Of Writers and Prose: Are authors obliged to other authors?


Of Writers and Prose: Are authors obliged to other authors?

I’ve seen a lot of articles lately on the perils of cheap ebooks and how they devalue an indie author’s work. I disagree, but that’s a discussion for another day. What many of these articles tend to overlook is the reason why. Why would an author, new or established, price their book so low? There are many reasons; but the primary is; TO BE SEEN.

There is an abundance of books out there. No, I’m not calling it a glut. More books, more choices. With so many choices it’s never been a better time to be a reader, but it’s never been a better time to be a writer because we have more control over our careers, and whether or not we like it, promotion is a big part of it. That’s where the low price comes in. It’s that simple.

Let me get a controversial for a moment. What if price wasn’t the problem? What if low priced ebooks were banned? Then what? What marketing tactic would we use? What about help from other authors? I can hear you now, “But we already do!” No. Some of us do, others are stuck in the ‘LOOK AT ME! BUY MY BOOK!’ merry-go-round. What if being an Indie author was more about community than about control? What if our goal was more about promoting one another than ourselves? Don’t get me wrong, nothing wrong with promoting yourself, you have to, but if I promote authors who aren’t in my genre, I’m expanding their reach and my own.

I don’t know one reader who reads ONLY one genre. Don’t believe me, go check out book bloggers lists of what they accept. I can guarantee you will NOT see just one type of book. Readers like a variety so why not give your followers/friends/etc. who read, a broader palette of choices?

Aaaand…here’s the rub; we’re not obliged to other authors. We don’t have to do anything. I don’t have to promote authors on my blog. I don’t have to let them post an excerpt of their book, or reveal their new cover or host a stop on their blog tour. I don’t have to do any of it, but I do because the people who follow me, who are my friends WHO READ, they like a good story in any genre, and I wouldn’t be much of a friend, or a member of a wonderful community like Indie authors, if I didn’t try to help out as much as I could.

Maybe the problem isn’t cheap ebooks. Maybe it’s the way authors have cheapened their relationship to other authors that’s the problem.


About Darke Conteur
Darke Conteur is a writer at the mercy of her Muse. The author of stories in several genres, she prefers to create within the realms Science Fiction and Dark Fantasy. A pagan at heart, her personal goal it to find her balance within nature; exploring the dark through her stories and the light through her beliefs. When not writing or working with crystals, she enjoys knitting, gardening, cooking and very loud music.

4 Responses to Of Writers and Prose: Are authors obliged to other authors?

  1. I don’t know. So many of the authors I know actively promote other authors, Maybe it’s just the social circles I travel in.

    I decided long ago to concentrate on what’s of interest to my readers. Social media seems so saturated with one release or another it’s got to sound like noise to the average reader. Better to pull back and post with what will involve the reader. I’m not opposed to helping authors and will promote them if I think my readership will be interested, but my first responsibility are to the people who read my blog faithfully. Empathy with balance,

    • You’re probably like me, Maria, and block all the authors who constantly spam. Knowing your readership is good, but it’s nice to step out of the box (so to speak) every now and then, both with reading and writing. You never know what you’ll find or like. 🙂

  2. I heartily agree with you, Darke, and if only it could be. I’m sure there are “communities of indie writers” out there (Goodreads comes to mind) but they all seem so impersonal. I suspect that most indie writers are wary of other writers (at least those in the same genre) because: (a) they are the competition, (b) they are afraid of comparisons, (c) they don’t want to give away story ideas, or (d) all of the foregoing.

    But having said all that, I’d love to be part of any program that does what you suggest. If you know of one, let me know.

    • I wish there were an easy way, Richard. Facebook groups are the same way, but I did find one, but there’s no promotion allowed. That’s fine with me. I’ve met some wonderful authors and I promote their work when I see it up. I think writers need to connect to one another, and not just assume things will get a signal boost.

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