When I was a little newbie and didn’t know SEO from a hole in the ground, I wandered into a Facebook group and met a smart, sassy author and photographer named KS Brooks, also known as Kat. At the time, I had a manuscript I was thinking of self-publishing. And a lot of questions. Kat answered them. She was funny and had a very long list of titles to her credit: two thriller series and the delightful Mr. Pish books. I could only dream of having so many books on my shelf one day. And she shared her bounty of knowledge. I read the articles she suggested and paid attention to the discussions. She and Stephen Hise ran a website called Indies Unlimited, and it was rife with people doing what I wanted to do. I felt like I’d found my tribe.
As I moved from a casual reader of the blog to a guest-poster to a full-fledged minion, Kat was always there to help me. I was having trouble getting one of my short stories to format right on Smashwords, and she converted the file for me. She gave me great feedback on my book descriptions; she was always there with a high-five when I published new titles; she introduced me to people who could help get the word out about them. And nearly any time I needed to learn a better way to do something, Kat had either written the tutorial on it or could point me toward someone who had. Or, she invited me to write one myself. We minions have a little joke around the gruel pot that if you ask, “Hey, does anyone know about such-and-such [website or promotion or publisher]…?” Kat will ask you to write a post or a tutorial about it. But, see, that’s so smart of her. In writing about something, I learn even more about the topic, as well as having an opportunity to help other authors. Everyone wins.
I admire Kat because she worked so hard to make a home base for indie authors where we can learn and grow, compare notes about what worked, dream up ways of making it work better, inspire others to be curious and innovative and learn how to be more effective — better writers and marketers and salespeople. I admire her because she shared it all with us and continues to share, embodying the principle that giving an indie a fish might not help in the short term, but teaching an indie to fish will ensure that he or she will write a book about it. Yes, I tortured that metaphor a bit, but you get my drift.
She even makes her less-than-ideal experiences funny and insightful and gives us something we can take away from them. She is the main reason why, when I suffer some of my most embarrassing and discouraging moments as an author, one of my first thoughts is along the lines of “What would Kat do?” She’d try to make it funny. So I try to turn my miscues into comedy and write blog posts about them. Maybe that way, I can also help another author laugh about something that didn’t go as planned. I admire her humor, her drive, her intelligence, and her ability to keep moving and flowing with the rollercoaster of indie publishing.
That ain’t easy, folks. And that’s why K.S. Brooks is my indie hero.
29 thoughts on “K.S. Brooks, My Indie Hero”
What a great post, Laurie. Kat is a great inspiration for Indies and always super helpful.
Thank you, RJ. 🙂
She is! And I was so happy to write this.
What a delight to read this first thing in the morning. Kat is like Wonder Woman. It’s like she has super powers! No wait, I think she really does! Ever wonder what goes into keeping a site like this going, 365/24/7? Kat does all this, plus coordinating the minions (yes, let’s call it “coordinating,” ahem) and keeping the gruel pot fires going. And somehow, she still has a life. And time to be helpful. And a good friend. Thanks for this, Laurie!
Oh goodness. I’m just carrying the torch that The Evil Mastermind lit. I was a bit relieved to read what David Gaughran wrote yesterday about suffering burnout from his site, because I also do need to take some time away to get back to my writing. Hopefully I can be just as “super” as I throw that into the juggling mix. Thanks for the kind words, Candace.
I could not agree more. Without Kat I would still be floundering alone and afraid to “do it”. I owe her heaps of gratitude. Thanks Kat. You’re the best – simply the best.
Thanks, Yvonne. You’ve got a lot of courage in there. Without Hise, I wouldn’t have had the guts to try some of the things I’ve done. We’re all here for each other, and that’s one of the things that makes being an Indie so awesome.
Wow, Laurie, I am honored and deeply moved. Thank you. <3
My pleasure! 😀
Everything you’ve said is true, Laurie. All hail Kat! 🙂 <3
Oh my. Thanks, Lynne. <3
What a great post! And I agree – I’ve learned so much from Kat!
From day one Kat has been there for me and so many of the indie family. I can never thank her enough; I don’t know how she keeps it going? Kat, a million thank yous, and may happiness always be yours.
Kat ROCKS. That is all. 🙂
Agreed, Kat rocks. and so does Laurie! Very cool tribute to an indie star 🙂
Kat offered me a helpful suggestion once when I hadn’t even asked for it! That’s when I knew that she and Indies Unlimited were exactly what I needed.
Yep, she straightened me out very early on too. And continues to help me. Very grateful to be able to call Kat my friend.
Martin, you needed straightening! Happy Birthday.
Agreed! Kat is knowledgable, helpful and all around terrific.
I love this series and highlighting folks like Kat, who are so helpful when we flounder. Nicely done.
Well said, Laurie, and could not be more true. Kat is the glue that keeps IU together, that keeps us all moving forward, improving, cooperating, and sharing. I, too, felt like I had found my home when I joined IU. No one understands better than the indie writers here. It’s an absolute pleasure and honor to be here.
An “Indie Hero” in my book! Pinned & shared. 🙂
Wow, thanks for all the kind words, everyone. I’m all verklempt…
Wow! I never thought someone that wonderful could exist! Can she be real? 🙂
Mind you, anyone that would use a word like “verklempt” in everyday conversation must have minor character flaws.
Or speak Yiddish. 😉
K.S. Brooks has made book trailers for me. She’s helped me promote. She’s a wonderful person. A gen-u-wine beautiful individual! And I am blessed to call her friend. 🙂
Kat has been a wonderful source of help and inspiration for me through trying times. I will always consider her a friend.
Good choice Laurie. Kat Brooks for Big Tribal Mama! I’ll vote for her. The wisdom just keeps on flowing. 🙂
Your history sounds a lot like mine, Laurie, and Kat helped me out as well, but I think it’s that sense of welcome you get just talking to her that makes IU a home away from home. Go Kat. 🙂
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