People always like to say “It’s not WHAT you know but WHO you know.” This statement is true on so many levels. You see it on a daily basis. The kid with the influential father who lands that job that you are more qualified for. The election that went in favor of the most popular candidate not the one best suited for the position. The guy down the street who paid less for his car because he knows the owner and you don’t. Need I go on?
It’s the way the world runs. Right or wrong, knowing people and building lasting relationships is key to succeeding. So is loyalty.
Today I get to talk about a company and founder that I not only deeply respect but have a personal working relationship with: Smashwords. Nearly two years ago a man named Mark Coker reached out to me about my paranormal book, Forbidden and offered to do a promo. I’ll admit at first I was a skeptic. I’d tried Smashwords before and, like most people, just didn’t give it a fair amount of time to really catch on. That was my fault, not theirs.
So when Mark approached me I was blown away. The fact that he even knew about me and my books was overwhelming in my mind. Then to add on top that that he was offering me help just made my entire year.
Blast forward two years and you will find me a loyal promoter of Smashwords. Why? Because I got to know the man who runs it. I’ve watched countless videos that he has made teaching marketing without charging anything for his time and efforts. I have emailed him at all hours of the night with “help me” pleas to which he always responds with patience and insight that I value. I have worked alongside him at our book convention, Penned Con and watched his eagerness to help.
Through my working relationship with Smashwords my career moved in ways I never dreamed possible and for that I am deeply grateful. But the thing I admire the most about Smashwords as a company is their willingness and drive to help indie authors. They work hard to teach authors how to succeed across all platforms to reach far and wide. To gain new readers. They are always working behind the scenes on new projects that will benefit indie authors. They partner with amazing companies for our benefit.
Just recently Smashwords partnered with Wattpad to promote 72 of their authors. I am one of these authors. Read the article here to see what other authors were featured and how this can benefit you as a reader on the hunt for new books. As an indie author any exposure is a good thing, but this…this is a huge opportunity.
So, does having good friends help in this industry? You betcha! But you need to pick the right ones. Look for people who hold the same work ethics and values that you do. Search for individuals whose goals are near to your own.
Maybe you want to expand out from self-publishing and sign on with a small press. As with all things in life, there are those out there who are stellar publishing houses and others that you should steer clear of. Do your homework. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Learn all that you can. And when you find that special friend in the industry stick with them. Remain loyal. Tell others about your positive experience so that everyone can benefit.
The writing and publishing world is a hard place to be. Having author friends whom you can trust is crucial. Creating a beta reading group that you have complete faith in is the lifeblood of your writing. Having industry professionals on your side and at your back is what will help you to succeed.
Can you go it alone and do well? Sure. But why struggle so hard when you can build a solid foundation under you that will help you for years to come?
“Writing is done alone but publishing is never a solitary endeavor” – Amy Miles