Authors and the Value of Friends

friendsThe value of friends in the book authoring and publishing process cannot be underestimated. We always hear talk about the value of agents and publishers but never of friends. Certainly agents can be very important and publishers are essential. But don’t forget your friends!

I see four ways that friends can help you become a more successful writer.

1. Getting the job. My first book was published in 1980 and I got the job by talking to a friend of mine who worked at a trade magazine in my field of investments. He introduced me to an editor at John Wiley & Sons and my partner and I got a contract to write the book. Basically, my friend acted as an agent but I didn’t have to pay them an agent’s fee. More recently, a very close friend of mine introduced me to one of his friends who was looking for someone to edit and ghost write two books. I got the gig and a very nice paycheck!

2. Sources. Often, a friend can be a source for a book idea. I’ve put together a book proposal for a nonfiction book about an amazing friend of mine. I don’t have the proposal accepted yet but I’m just now starting the pitch process. In addition, friends can be a great source for information for a book. Perhaps you just need background information for a work of fiction or a source of information for a nonfiction book.

3. Blurbs. Hey, I always get my famous friends to blurb my books. I’ve been in my industry for a long time so I have a lot of famous (well, famous in my industry) friends that I can get to blurb my books. This credentializes the book and boosts sales.

4. Sales. I write books in the investment field. My books are not best sellers but are aimed at an audience of professionals and keen amateurs. They sell nicely. They don’t sell so much in retail books stores but through niche booksellers. So naturally, I made friends with the guys that run the two largest sellers of investment books. Now, they highlight my books when they come out and that boosts sales.

We often make writing and selling books too hard. We often have some great friends that can help our writing careers.

Courtney Smith ( has had nine books published since his first book in 1980 and has written numerous articles for national publications. He is also the proprietor of which is an educational site directed to forex traders.