Wednesday, April 9, 2014

H = Helping Others Won't Hurt Your Own Sales


Some of my favorite people online are the ones who don’t shout about how great they are; they shout about how great others are. They use their own blogs to promote friends who have published books. They have others guest host on their blogs without being afraid of losing their followers to the guest host. They understand how it works.

People are more receptive to those who aren’t always tooting their own horn. Nothing makes others turn the other way faster than a person who never makes an appearance except when he’s selling something . . . even if that “something” happens to be himself. No interaction, no give-and-take conversation, just, “Buy this/I did this/look at this,” and then whoosh! He’s gone.

There are millions upon millions of readers in this world. Their tastes vary. Just because I’ve read Robert Heinlein doesn’t mean there’s no room on my shelf for Isaac Asimov. I like Dickens, but that doesn’t mean Stephen King is losing my business. Diana Gabaldon is one of my favorite authors, but that doesn’t mean I’ve sworn off all others until death do us part. Well . . . maybe that’s pushing it. She’s a tough one to top.


Bottom line: there are enough buyers for everyone. If you don’t help others, there’s no guarantee of extra sales in it for you. If you do help others, then at the very least you’ll have a pretty good feeling of satisfaction that will last far beyond the next book sale.

50 comments:

  1. I know! It seems like a no-brainer but I've seen some writers who treat everyone else as competition. It doesn't make any sense at all. Fortunately, I've met many, many writers online who think the more the merrier, book-wise.

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    1. Those are my favorite writers, in fact: the ones who lift each other up on a regular basis. Most people buy books based on the blurb. I buy them based on how nice the author is.

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  2. I'm hopeless at promotion. I can talk about my quilts because I'm not trying to sell them, but try to get me to talk about my writing ...
    Writers are diverse with different genres and styles that it is ludicrous to think of others as competition.

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    1. You're in good company, Fanny. Most of the authors I know dread the marketing end of things.

      Yes, the idea of "competition" is ludicrous when you think of how many readers there are in the big, wide world.

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  3. I like your theme posts and find the content both interesting and accurate. Will be back to do more reading. I'm an AtoZer @ http://www.writer-way.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks for the visit and the comment, Michelle! I hope you're enjoying your A to Z journey.

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  4. I love helping out my writing friends with their books. It's also a lot easier than talking about my own book.

    ~Patricia Lynne~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, YA Author

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    1. I would rather help a friend than talk about myself all the time.

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  5. But...I have a really cool horn to toot! The horn consists of...devilish things? Okay, I'm not sure where I'm going with this [I need coffee- too many Thursdays with no Coffee Chat (only one so far, I know) its getting to me] Anyway...

    It's not a competition. The beauty about readers is that they love to read books upon books upon books and it doesn't matter if its the same genre or very different genre or a new made up genre, if they want to read it they will. Helping promote others is the best we can do. We're all part of this and we all understand how difficult marketing is, not to mention how expensive it can become.

    I help you, you help me. And if you don't help me back well, then I'm better than you and I still feel good lol

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    1. You have every right to feel superior. You're great about promoting others! We can both be better than everyone else. Um...at least the people who don't agree with us, that is.

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  6. I love people with eclectic tastes in books! Yay for you, Lynda. I don't think you own a horn, right? You seem to own some good common sense, though. :-)

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    1. Lee, I have a cowbell. It does tend to attract some attention, but I do the cowbell dance with it and everyone looks away immediately. That's pretty much how I point people toward others.

      A little unorthodox, but hey...

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  7. I agree with everyone who thinks that it's not a competition!

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    1. It shouldn't be. There are so many readers and so many books and so many tastes and...

      You get the idea.

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  8. I agree. Haiku is very difficult to write and edit. Great Post thanks for sharing LOL!!! Seriously, I do agree, when Indie writers begin to understand the power of forming a supportive community every reader gets better results.

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    1. Your blog content can be maximized with SEO and new video. Pleased to reading your comment and thanks for the visit.

      You are actually one of the "promote other people" people I had in mind when I wrote this. And I'm so glad you anticipated my wonderful haiku and love it ahead of time.

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  9. So true! And it's fun to help others, too!

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    1. It IS fun, Sherry. I love introducing people to others' work or products and seeing that new relationship form.

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  10. I think you're right- helping others can help yourself!

