Welcome to Ravenna’s Monday Mumblings!
Long post title, I know. But it finally came to me how to frame what I want to say, so I’m going with it.
In the USA, we have Kindergarten. Generally, you’re five or six years old when you go through this transition to “real” school. When I was a kid, we didn’t have pre-school like they do now. This was our first taste of being inside a school building for half a day. These days, kids may sometimes go to all-day Kindergarten, but when I attended, it was half days. Afternoons for the first semester, and mornings for the second.
Even with the addition of pre-school, the concepts taught in Kindergarten are still basically the same as they were fifty years ago, when I was there. As I was trying to figure out this post, it came to me that those concepts apply to the publishing industry. So you see, what we all learned back then really does apply to the rest of our lives.
1. SHARE YOUR STUFF
Not your copyrighted work, of course. But your knowledge of the craft, your experience in the industry, and your experiences within a particular publishing house are all things you can share with new authors, or with those joining the ranks at your publisher. Simple and easy to do. Causes you no pain whatsoever, and takes less time than posting political rants on Facebook.
2. PLAY NICE WITH OTHERS
I’ve already posted enough on this subject, as have all the other authors on this blog. You know what it means, so just do it. No fighting with other authors in public, no organizing your readers into gangs of thugs that go after authors you see as competition, or who go after readers who don’t fawn all over you.
We each have a private face and a public one. But take care that you’re not using your public face to ensure others see you as a supportive and caring person, while in private you’re nasty to other authors. Remember in grade school when you told a secret to a select person or group of friends, only to feel utterly betrayed when one of them ratted you out? Yeah. That still happens as adults. So if you do insist on playing the supportive, encouraging author in public, but are the opposite to one or more of those authors in private, be certain you haven’t chosen someone who will expose your lie one day. Because if they decide to, all your credibility will be shot to hell.
3. USE YOUR INDOOR VOICE
This goes along with number 2, in that I mean there’s no need to shout your way to the front of the line, or to the top of the lists, or over everyone else when there’s a discussion going on in an author group, or on social media. You’ll be heard regardless. And sometimes a softly-spoken, well-placed phrase cuts through the noise like no amount of yelling will ever do. You don’t need to shout to be heard by the masses. You only need to say the right things.
4. TAKE TURNS
It’s awesome when a publisher spends time and money promoting their authors. Evernight Publishing does a fantastic job with this – much more so than any other digital publisher of their size out there, from what I’ve seen. But no publisher can do it for every author, every single time.
If it’s not your turn this time, suck it up, buttercup, especially if you’ve already had plenty of turns yourself. There could be reasons for the promo you know nothing about. If it really upsets you, you should speak directly with your publisher, not give the author a hard time about it. And if you do insist on keeping score, begin with the times you received extra attention but no one else did. That will help you put everything in perspective.
5. SAY PLEASE AND THANK YOU
This one speaks for itself. A simple thank you when someone pimps your release or takes the time to read something for you can go a long way. And again, it’s painless and takes no time at all to do.
Until next week, Happy Writing!!