Just because I’ve written a book and it’s available on Amazon.com, does that mean I’m an author? I’ve labeled myself many things before, student, groupie, investment analyst, felon (not convicted), space shot, mom, but never author. In my social network obsessive plight I’ve begun interacting with other authors in forums where I am supposedly an author as well.
Recently I discovered a Facebook family called Book Junkies. I read about it some where in some article in somebody’s blog. I wish I could quote where from for you but I was so intrigued I instantly Googled Book Junkies and found the page and the option to join, swiftly leaving the blog source in the dust in classic A.D.D. style. Book Junkies is a place for Indie Authors to meet, learn about each other and support each other.
Like the good addict that I am, I went ahead and sent way more requests out than I’ll admit for people to friend me. Within moments I had a few responses. I was pleasantly shocked! These people don’t even know me and they’ll friend me? Some even posted “hello” on my wall and one asked me to like his book fan page. Then the light bulb went on! …or perhaps really just sizzled a bit from a few discombobulated brain cells. What if I message all the people friending me all at once and ask them to like my SICK book fan page? After doing this I was instantly ridiculed and informed that what I did was considered spam and that it would kill my reputation. Yikes! I apologized to the few who would still talk to me and then to the Book Junkie world with an apologetic post on the wall for all to see. Some folks were very kind and schooled me on Book Junkie Facebook ethics. I did, however, get sixteen more fan page likes.
One man who clued me in was David Cleinman. He is the author of Toys in the Attic and Principle Destiny both about strong woman. The latter based on true events- got to check these out. David also hosts an internet radio station where he often interviews authors. http://davidcleinman.com/writings/ He messaged on the Book Junkies Facebook wall that due to drop outs there were author interview opportunities. Of course I immediately filled out his lengthy interview form with high hopes. Stay tuned for the result of that. David was kind to me about my spam blunder and I am grateful to him for his gentle words.
I also met a writer from San Francisco named Dan Mader, author of the books Biker and Joe’s café. I simply thanked him for friending me on Facebook and we started a conversation. He shared his blog and a couple of links to articles he’d written. Check out his blog unemployed imagination. http://www.jdmader.com/ Later I found a really fun interview of Dan Mader on NcNally’s blog http://sablecity.wordpress.com/ Best format for an author interview I’ve read so far- actually read the entire interview, they are usually boring. Dan also kindly turned me on to another blog where Indie Authors can submit content. https://indiesunlimited.com/
So am I an author now that other authors talked to me? Will I be an author if David Cleinman decides to interview me? Will I be an author after I make a certain amount of money from my book? What do you think makes an author an author?
Jen Smith is the author of the memoir, SICK, available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords. A version of this article first appeared on the Blog, Jen Smith SICK on March 1, 2012, and is used here with the permission of the author.