Until I became a writer, the phrase “Pay it forward,” never came to me though it has been around for a long time; meaning, doing favorable deeds for others in the absence of having someone to “pay back” for past favors done. It’s taking more of an altruistic approach to interacting with others; and with social networking it can be done with respect, pleasant interaction, and sharing each other’s work across the internet.
I learned “Pay it forward” when I made virtual friends with ace writers on Facebook author groups. We shared our books, did some blog tours, features, and tweets for each other. As the number of authors grew, the amount of time grew, and I had to find another way to benefit my fellow writers, being short on time and lacking for social networking expertise.
The better fit I found for me was to download the books of my fellow Indies and post reviews or email if I had negative issues about the books. That way, I could work on my own time, read a lot of good books, and be of use to my fellow writers. I spent over two years reading and reviewing many Indie novels, posting to my blog, social networking, GR, and amazon.
So when we “Pay it forward” do we get something back? One large gain for me was the extensive reading of many independent novels. When I blog about Independent writing, the more books I read, the better perspective I have, especially with the never ending comparison with traditionally published books. Do fellow Indies read my books? Sometimes. I don’t keep a tally. While such “book trading” is subject to criticism, still we new authors must start and grow readers where we find them. Some writers read with much scrutiny, so I don’t consider writers to be a primary source for readers.
Have I ever “Paid it forward” for a writer, and expected something in return? No, but I’ve been made promises that didn’t work out. What did I do? Nothing. I agree with “The Godfather,” he wanted bad news immediately, and if he asked for a favor that was declined, he never asked for a favor from that person again. But unlike the gangsters, who tend to payback, I prefer to choose my benefactors and continue to “Pay it forward.”