I had never thought of literary citizenship as a “thing” before, until my friend Andi Cumbo-Floyd mentioned it on her Facebook page for her small business called Andilit a couple of months ago. For some reason today, it’s been floating in the back of my head as something to write about.
What does it mean to be a good “literary citizen?” I’ve honestly made more of a conscious effort this year to be aware of other writers’ efforts. It’s a little easier because I’m a reader, and if something interests me, I will eventually get around to wanting to read it. Even if I’m backed up at the time with several books I’m trying to read, I’ll put them on hold to review an advance copy in time to get it up on launch day or as soon after as possible. I may not buy it right away, but I will do my best to buy a book within my budget as soon as I can. Launch teams are fun, and it’s exciting to be part of the effort of telling more people about the books I love.
There was a time that I was unsure about indie authors, and I’m ashamed of that now. I’ve read so many books–fiction and nonfiction–that would readily fit on the bookshelves next to “famous authors.” I mentioned Andi Cumbo-Floyd above, and I will forever be grateful to Elora Ramirez for the impact she has had on who I am as a writer and a reader. I actually reviewed Andi’s Discover Your Writing Self: 31 Days to Deeper Understanding of Who You Are as a Writer for this blog, and I just realized I don’t think I ever did review Elora’s Indie Confidence for either blog.
So I have some work to do. I’m not complaining about the opportunity to read Indie Confidence again!
This is my contribution to the authors who are building their reputations. They need our support. It is reciprocal. You’re part of the community, so you give when you receive. You can learn from those you support how to be a better writer yourself. That can’t be a bad thing, can it?
This is a more professional, Writer’s Digest take on literary citizenship.