Every Friday, on the Valley of Writers’ Instagram feed, we post a tip on how writers can support other writers. We call this initiative “#UpliftFridays” as a call to writers to set aside some time every Friday to uplift a fellow author.
Our belief is that as writers, we best model to the world what support for our work looks like, beyond buying books and writing reviews.
Here are some of the top tips we have shared.
Never admire in silence
When you like something, say it. As someone once said, “Never admire in silence.” Just as haters are happy to let their angst be known, as supporters we should be just as generous with our expression of admiration for our favorite authors; the ones who inspire us, move us, make us want to be better writers. Your words are rocket fuel. Never admire in silence.
Join another writer’s book launch team
A book launch team helps writers get their book into the world by providing reviews and amplification of the message about when the book is coming out. As a writer, you realize that hearing about your book from others is a great morale booster. Give another writer this gift.
Share what you know
Share the lessons you learn on your journey to becoming a writer with others. How did you overcome the voices in your head telling you that you couldn’t do it? How did you find an agent? How did you get your book on Amazon? Remember that things that seem obvious to you now, were once shrouded in mystery.
You can share via blog posts, social media, or workshops. You may even lend someone a book you have found useful in your writing. Share your favorite writing blogs, magazines, podcasts. This will help another writer and help spread the word about useful resources.
You could host informal chats with other writers online and simply talk about your journey, answer questions, and share resources. You could also make yourself available for talks at libraries.
You could also propose panels for conferences to talk about your particular genre or experience.
Subscribe to another writer’s mailing list
This is a great way to show some love. But don’t only subscribe. When the respective writer sends you an email, respond whenever you can with comments about the mailing or other work the writer is doing.
Attend another author’s virtual event
Make a special effort to support other writers by attending their virtual events. It may be a book launch, special author talk, etc. In recent years, virtual events have taken off and while they are not as good as the real thing, they make it possible to be in the same space as others in other cities or countries. Take advantage of this for your own development and growth, and use it as a way to lend your support to other writers.
Like, save and share
Find all the social media profiles of an author whose work you like; one who is not very famous, and show your support. Every time you like, save, or share a post, you are sending ‘social signals’ to the algorithm that this profile has content worth looking at and thus helping it to get more exposure.
Buy directly from the writer
Some writers, especially of self-published titles, sell books directly from their own websites. Buy directly from the writer whenever possible. When a writer sells books on Amazon or another online platform and gives the option to buy books from their author website, the latter option lets them keep more of the cover price as they are not sharing it with a retailer.
Linking is love
Whenever you mention a writer or a book online, provide a link to the author website or to the book. When you link to another site, whether from your own blog or from social media, you are again sending a signal, this time to search engines, that you value the content you are linking to and thus helping to give it a rankings boost. Your link is, in effect, your vote.
Like the book? Take a photo of it and post it on your social media, tag the author, and share what you loved about it. This sort of ‘social proof’ helps other readers make decisions on their next read.
You are the crowd
Many authors have Patreon accounts or other crowdfunding projects that can supplement their monthly income and allow them to focus on creating rather than paying the bills. Some authors’ websites also include PayPal or Venmo links, allowing you to simply send them a few extra “thank you” dollars.
A lot of writers will give you something in return for your regular support; an autographed copy of a book, a mug, t-shirt, or access to an intimate Zoom session with them and other supporters.
You are the crowd. Fund.
Recommend that your local library buys books by authors you love
Yes, you can do this! Each library system has its way for requesting new books. So, check with your library’s website or your librarian for their procedures. This can lead to them buying several copies of your favorite author’s books and can open up new opportunities like having the library host a reading, a workshop, or other event for that author.