Last month, we took a look back at where we’ve been and to look forward to where we’re going, and asked our minions to answer just a few questions about IU. Now, here is the last installment of our little eight-year anniversary brew-ha-ha.
How has IU retained its relevance?
Kathy Rowe: With the massive boom in self-publishing, IU is even more important in helping the new kids on the block.
Melinda Clayton: IU still continues to give authors a free place to list their books, an opportunity to practice flash fiction, and a chance of being included in the IU annual anthology. It continues to provide fresh information on a wide variety of topics relevant to the world of writing and publishing while also maintaining a database of literally thousands of informational articles and resources.
Melissa Bowersock: The administrative staff of IU constantly combs the internet for new tools, new promotional opportunities, new scams, new ideas in the writing/publishing world, and passes those on to us minions to investigate and report on. If you want the latest in new tools to try in your own writing, or the latest in warnings against scams and frauds, this is the place to find them.
Martin Crosbie: Never wavering from Stephen and Kat’s original mandate of helping new authors. IU is the go-to site for information. The information and help is all there.
Yvonne Hertzberger: Please take a look at my answers from last month. Also it has learned how to reach a wider audience while at the same time weeding out what has proven unproductive for writers.What has being a contributor done for you?
Yvonne Hertzberger: I have found a circle of supportive, like-minded writers and reviewers I can go to for information when I need it.
Lynne Clayton: Being a minion has certainly given me visibility among indies that I would likely never have gained on my own. And I’ve had the opportunity to interview some of my indie author heroes. That’s hard to beat.
Kathy Rowe: It has helped me keep a schedule (remembering to write posts), it has also brought a few new readers to my catalog of books … with the IU freebie posts.
Melissa Bowersock: Being a contributor has upped my game tremendously. Not only have I learned to tighten up my writing considerably, but, being primarily a novelist, I’ve also learned the journalistic skills necessary to write non-fiction and investigative pieces that I might never have taken on. And being a regular contributor has, I’m sure, brought my name and my books out to more people than I might ever have reached otherwise.
Melinda Clayton: It’s given me a community. Writing can be a solitary life, and as an introvert, I’m not likely to go out into the “real” world to find a group to belong to. Now if I have writing and/or publishing concerns, I have an intelligent, experienced group of people I can turn to for support and answers.
Martin Crosbie: I was so excited when Stephen asked me to come aboard. And, over the years, as I contributed articles it’s helped me stay abreast of what’s happening in the world of self-publishing.
Al Kunz: As the only non-author among the minions, my viewpoint will probably be a bit different in some areas. As a book reviewer, I’m looking at a book as a reader, yet when I’m done, I still have to write about it. When something in a book works especially well for me (or fails miserably), understanding why can be valuable in my review. It’s also meant I’ve been stringing words together with a different aim than any other area where I do so. I think this improves my overall writing and communication skills which are valuable to have in all aspects of life.
What’s the future of IU?
Kathy Rowe: I see IU growing and changing to meet the needs of self-publishing.
Lynne Cantwell: The future of IU is still to be written. (dum dum dummmmm…)
Martin Crosbie: I believe IU will stay true to its original mandate of helping new authors. As ideas and schemes come and go, IU will be there to steady the ship and show that there is an ethical method of connecting with readers.
Yvonne Hertzberger: Some aspects will disappear as they become less useful, others will continue as they are, and new features will enter as the geography as self-publishing grows and develops. These will keep it relevant.
Melinda Clayton: I hope IU continues to be a source of support and information for authors. There’s a lot of bad writing and publishing advice out there. When someone lands at IU, they can trust they’re joining an experienced, knowledgeable group of people.
How important is a writers’ community?
Melinda Clayton: Very important. As mentioned previously, the life of a writer tends to be a bit solitary. It’s very important to have a trusted group of peers one can go to in order to exchange ideas, information, and support.
Kathy Rowe: Pretty darned important if you want to get anything accomplished in the literary world!
Lynne Cantwell: So about this idea of a writers’ community: When I found IU, that’s what I stumbled into — an awesome writers’ community. I’ve seen other indie-author groups get wrapped up in drama. That never happens here. Okay, not “never,” but not very often, either. And as a result of being here, I have a whole bunch of smart, knowledgeable, and helpful indie author friends.
Yvonne Hertzberger: For me it is indispensable. Writing can be an isolating profession. Many of us do not know where to turn for accurate information or support. A close and well-informed community is necessary. Even if the answers are not there, members can steer others in the right direction to find them.
Melissa Bowersock: Hugely important. When I was offered a place at IU, I realized very quickly that I was coming home to a place I never knew existed. Instead of operating from a tiny space in my own head, suddenly I was embraced by so many people who thought like me, who wrote like me, who understood what I was doing. It was like being folded into loving arms. In IU, I learned the concept of cooperation, not competition.
Martin Crosbie: Writing is such a solitary endeavor. Having somewhere to go and trade ideas takes us out of the darkness and reminds us that what we’re doing is important. Congratulations to Indies Unlimited -Stephen Hise, K.S. Brooks, and all the contributors over the years. Thank you so much for what you do!
What about you, dear readers? What’s been your experience with IU over the years? We’d love to hear how IU has helped you in the pursuit of your dreams.
Thanks for being here with us on our journey, thank you to everyone on staff for being so awesome, and an extra thank you to Melissa Bowersock for compiling all the Q&As. – Kat