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  11. I totally agree with you. Very well said.

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    1. Oh, if only everyone agreed with me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

      I'm going to go and tell my kids I'm not always wrong. :)

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  12. Good beget good, bad begets bad. That's how I look at it. If you are generally a nice and optimistic person, you are that much more likely to succeed. Nice includes building friendships and stepping out of the spotlight so others can shine. It always comes back around. =)

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    1. Great point, Crystal! We really do get what we dish out, don't we? It makes me happy when others shine, and doesn't take anything away from my own shininess.

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  13. I love this straight talk, common sense post. Thank you!
    Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks for the visit as well as the comment! I love things that make sense, and promoting others is one of those things I feel strongly about.

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  14. Stephen King is awesome! Awesome post, I'll be back!

    Please visit my blog, www.thatgirlybookworm.blogspot.com

    I'm doing the A-Z Challenge and my theme focuses on books and the title of the letter of the day!

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    1. Stephen King thinks I'm pretty cool, too. We promote each other, really. ;)

      Popping over to your blog now.

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  15. Sing it, Sista! :) You're preaching to the choir, here. Great post!!

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    1. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

      *stepping back down off the dining room table.*

      Ahem...thank you.

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  16. This is a really, really great post. I completely agree with you. Authors that help others out are always my favorites.

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    1. This is how I've found the most recent of my favorite authors...I see them promoting others while never pushing their own books, and I think, "I like that. I'm going to check out their books."

      It's worked out every time.

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  17. What goes around comes around... Although fairly new to blogging and not yet published, I am beginning to see how this all works. I love that authors promote each other, and I hope to be able to do more in the future. I'm still trying to figure out how to "get in the loop", you might say.

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    1. Kristin, this really is the best way to get in the loop. Visit blogs, comment, reply on your own blog, and get to know people. Your name will already be familiar to them by the time you publish, and they'll know a little of your personality.

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  18. Hi human, Lynda,

    Now then, my human friend, this pawsting was near and dear to my doggy heart. My human and I have done what you note from the outset. What we cannot tolerate is the self-obsessed, those who would never lower themselves to interact, to encourage other writers. It's all about them and we find that very sad.

    Pawstivie wishes,

    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!

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    1. Just one more reason I like you both immensely.

      Hugs to you today, Penny and Gary!

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  19. You are absolutely right. I love promoting other people and helping them to get higher. In the end I know that postivity will come back around to me. And it does.

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    1. You're great about that, Nana! It makes visiting your blog an enjoyable experience.

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  20. I enjoy promoting books, especially for my blogger friends.

    Love,
    Janie

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  21. Every day I tweet or Google Plus about another person's book or blog. I suspect that my own icon gets a little bit of notice because I do this.

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    1. I think people get noticed more when they promote others as a general rule. It's a great habit you have, Stanley!

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  22. Great advice again, Lynda. It would be great, I think, if social media and more interaction online would involve give and take relationships rather than the usual: "Here's my book. Have you seen my book? Look, it's my book! Read it now!!" Ugh. I'm shying away from viewing my Twitter stream for this very reason. :(

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    1. You and I see things the same when it comes to Twitter. I feel like I'm in the middle of a carnival or an open-air market where everyone is shouting but not actually interacting.

      I prefer the blog relationships like these where I can get to know someone (as well as one can get to know another person online).

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  23. I love this advice! I agree - the most powerful way to connect is to share information and build relationships around what we all love: writing and books!! :)

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    1. Spot on! I have SO enjoyed the camaraderie and the support during this A to Z month, and love watching others build each other up while learning from each other's experiences.

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  24. Finding your audience is one of the toughest things for a new indie author...it's much easier to write a blog for other writers. That's part of the helping hand we extend to each other.

    Donna B. McNicol
    A to Z Participant

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    1. I agree, Donna. It's hard to put yourself out there without putting yourself out there.

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  25. I give my advice freely. On the other hand, I sell about a book a day, so I don't know it it's all that smart to take my advice...

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    1. I wonder if you'd make more by charging for the advice and giving the books away.

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I love comments, and will always answer them, partly because I like having the last word and partly because I just like getting to know the people who read my blog. (Note: if the post is more than a couple weeks old, your comment will automatically go into the "needs approval" folder, but I will still publish it and reply!)