Competing and Collaborating Between Authors

Avoiding competition as an author is impossible. As soon as you release a book, you’re up against your friends for sales and notoriety. 

Competition among authors is just a part of publishing, but that doesn’t mean we’re all out to get each other. At least, it shouldn’t. 
The writing community is a tight knit group. As we work on projects we ask each other for advice, critiques, and ideas. We help each other with everything from plots to back cover blurbs and pitches. We collaborate on just about everything, and most are eager to offer advice and help. We’re excited for each other when we land an agent or publisher, or when we take the leap into self-publishing. 
How does that change once our books go live? 
In a perfect world, it wouldn’t change anything. We’d still be thrilled to see one of our friends succeed, even if it means they’re doing better than we are. Lots of writers are still extremely supportive of their fellow writers and will lend a hand whenever it’s needed. Some aren’t, and that’s their loss. 
But even for the writers who maintain their excitement for their friends’ success, sometimes it’s tough not to worry that their success will lessen ours, or even be a bit jealous when their rankings jump ahead of ours. We’re human after all. 
The fact is… we’re all on the same team. Yes, it might be difficult to swallow when you’re still working to get your name out there when a friend seems to skyrocket to stardom out of nowhere. You’re looking at it from the point of view of competition, not collaboration. 
Just like when your writer friends encouraged you to keep writing or query that dream agent, every book they sell encourages people to read. If they’re writing in the same genre as you, even better! Readers who love their books will want more. Don’t hesitate to support the authors you’re competing against. Most authors return the favor, but even if they don’t, you’re still promoting reading and literacy and that is ultimately to your benefit, and everyone else’s. Every book sold, whether yours or not, builds a love for reading. That’s the point, right? 

I’d love your thoughts. Do you think competition derails efforts at collaborating? 

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DelSheree Gladden was one of those shy, quiet kids who spent more time reading than talking. Literally. She didn't speak a single word for the first three months of preschool. Her fascination with reading led to many hours spent in the library and bookstores, and eventually to writing. She wrote her first novel when she was sixteen years old, but spent ten years rewriting it before having it published. Native to New Mexico, DelSheree and her family spent several years in Colorado for college and work before moving back home to be near family. When not writing novels, you can find DelSheree reading, painting, sewing, and working with other authors. DelSheree has several bestselling young adult series and has hit the USA Today Bestseller list twice as part of box sets. DelSheree also has contemporary romance, cozy mystery, and paranormal new adult series. Her writing is as varied as her reading interests.

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