The turning tide of today’s publishing industry has truly changed how people do things nowadays. There is more sense of a community and working together rather than viewing everyone as enemy, frenemy, or competition. There is no need to step on other’s heads to get ahead or cut throats, etc, etc.
There are some who still feel that way, but it’s not working like it used to.
In my honest opinion, cooperation is what is sustaining self publishing and hybrid small presses and getting the edge. People are getting more out of working together than against one another. Many hands make the load lighter and more heads coming together are better than one. Indies and some traditionally published authors are working in communities together; howbeit, there are the select few that still look down their noses at each other on either side of the field which benefits no one. If it does, it’s usually short-lived.
However, in this sense of community there comes the cost of karma. Sowing the seeds of bad karma is often dangerous.
Just about everything we need for today’s author platform and events is centered around reciprocity: social media, events, responding to readers and comments, group functions, etc.
Doing your best to reciprocate is best. There is only so much anyone can do without feeling the stress. Only take on what you can feel you can do comfortably–or in other words, humanly possible. This is how you find others to network with. Not being cut off from one’s readers and others is a good thing, but yet there is no buffer from attack from those of bad karma. Time to get some alligator skin!
Doing none at all is not so good.
Doing it badly is even worse.
When anyone in the community behaves badly (not just authors, BUT especially authors) things go sour very quickly and the stench lingers around longer or possibly forever in today’s online world.
Not engaging in or walking away from bad karma is the best way. It takes more strength to walk away from a flame war than it is to be engaged in it. People not engaging with the troll usually comes out better–have an offline tantrum or only talk about it with close friends. It’s amazing how something bad seems to spread faster than good things online. No one seems to pay attention to you until you screw up.
So, just get out there and participate and get involved!