Other Authors – Friend or Competition?

Are you in direct competition with other writers? Or do you prefer to be friends with them? Is there a benefit to both? This is something some authors have trouble with. One way can make things go smoothly, while the other can create bad blood.

I think it’s best to be friends with other authors. Sure, they may be competition, but it’s not that simple. You may compete for sales, but if you’re writing in the same genre, the same readers will buy both of your books. Isn’t it more mutually beneficial to support each other’s writing? If you share your friend’s books and they share yours, both of your sales should improve.  Isn’t that right?

But then, what if you’re sharing everyone’s writing, and all of your sales increase? Your Amazon rankings might not change. Well, I doubt that’ll happen, since you can’t share thousands of authors’ writing. But think about this, if you share another person’s writing, and they share yours, their readers will discover you. They will then talk about your books to other people, and they will also buy your books. Your sales increase.

Isn’t it better to be friends? I’ve seen so much fighting between authors on platforms such as Goodreads. They’re only hurting themselves, as they’re seen as vindictive and not worth supporting. Be friends, get along with your competition. They aren’t really competition after all. They may be your best marketing tool, and you theirs.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

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16 thoughts on “Other Authors – Friend or Competition?”

  1. I was just thinking about this this morning! I’ve been giving feedback on a couple of manuscripts recently in the same genre I’m writing in. There is a part of me that is naturally competitive, that wants to be the best, but the truth is there is room in the world for lots of voices and lots of stories. If we support other authors to be the best they can, and promote and encourage them I think we make the whole field stronger and that’s a good thing. On my crappy moments when I feel like what I’m doing isn’t good enough I think, well at least I’m trying to have a positive impact overall, and helping other writers who I admire and believe in. It’s just a better way to go, I think.

    1. My competitive nature wants to see my ranking increase, but I don’t feel directly competitive with other authors. I enjoy promoting others, and I usually get something in return. It’s all give and take.

  2. It is in human nature to compete even subconsciously, but you learn to realize that it serves no end and besides there is room for growth for everyone. It serves better to encourage, because as you do so, you learn and grow.

  3. I’ve been a professional writer for 35 years with 15 books to my credit and I’ve always supported other writers and most have always supported me. It works out well, builds good karma and networks, and opens up new markets. Leave competition to the insecure or amateurs.

    1. The networking aspect is very important. No need to antagonise people and destroy possible networking opportunities. The more people you network with, the better your chances are of marketing to a larger audience.

  4. I’m all for being friends, but I’m a sociable kind of gal anyway. Plus, we writers have a tough enough time as it is with trying to get published, sell books, etc., there’s just no point in contributing towards more stress.
    I’m not into those who feed off neg vibes, man… (oop, that;s my hippy streak surfacing ;)) And aside from anything else, I think creativity breeds more creativity – we should be drawing on that instead.

    1. I agree. One thing I enjoy doing (and I really should work on soon) is writing about the worldbuilding process. I’ve found that others have liked my advice and used it. And in the process, I made a new author friend.

      And I already have enough stress with dealing with immigration for my wife. Moving internationally is more stressful than dealing with publishing, I think.

  5. I definitely want to be friends with other poets! I learn so much from them. We also share submission opportunities. I am honored when I make it into the same publication as my poet-friends.

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