Monday, February 15, 2016

YA Guy Says... Don't be a Taker!

In all walks of life, there are givers, and there are takers.

You know what I mean. There are people who are generous with their time and talents, and there are people who take advantage of that generosity.

In YA Guy's experience, it's no different with authors. There are some amazingly generous authors out there, people who are all too happy to help out their fellow authors in any way they reasonably can. And then there are those authors who take, take, take and give very little, if anything, in return.

So you have authors who happily read manuscripts, write blurbs, tweet about their fellows' books, attend launches, post reviews, and do everything they can--once again, within reason--for other members of their profession. And then you have authors who do . . . none of the above.

Note here that I'm talking about reasonable acts. We're all busy--some of us more so than others. We can't possibly write every blurb, read and review every book, tweet about every event we'd like to. For those authors who are on the bestseller lists, requests for their time, expertise, and brand far exceed what they can reasonably provide. For those of us who work full-time jobs while simultaneously maintaining a writing career, the requests are likely to be fewer but the time crunch every bit as great.

So no, I'm not saying that if you don't leap to fulfill every request, there's something wrong with you.

But I am saying there's something wrong with the author who NEVER reviews a peer's book, NEVER offers or agrees to read a manuscript-in-progress, NEVER celebrates in word or deed the accomplishments of others. Those are the authors who tweet incessantly and exclusively about their own books, who DM you to death about the books of theirs you should buy but never offer to provide anything for you, who would sooner fling themselves into a vat of crocodiles than read or review a fellow human being's words. There's something very wrong with those authors, and we as a community shouldn't tolerate them.

So YA Guy's here to say to you: don't be a taker. Be a giver. And be a giver for the right reasons--because it's the nice thing to do--and not for the wrong reasons--because you expect something in return. Chances are, if you're a sincere giver, you'll get the return anyway, so no worries there.

And when you meet a taker, pay them no heed. Spurn them. Have nothing to do with them. You might think, if you give enough, they'll come around. But they won't. It's not in their nature.

Seek out givers like yourself instead. They're a lot nicer to be around, and you'll feel a lot better about yourself when you share your giving nature with them.


  1. Takers are the same people who leave their grocery carts in parking spots instead of walking them to return bins for ... reasons. And when a lane is blocked on a highway (and thoroughly marked in advance), Takers drive past all the people who merged ahead of time and position themselves at the actual blockage to force their way into traffic instead of taking their turn because of ... reasons.

    I spit on them.