Authors can Rally Around Great Books and Make Things Happen

About a month ago I read about something strange. A number of prominent authors were bringing attention to a single book. And it wasn’t written by any of them. Obviously I’m not under the impression that all authors are against one another, but this just seemed different. They were promoting a book entirely because they believed it to be one of those rare, great books that doesn’t come along too often. And things are happening because of it.

First, the book they were talking about was The Cartel by Don Winslow. The authors talking about it were Michael Connelly, Harlan Coben, Lee Child, and James Ellroy. I haven’t read all four, but I know them. Because I read crime fiction and those are names you have to know. But I’d never heard of Don Winslow before this book. The book became a New York Times bestseller and now has a movie deal in place.

I’m not going to say that it’s all because of what those four authors said about it, but when you’ve got a group that’s sold upwards of 100 million books talking about your book, there’s no greater promotion to be done.

The point is to say that everyone talks about how cutthroat the industry is and how impossible it is to break into publishing, but this group of crime writers has shown that it doesn’t have to be like that. That rallying around a book and its author is not such a bad thing after all.

What do you think of these bestselling authors bringing attention to Don Winslow and his book? I love it.

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32 thoughts on “Authors can Rally Around Great Books and Make Things Happen

  1. Stephen King said kind words about Clive Barker’s Books Of Blood when he was unknown and Barker credits King for launching him into the mainstream. I’d like to think that these stories of authors helping authors is more of the norm than we think.

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  2. It happens all the time. Blurb outreach is how publishers/publicists get the book out to the public. I interned in a small publishing out in NYC and helped reach out to authors for every book we published. Just look at the back of any book. They don’t seem personal, but they usually are.

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    • I’ve never seen four authors of this prominence do it on one book. I’ve even heard from at least one author (I think it was Sue Grafton?) who said she will never do it.

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  3. Agreed. That’s why I said ‘I’d like to think…’ I do know there is a lot of animosity between authors but hopefully this post and others like it can turn the tide. The publishing field is so tough right now that we could all use a little help and some generous comments from established authors.

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  4. Its nice to see things like this, I’d like to think that if I saw an incredible book (if I was a large author) I’d give it the attention it deserves because every author has been through a period where they were relatively unnoticed.

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  5. I think this is a wonderful gem of an example of writers/authors supporting others in their field. I feel like this should happen in every career field, but it so rarely does. I’m glad those authors boosted an up-and-coming author’s work. It shows their generosity in using their success for others’ success. Great post!

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  6. I think it’s great – and he’s one very fortunate author. I guess he deserves it for winning the New York Times thing though. I am finding that authors are very supportive of each other and I like that very much. We all do our bit in helping each other up those painful rungs of the ladder. Someone like me, who hasn’t even achieved the first rung, can be extremely heartened by the support and comments of other writers.

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  7. Question that springs to mind is how did Don Winslow come to the others’ attention? I don’t want to be cynical (watch me be cynical now!) but I guess these people are all in the business. I’m not saying the praise is insincere, but the established authors and Don Winslow are all in the same game, with agents, publicists etc that are part of the same network and could be galvanized into an unusual marketing campaign now and then.

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    • Of course. But when have you heard of four major authors all associating themselves with one book? I don’t think I ever have. I’ve only seen this kind of thing on self published books with other self published authors writing blurbs.

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  8. It’s great that these successful authors are willing to support other writers (a bit) less successful. I’m not sure why it doesn’t happen more often, really. The authors you mention are VERY secure in their careers, and are unlikely to find their sales threatened by anyone. Would someone stop reading one crime author just because another arrived on the scene?

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    • I’ll ask you the same question and see what you come up with. Would someone stop reading a YA author because another one came to prominence?

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      • I know, it’s nonsense isn’t it? No one would stop reading a favourite author because they found another in the same genre – well, I wouldn’t anyway – I don’t anyway. Once you’re invested in an author or a series of books it’s a dip in quality that would stop you reading – or maybe if they become too repetitive, though some people seem to like that quality too 🙂

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      • Of course it is. Although I’d say if an author sticks to a series long enough that it’s all but guaranteed to become repetitive. My favorite series are all 10+ books and I have no issue with that. I think it’s great.

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      • Some readers seem to like knowing exactly what they’re going to get. What series is it you like? Crime novels?

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      • Spenser. Elvis Cole. Alex McKnight. Alex Cross. Harry Bosch. Jack Reacher. All detectives.

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