So… Why so competitive?
Sometimes in my old blog and in this new one, I’m going to talk and write about topics that might be more writer or reader related… and sometimes both at once. Maybe this is one of those topics… Who knows?!
So on competition- I see this a lot between traditionally published authors (trad pub) and self published authors (indie, small press of 1 etc.) and there is a lot of animosity and overall butt hurt being flung about lately. I have a secret to share with people… There is no competition, so be kind to each other! Our readers don’t care about author drama, in fact they kinda hate it. (I think).
No matter how fast I write (and I’m told I can write pretty quickly) it’s never fast enough. What takes me a month to draft and another 2-3 weeks of running it through my team’s processes takes a reader six to eight hours at tops, to consume it. They are hungry for more! Now, there are things writers can do to make publishing go quicker, smoother. Like having a couple of editors ready to do first pass, then someone available for second pass… a proofer on standby and then a cover designer ready to make their magnum opus yours. Beta readers inserted to where you need them in your process… you know what I mean right? This still isn’t fast enough for everybody.
Despite all of that… We can’t clone ourselves (though AI’s are coming close to writing books all on their own). So why view this as competition? It’s insane. Find other authors in your genre. Make contacts, become friends. If you like their books, share their books. Sometimes your readers will become their readers. Sometimes their readers will go.. hm… he writes those kind of books too, let me check them out… and sometimes the community as a whole gains cohesiveness that’s needed… because lets be honest with ourselves here; writing is a lonely and solitary job. I found this out by mistake, and now my readers are a blend of ones I cultivated and ones that other authors shared my books with and vice a versa.
I’ve heard from my readers that word of mouth is still the best way they hear about new books. I still think that the mailing list is the most potent tool in an author’s toolkit, but that’s because that’s something the author can control. Remember, this isn’t a competition! It’s supposed to be fun and entertaining!