Monday, November 26, 2012

A Little Help Required

Being an author is hard work, whether you are traditionally published or flying indie style, it takes energy and perseverance to get your work out there. Rather than blasting everyone with sale-sy tweets and Facebook comments, I really prefer for readers to hear about my work from other people. For some reason it seems to have more impact, don't you think?

That's why it's awesome if you can ask your fellow writers, bloggers and friends for a little help.

But how much help should you be asking for?

Knowing that everyone seems ridiculously busy, I tend to stick to small requests that will only take about 2 minutes of their time, like...

- voting for my books on Goodreads lists
- liking and tagging my books on Amazon
- sharing a Facebook post
- retweeting an important tweet for me

... stuff like that.

I've been trying to get Betwixt off the ground and have been e-mailing and messaging people with little requests for help and the other day, I suddenly felt really bad. Was I asking too much? Would I be putting people off by constantly requesting their help?

I guess it all comes down to this... I will never ask anyone to do something for me that I wouldn't be willing to do for them.

Sometimes it takes courage to ask, but I am always pleasantly surprised by how willing people are to help out.

What do you think about asking for help?
When does it become too much?


  1. It doesn't sound like you're asking too much, Melissa! I know I'm always happy help so you ccan always count on me :)

    1. Thanks, Suzy :) I know I can always count on you :) You're awesome.
      Same goes for me, by the way - I'm always happy to help!

  2. Hello. I came across your Time Spirit Trilogy while researching time travel romance books. The praise for your books is what appealed to me and I had to look you up! I am adding your trilogy to our extensive reading order lists at Paranormal Romance Reads and I am also going to "Spotlight" the first book, Golden Blood this Thursday for our Time Travel Thursday front page feature. Best of luck to you!
    ~ Mare
    Paranormal Romance Reads

    1. Wow! Thank you so much, Mare. You've just made my day!!! That is completely awesome. I will look you up now. I'm excited about Thursday already :)

  3. "I will never ask anyone to do something for me that I wouldn't be willing to do for them."

    Well said. I think this is the key. ;)

    Being organized and giving them the links and things that save them time helps, too. I don't mind posting something for/helping someone who makes it easy for me.

    1. I agree, Melissa. You want the job to be as quick and easy as possible :o)

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  6. I've had other authors contact me for collaborative marketing efforts, only to get weird when I follow up later. I think we need to be very clear and up front about what we need and what we have to offer. Finding the right fit is important. Having said that, I think it's very important that independent writers help each other, when willing. We just need to be extremely mature about all the boundaries and subtleties of what that means.

    1. Thanks so much for your thoughts. I always try to add an out clause to my e-mails and messages. Something along the lines of, "If you're not comfortable or you don't want to, it's no problem. I just thought I'd ask."

      I never want anyone to feel taken for granted. I SO appreciate how busy people are.

      Thanks for stopping by :)

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  8. I'm happy to help! Keep the requests coming, Melissa. Betwixt is next for me. I'm really looking forward to it :D All the best, my friend!

  9. You are so awesome, Laura. Thank you so much :)
    I hope you enjoyed Betwixt!!


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  13. I'm always here for you! :) I love your books!!

    1. You are gorgeous. Thank you so much, Carole :) xx

  14. It sounds like you are asking the right questions, and that tells me you are doing this exactly right. I have a hard time asking for help. But I also know that people like to help, and they like to give back. As long as a person asks for help in a way that is reasonable, no one ever feels like its too much and they are often happy to do so!

    I always help as I can. Sometimes I can't. Sometimes I won't, like if a person wants me to vote for their book in a contest and I haven't read it. I won't do that because it isn't fair to all the other books that might deserve to win, right?

    If I can help you, let me know. @ me on twitter if you need something tweeted. :)

    1. Thanks so much, Angela. That is very cool. I think you have a very valid point about voting for books you haven't read. I have done it before for authors I trust, but have felt a tiny hesitation.

      I like the idea of helping people out and so I do what I can.

      Thanks for your thoughts and your offer of help. You're awesome :)