Several years ago an author acquaintance asked me to recommend him for the faculty of the next Myrtle Beach Conference. Because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, I told him two things.
1. The truth: that I didn’t have much impact on faculty selection.
2. What I thought was the truth: that want-to-be authors consider published authors to be the competition.
Perhaps I was under the misconception that a limited number of books would be published each year and that each time another person signed a book contract, my chances diminished. Or maybe, back then, I hadn’t met many published authors.
Since then several members of my SCWW chapter (including me) have published books. I have met many authors at SCWW conferences and at Fiction-Addiction book signings. Ten to twenty percent of my Facebook friends are authors.
What I have learned since then, especially from watching the Book Pregnant team in action, is that other authors are an author’s best supporters. They encourage each other, buy each other’s books, and promote other authors and their books.
The competition is not other authors, but is modern life with its myriad time-consuming distractions and instant gratifications. Why spend many hours reading a book when you can watch a movie in two hours, watch a TV comedy in a half-hour, spend a day playing video games or catching up with your 1000 Facebook friends.
Read. Write. Support your author friends. Recommend good books to others.