January 23, 2018

Plug Thy Neighbor

 by Gary Fearon, Creative Director, Southern Writers Magazine

If the golden rule of writing is to do unto other writers as you would have them do unto you, that's a pretty easy assignment.  It could be summed up thusly: good will, good wishes, and a good plug.

The majority of authors are expected to do most, if not all, of their own publicity.  So it's a helpful shot in the arm when a fellow author offers their endorsement. When someone says, "So-and-so's new mystery is a page-turner I stayed up all last night to read," that's a convincing testimonial.

We all spend time propping up our platforms, building our branding, and staying savvy with social media.  We sometimes forget how easy it is and how good it can feel to use these same resources to promote others.

Every time we post a positive comment on someone's blog, we're not only increasing our own Klout ranking (that is, our online "social impact score") but we're helping that author increase theirs as well.  On social networking platforms like Twitter and Facebook, sharing the posts of others offers that same benefit to both parties.

Simply "liking" a comment supports others through our endorsement, too.  When scanning both Twitter and Facebook, it's gratifying to be reminded of how readily authors congratulate each other on their every victory, from a new release to a word count commitment realized.

Our own websites can be a medium for marketing our pen mates.  Since one of my passions is songwriting, my site ( has a page where I ask songwriters about their music and post the videos of the songs they discuss.  Because we all share a love of writing songs, it's a good fit for my site.

Other authors, like our editor Susan Reichert, promote others via a blog format.  Since 2014 Susan has posted over 60 interviews with writers at her website

And, of course, blogs like the very one you're reading combine regular contributors and guest posters in a collaborative effort in which everyone shares some of the spotlight, resulting in a variety of valuable information which we all benefit from.

I'd be remiss if I didn't thank you for the comments you leave here on Suite T, as well as the positive plugs you give Southern Writers elsewhere.  Not a week goes by that the magazine doesn't get an email from someone who heard good things about us from another author. Word of mouth is as effective as any of the above methods, and is perhaps the most honest and spontaneous of all.

"It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed," said Napoleon Hill.  Enjoy propping up your publishing pals and reaping the rewards of this literal (and literary) truth.

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