Support Your Writer Friends
I recently got back in contact with a friend I’ve been out of the loop with for the past month.
She had wonderful news, perhaps the most exciting news of her lifetime.
After all these years, her first book is finally out! Lifetime moment!
Never again will she experience the feeling of a first book release, so I wanted to ensure that I did my part in ensuring that this moment was as exciting as possible for her.
This book has been years in the making.
Not because it’s taken her several years to write one book, but because she prescribes to the belief that self published books need to be released on a constant and reliable schedule to gain followers.
It’s not a completely crazy theory in my opinion.
So she’s spent the past several years writing a series of books that she’s now ready to self publish over a tight schedule for the next year.
How anyone could ever have the patience to hold onto a finished book and not release it is completely beyond me. It almost kills me to write time-specific Medium articles and not release them before the relevant date.
Seriously, it keeps me up at night.
But she’s put in the patience and done it, and as her writer friend, my job has begun.
Writer friends are not like social friends.
The friend I’m referring to is not one I’ve ever actually met. I know her through the internet.
We met because of a situation wherein we had to work together one time remotely.
Ever since then, we’ve kept in touch and supported each other through good and bad times.
Writer friends are not like social friends, because social friends get sick of you.
Social friends see your face too much and too often and need to take breaks and see other friends.
Oh, your friends don’t do that? Honey they do. They just don’t tell you.
Writer friendships are almost always maintained online or over the phone, so they rarely get stale. They can absolutely be neglected, but rarely become too much.
These friends talk us through rejection better than anyone, because they understand it better than anyone.
They give us that winning sentence that closes the troublesome chapter of our on again/off again novel.
Really great writer friends can find a voice for that character that was driving us mad.
“How would a pregnant woman react in this situation?!” Oh wait… I literally know three pregnant writers. Thank god!!
Best of all, they act as impromptu editors on a pinch.
They really do come through for us in tough times. So sometimes it’s our job to come through for them, in a really important way.
And when I say that, I mean with our wallets.
Money is the most infuriatingly sensitive topic when it comes to writers.
Not enough writers make money from writing. Those that do, mostly don’t make enough.
So when it comes to the topic of laying out cash for your writer friends, people can seize up and go into shock.
I have literally talked with dozens of writers that don’t buy their friends books. Here are their excuses,
“I’m not made of money!
If I were to buy every book that was released every day of the year — I’d lose my home.”
I’m not telling you to buy every book that’s ever been written since the dawn of time.
If you have 5 close writer friends (and that’s generous), that’s up to 20 books a year. (Very generous).
If they’re self publishing, they’re probably listing the book at the Amazon sweet spot of $2.99.
That means you’re spending up to $60 a year on these people.
And what do you get in return? Unlimited support, a shoulder to cry on, free copywriting, and sweet sweet industry connection.
Can you really not afford $5 a month for a subscription to friendship?
Some of you are now thinking “my friends are traditionally published, so their books range from $15 to $25 a piece.”
That great for you, but that also means that those friends are publishing one book a year maximum; so the costs are levelled out.
Also lucky you, these books are much more likely to be readable.
Self Published Authors
Most self published books aren’t great, and that’s pretty much because of the extremely low barrier to entry.
Are you physically capable of opening an account with Amazon? Congratulations, that book you slapped together over one weekend is published.
Not everything my writer friends create are much good, but if we’re close enough friends, I’ll tell them my honest opinions.
But do you know what I’ll do first?
I’ll buy the damn thing. Why? Because $2.99 is an extremely cheap way of telling someone that I care about them.
So the next time you ask your friend for a free PDF edition of their book so you can read it and give your opinion, have a think about it…
Is $2.99 really worth robbing them of the satisfaction and day-long glow that comes from a real sale?
Think about what book sales mean to you.
This is a gift you can and should be giving to your friends.
So in that spirit of friendship, here is my gift to my friend.
Here is a link to her book on Amazon.
If you like romance, you may like this book. She’s one of the good ones.
I promise I don’t get a cut of the sale if you decide to buy the book, I just think that friends spread the word about friends books.
It’s how the indie world goes round.