doesn’t always. You are only responsible for you and not what some other bonehead may have to say. If it comes down to protecting yourself or your readers from a bully or worse, take the actions you need. Unfriend them, block them, report them,whatever. Apologize to folks, if need be, then let it go.
I do my best to live by these guidelines. Do I always succeed? No, I’m only human.
And a redhead. lol