Can Authors Benefit from Connecting with Other Authors?
by Joanne Troppello
According to statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay in 2018 for authors and writers was $62,170 per year or $29.89 per hour. As a freelance copywriter, I average $30 an hour or anywhere from $55-125 per article, depending on word count. I definitely have not achieved that high annual salary. The summary in the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook shared that the growth rate of jobs for authors and writers is at 8 percent since 2016 and projected through to 2026.
That outlook doesn’t look good. However, that’s because many authors don’t have jobs as authors. Many have full-time jobs in other fields and work on their books during their free time. Some, like me, work from home as a freelance copywriter.
One thing most authors have in common—unless you’re already a NY Times best-selling author—is that they can benefit from connecting with other authors.
No Man is an Island
In my writing career, I have come to realize the answer is definitely—beyond a doubt—yes! “No man is an island, entire of itself.” (John Donne) We need each other, and I’d like to share why.
The entire passage Donne wrote:
No man is an island, entire of itself every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls it tolls for thee.
I have been fortunate to find many new friendships online with great authors. I really appreciate this because I haven’t found any local author groups to attend, so finding communities of authors to network with and learn from and share encouraging words with has been—absolutely priceless!
It’s something that has kept me going when setbacks came in my career and I needed advice and a friend to lean on.
A few years ago, I started an online yahoo group called Authors and Readers of Romance. The purpose of this group is to provide an online setting where people—authors and readers—can connect and discuss books and accomplishments in their lives, offer advice and where readers can chat with authors. I am excited to see this group growing in members and if you’d like to join, please feel free to hop on over. We’d love to welcome you to our discussions.
Expanding My Online Platform
If I was against networking with other authors, I wouldn’t be moving forward and cultivating my online platform—as I’ve been doing the last three years.
I’ve written about this before—in order to achieve a healthy following for your blog, you need to provide interesting content. One way that I’ve accomplished that feat has been starting Mustard Seed Sentinel. I have over twenty regular columnists that write for the magazine. I host guest bloggers, writers, and authors. They can blog about various topics, complete an author interview, or have their book featured.
However, I haven’t forgotten about readers. I am always looking for readers who are interested in guest blogging or being interviewed in our Reader’s Corner. It’s my philosophy that readers are the lifeblood of authors. If no one purchases and reads your book, then you’re not earning anything, except a chance to do what you love to do—write and tell stories.
You can become a site member, for free, here at Mustard Seed Sentinel and connect with other readers in our Reader Chat Room. You can connect with our authors in the Meet The Authors chat room. We have a Learning Hub chat room where readers can participate in various learning type activities. The Open Pandora’s Box chat room is where conversation occurs to challenge readers to think outside the box.
Of course, as authors, we always need to work hard at promoting our work and branding our name. However, that doesn’t mean that we don’t need support along the way.
The author who wants to stay closed in and thinks he or she can only succeed by climbing over someone else, will never make it to the top. There will be exceptions to this idea—but generally speaking; it’s been stated most aptly in Ecclesiastes 4:9: “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.”
I truly believe that theory! When we work together, we have a greater chance of success. Yes, you will always be out for number one—yourself—however, you need to find a way to marry this philosophy into your marketing perspective.
Bring another author or two or three or four along with you as you climb the ladder of success. It will definitely be less lonely at the top if you’re not without author friends.
Social Media Networking
We really need each other. I have been on Twitter since 2010. I used an automated service, TweetAdder to automatically post tweets and follow and unfollow people. I wasn’t growing in my follower count for years.
The last few years, I stopped using the automated system. In the last six months, I started to engage more with people and post several times a day. I have seen my follower count grow from 2,500 to 12.5 K in just under four months.
The key was connecting with other bloggers, writers, and authors—as well as conservatives and Christians. I’ve been retweeting others. Engaging with them and they have reciprocated and share my content and links as well.
Don’t Go It Alone
You may not believe me and maybe you want to try it your own way and claw your way to the summit. I don’t believe you’ll be happy along the journey or when you look down and see the people that you trampled on, as you traipsed towards the pinnacle of success.
We work better together. Find critique partners—find friends who can lend a listening ear—find authors who’ve traveled the road ahead of you and ask them for advice—then don’t be afraid to return the favor and help someone else on their journey towards success. You won’t be sorry you did…you’ll only eventually be sorry if you didn’t!
About the Author
Joanne Troppello is a published author of 3 inspirational fiction novels and the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Mustard Seed Sentinel.
She has experience as a freelance writer in topics such as marketing, retail marketing, health and wellness, internet and media, travel and lifestyle, website content, app recommendations, and content for blogs.