by Kristi Belcamino
One of the challenges of being a newly published author is figuring out how to give back while still maintaining boundaries and protecting valuable writing and personal time.
Let me explain.
I was very lucky to have some writer friends give me blurbs before I had a book deal. I did have an agent, so maybe that helped, but in any case, this is rare. In both instances, these rock star authors offered the blurbs and their help in my publishing journey.
Later on, after I had a book deal, I was told to solicit blurbs, an awful process that our own Alex Segura has written about on this blog. He gives great tips on how to do it graciously and believe me, Alex knows how to be gracious in every situation. So much so, that he was the first author I *asked* to give my book a blurb. He is a class act. Thank you again, Alex.
Along with Alex, I've had many authors help me out on my publishing journey, but before they offered, or before I asked, there was always some type of previous relationship established, even if it was mostly, or entirely, through social media.
I've really been pondering how to pay it forward and yet maintain my boundaries as a published author. I'm hoping this post sparks some conversation about it with other writers, so please chime in if you have any thoughts.
In my case, here are some of the boundary issues, I've come across and the questions they raise:
Writer friends, what are your thoughts on:
* Offering blurbs to writers without agents or book deals
* Reading other writer's manuscripts and offering feedback
* Reviewing other writer's query letters
* Writing your agent or publishers about fellow writers?
* Offering advice on the query process
* Participating in/or writing for fundraising purposes
For most of these questions, my answer depends on two things - my relationship with the writer and the time I have available.
So, I guess the big question for my fellow writers is this: How do you maintain your boundaries as a writer? What do you say yes to? What do you say no to? Is there a way to say no graciously?