Welcome back to this week's edition of Tammy's Tidbits here at Writer's Words of Wisdom. Each week, the four of us share what's worked and what hasn't worked well for us during our journey to becoming published authors. Our stories vary as do our experiences, but that's what makes our group unique. What works for one, may not work for another but by sharing what we've learned, we help others determine their own course. It's a win-win situation for all involved!
This week I'd like to talk a bit about author support groups. There are many out there. Some are geared more toward specific genres and heat levels, while others welcome everyone and their work. Some focus more on specific aspects of the business such as Marketing for Romance Writers. Some focus on building your brand and connections such as MyWANA (We Are Not Alone) and to a lesser extent tweet teams.
No matter the group they all have one thing in common: rules for participation. These are the guidelines for all members to follow if they wish to participate in the group and be supported by the other members. They have rules for what can and cannot be posted in the groups and whether promotions are allowed at all. If the group is focused on marketing for example, they may only wish to talk about ideas and "how to" market your work, not receive nonstop BUY ME NOW spam.
One set of rules I'd like to focus on in particular are those concerning participation on tweet teams and the blog sharing site Triberr. When you join these groups you are expected to share ALL participating members posts whether it's tweets or blogs. This means you are NOT to pick and choose which posts you want to share and which you'll ignore because you or your followers don't like the subject material.
Unless the groups are set up to allow selective sharing when you participate, you can't do it. Not only is it rude, it's unfair that you expect your posts to be shared by all and you get to be exempt. These support/share teams are set up so all participants get their posts shared across the board and put in front of more potential readers/fans. If you break that chain, you not only screw your team members, you get labeled as an author behaving badly.
You know you don't want to be labeled AABB (another author behaving badly). We've talked about it many times before. You are in this business to build bridges, not burn them down. If you don't agree with the rules of a group, don't join it. Plain and simple. If you find you can't share posts for all members because you are personally offended by the subject matter, then quietly leave the group. You don't need to make a horrible scene as you leave. You don't have to explain yourself other than to say you don't feel you're a good fit. Leave it at that and keep on friendly terms with them. You never know when those connections will come in handy later.
To sum it all up: participation in author support groups, tweet teams and sites such as Triberr is not a one way street. If you're not prepared to RECIPROCATE, you need to VACATE your spot to someone who will.
Until next time,