Before I was a published author, I came across many posts from writers revealing how much it hurt that their family and friends didn’t support them.
These posts invariably received responses like, “Well, just because they’re our friends doesn’t mean they have to support us,” or “Our friends aren’t required to like everything we do.”
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that a friend is someone who supports what we do.
If you write eight or more books per year, or you’re a writer with dozens of close writer friends, or you’ve achieved Stephen King levels, then it might not be possible for your friends to support everything you do–or for you to buy the books of every writer you know. But the ones whom you consider good friends, whom you regularly chat with online or whom you’ve actually spent time with in person? Of course you should buy their books if it’s at all in your power to do so. And if not, ask if you can get a mobi or PDF in exchange for a review.
You know what isn’t an excuse for not supporting your writer friends?
“I don’t like (insert genre here)” or “I don’t read books about (insert subject here)” or “I don’t read.”
I used to think I didn’t like fantasy or romance. But I have friends who write in those genres, so I bought their books. And you know what? It turns out I like those genres a lot more than I thought I did. Supporting my friends exposed me to something new. Not to mention it’s really cool to own a book written by a friend! It’s like a behind-the-scenes glimpse into their warped and twisted minds. Often just the fact that you love the person who wrote it will make you enjoy a book more than you otherwise would.
To me, people saying they can’t buy your book is akin to saying, “Sorry, I’d love to come to your wedding, but I don’t like weddings.” Or, “I’d love to help your child win that competition, but I don’t have children myself, so I can’t get involved.” Or, “I’m not really into live theatre–or plays about (fill in subject here), so I’m not going to see yours.”
Friends support friends. It’s what they do. There are tons of people out there who will diss everything a writer attempts – the people who are closest to us should be our safe haven.
I assume almost everyone who reads this blog has purchased tickets for plays and concerts that didn’t interest them; bought friends’ CDs; gone to weddings, anniversaries, christenings, and showers (and bought gifts for those events) when they had other things they could be doing; attended events, donated to charities, helped people move, babysat for friends and neighbours and did a myriad of other good deeds with no thought of receiving anything in return.
Well, you’re too polite to say it so I’ll say it for you. Those people should buy your damn book!
And if they really can’t stomach reading it, they should buy it anyway. At least your early endeavours. The 99 cents to twenty bucks it might cost them is pretty cheap compared to how good it makes the writer feel.
Want to give a writer an awesome present this holiday season? Buy their book – and for bonus points, review it.
They’ll never forget it, and the good karma you’ll receive in return is the gift that keeps on giving.
Writers are sensitive creatures. We may not say anything if you don’t buy our book–in fact, we probably won’t–but trust me:
Do your friends and family support you? Have you ever been hurt by a friend who doesn’t? One place I have received tremendous support that I never expected is my blogger friends from the IWSG! Thanks so much to all of you who’ve bought my book. It was unexpected, it means the world to me, and I’ll never forget it.
The Insecure Writer’s Support Group’s purpose is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!