Line in the Sand: How to Lose Support From Another Author

Intro, warning, whatever: this is a writerly rant concerning pushing promo onto others and directions on how to avoid pissing off other authors with your promo requests.

***

I strongly believe in supporting other authors, especially those in my genre(s)… to a point. Here are my personal requirements/standards:

(NOTE: I’m sharing these because we each have our own requirements, because yours is probably different than mine and that’s perfectly fine.)

  • The work in question needs to be a genre I read and/or write in
  • The work in question should adhere to the limits I set for myself (no gratuitous/ graphic sex or violence for the sake of violence)
  • No erotica (No apologies or explanation here. It’s simply not my thing.)
  • No highly political or faith-based works (faith/religion can be in the story but not the entire basis for the writing. I don’t wish to share your moral or warning tale. Take that elsewhere, please.)
  • The work should be ally LGBTQ+ in nature or, better yet, an LGBTQ+ work.
  • No romance. You can have romantic elements, but I do not promote the romance genre, particularly MM romance (the latter because the market is flooded with it so it doesn’t need my assistance in any way)

See? I’m actually pretty reasonable in this regard… again, to a point. But this week something has happened that pulls my chain. (and you’re right if you think this has been happening a lot as of late)

Someone has taken advantage of my kindness, and now I’m forced to put my foot down on the matter. I should’ve said no, but I didn’t and now I’m angry… but let’s backtrack a bit, shall we? Let’s look at my not so personal, common-sense requirements before we go further. Maybe other authors should think about things this way too, I don’t know, but I’m standing tough about this and will refer those who don’t respect my boundary back to this post along with a strong nope.

You could also call this how the how to avoid pissing off other authors part of this post.

  • Don’t ask me or any other small author to promo your work when you’re already sitting in the top ten rankings on Amazon. If you’re a bestselling author you obviously don’t need our help.
  • Don’t ask us to support you when we must pay to appear on your page/site/whatever.
  • Never ask us to support your work TWICE in the same week. This, in particular, is rude, bordering on bully behavior. (Once, twice a year, sure, but no more, please. It’s annoying AF.)
  • If you do ask another author (and I suggest you don’t), offer to return the favor in your request – and keep true to your offer.

Am I outraged by what happened? Yes, I really am because I would never-ever consider pulling such a stunt on another author. It’s pushy. It’s a high-pressure tactic. It’s using your position within the writing community to obtain free promo from someone.

It’s not simply business. It’s bad author behavior.

That said (and this is my line in the sand), if I promote your work on my website or on social media, it will be totally of my own accord. It will be because I wish to, not because you ask, not because you are insistent, not because you are a bestselling author or run a community/website I am part of.

*steps from soapbox*

P.S. While I generally like the person who prompted this post, they are temporarily blocked from messaging me on a social media platform until I cool my jets on this matter.


Raised hand photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash

No photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash