Wednesday, September 3, 2014

#IWSG Are you Afraid?

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Welcome back, my favorite IWSG palz! I am a bit nervous about posting anything about this because I'm not sure if it's in bad taste, but here it goes...

Once upon a time, before Darkspell released and while I was still working on it, I was suddenly hit with a severe case of writers block. So I decided to focus on others and reached out and started helping more than usual during my downtime. I reviewed, beta read, alpha read, critiqued, blogged, guest posted, helped spotlight others, etc. Finally, after a few months, my Muse awoke from his hibernation and I finally finished off my book. Yay!

I then submitted my book and my publisher advised me to find myself some endorsers. So I backtracked and asked those whom I helped and many of them were willing! There was one author in particular who felt it necessary to lecture me. He said that I don't just ask people to endorse my book, but there needs to be a history between us of helping out. I thought, "That's what I'd been doing these past few months, was helping out others like crazy." Needless to say, he made me feel bad.

I noticed over the years people are hesitant at endorsing books (I understand you need to feel comfortable endorsing any book and that's something any author should allow), and since there is never a workshop at Writers Conferences on how to gain an endorser, I am somewhat at a loss on how to actually obtain them.

update:
Author Deirdra Eden feels the same. She says "IT is SOOOO hard to get endorsements. Authors for the most part are really hard on each other and act like they are competition. The thing is, books are a consumable. Think about that. I talked to a kid who read my book in half a day and I was like ...'Okay it took me 16 years to write.' If authors got this, they would rally around each other as allies and not enemies. I sent out like 100 requests to authors and only 5 came back and said yes and some wanted strings attached. pathetic. 

So I decided I was going to get moms and dads and kids and teachers to endorse my book. I found those endorsements to be WAY more powerful than endorsements from famous authors."


What is your process in requesting endorsements? Are you afraid to endorse another author? Do you feel threatened?

26 comments:

  1. My romance publisher doesn't do the endorsement thing but for my other books, I was lucky enough to have personal acquaintance with a few published fantasy authors. I agree it's a very difficult thing to ask for. Often the names you'd like to have on your book don't have time to read it.

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    1. I understand the time element. People have their priorities. One author I requested went on to endorse another author shortly after I had asked, when she had told me she was way too busy. Needless to say, I felt unloved. ;)

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  2. Well, that wasn't very nice. Isn't the point of networking that we can help each other out? I volunteer for cover reveals and blog tours all the time because I want to help my fellow writers, and I hope that when the time finally comes, they'll want to help me, too.

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    1. Sarah, that is my motto, too. I've been on the other side where I've had to struggle on my own and so I make it a point to help others so that they wouldn't have to. You're awesome that way!

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  3. What a meanie. Did you send him back a sincere apology letting him know you thought you had networked with him and developed a relationship. What an awkward thing to have to do anyway.

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    1. I did apologize, and we connected pretty well face-to-face at conferences. I honestly thought he was a good friend. Yes, it was pretty awkward. It usually is when asking for help. What's also disheartening is when someone says yes, and they never get back with you after you've sent your book. What do we do then? O.o

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  4. Other bloggers and posters are my rivals, I guess? Everybody out there is better than me, which is fine because I can learn from the ones willing to teach. The ones who want to keep knowledge to themselves, well fine, I don't need them. But, if I don't push myself to be better than other writers, then my work will get stale. But, teaching others and reaching out to others makes me have to thing about what I'm doing and gives me new insight into what I'm doing. Good post, gave me a lot to think about.

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    1. Hi, Samuel! From experience as a writer and teacher, reaching out *does* give us better insight and deeper wisdom. You're awesome for doing that!

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  5. Though it's always nice to have big-name authors endorsing your book, these are precisely the hardest to get. Now, if I'm going to be enduring this kind of ass-ery for a writer who is, at best, equally known as me, well, hell to the no! Thankfully for me, my publisher is the one handling the endearments (since he knows a hell of a lot more people than me); still I think the average Joe's opinion can do more to sell your book than a half-unknown author.It is after all word of mouth that will help sell a book.

    Now, all that said, I try to be there for fellow writers as much as I can. If asked to endorse someone, I'll first say that I'm close to unknown, but if they still want it, I'll offer to read the book and write an honest review that the author can later use for endorsement if they feel like. I've gone so far as to organize events on Facebook to promote their book because I liked it so much. So, in short, yes. We should be there to support each other and not to lecture anyone. I hope you will find more of the nice kind of authors in the future!

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    1. Georgina, I like people like you. We are a rare lot, those of us who are willing to reach out and help others succeed. <3

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  6. Afraid I don't have any good advice on this. All you can do is ask in a nice way & see who comes through.

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    1. Though it is a real challenge, it is worth it! <3

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  7. Wow, what a response from that guy!
    I'm honored when someone asks me. Unless it's a genre I just don't read, I try to comply. (Or I get so far and know I can't endorse it.)
    Asking can be scary, but after three books, I don't fear it as much anymore.

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    1. It does get some getting used to, doesn't it? I also ask for the blurb and genre. For the most part, I endorse whomever asks me, but I won't endorse erotica! :P

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  8. I've not tried to get endorsements. The best ones are from my fans. It makes my day whenever a reader takes the time to write to me.

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  9. (If this posts 3 different times, I apologize. It wouldn't work the first few times).
    One thing that concerns me is reviewing a friends book. If people know that I am friends with that author, I'm worried they will think I am hyping up the book or giving it a 4 star review because we are friends. I have reviewed a few short stories on NetGalley via a publishers request. I found I could not get through them and let her know. She was grateful I said something before going out and doing a negative review. With endorsing, wouldn't the endorser have to have read the book and liked it to write a comment about it? Or, am I completely wrong about how it works? So, I would just hope that the person who likes it, writes something nice for everyone else to read!

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    1. Heather, yes, the person who writes the endorsement would have to like your book. That's why I usually provide the synopsis (minus spoilers) along with genre in my endorsement query. That way, there's no if in the equation.

      It doesn't bother me if someone started reading the book and tells me that it wasn't their cup of tea, that they'd decline the request. That's perfectly fine, too. Does that make sense? :)

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  10. Hi, Elizabeth,
    It's sad that you had to experience something like that. I like the idea of endorsements from genuine readers - especially kids. I agree with you that were are not competing against each other, or more to the point we shouldn't be.

    I got endorsements for one of my books from authors who had read my work on a writing network where I was a member. They did it because they were familiar with my writing and had enjoyed the book in question. I think it's sad that a writer would attach strings to a request like that, knowing how hard it is for us to find our audience and get our work recognized. Not sure if your blog ate my message.

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    1. Nope, got your message! It is a wonderful thing to gain endorsements from those who are already familiar with your book. That's why I like some book forums. Whenever someone raves about a story in the comments, I privately ask them if I could use that. :)

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  11. Thank you for writing this! The timing couldn't be better. I am in the process of finding endorsements and reviewers for my debut novel and it is not easy.

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    1. I am happy I have, though I felt a bit unsure because it's something that people don't like talking about. In fact, I've never heard the topic raised before and I feel it is very important because it *is* important in the publishing world!

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  12. It's a tricky issue. We all have different tastes. It's hard to find your readers. It's equally hard to find other writers (preferably more famous than you're) to like your book enough to endorse it. Unless you're super famous, of course, or lucky to have a big publisher. They do it in-house between their authors, a trade of names. A endorses B, and B endorses A. For the rest of us - we either manage without or find friends, I suppose.
    Do you find that endorsements help you sell more books?

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    1. Being from a small publisher, I honestly cannot know if it does help sell more books. That's an *excellent* question, though! It may because as a reader, I *do* look at those.
      I just asked my teenagers if they do, and they said yes--it even sways their decisions as well.

      How about you? Do you read those?

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  13. Interesting Elizabeth. I always wondered where authors got endorsements from. I'm sorry you have had such strange experiences with the process. I thought endorsements only came from hot shot authors. Everyone's experience will be different.

    The blogosphere is definitely a reciprocal platform, yet it seems you'd been giving out as well as asking for help. I'd be happy to endorse any book I enjoyed reading.

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    1. I love blogging--everyone here is very responsive compared to any social platform I've touched. <3

      Thank you, Denise, I'll keep you in mind!

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