Technical Issues

Hey All,

WordPress made a major update last night, and now the admin end of the website here doesn’t work. We’ve got calls into Tech Support, but….

In any case, hang in there, we’re working on it.

– The Frazzled Management

(We’d add a funny photo of a stressed out person here, but sadly, we can’t…)

Writing to Cope or Whatever Works

IU Exec Director KS Brooks eats too much whipped cream
Whipped cream is delicious.

I hope each and every one of you is home safe, and that you and your families are healthy.

This is a troubling time, with the future uncertain. Many have lost their jobs, and most of those who haven’t are now working from home. Many of them have their children home as well. None of these scenarios are exactly the greatest ambiance for writing.

Yet writing (and eating lots of chocolate or whipped cream) is a great coping mechanism. Even simply jotting down what you saw and felt in an attempt to document the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020 can provide some relief, and it won’t make you fat.

As the notes come out, it’s not a far reach to imagine using them in a post-apocalyptic novel or a science fiction book. Of course, you could just use them in an actual memoir. Or, you could not use them at all, or file them in a drawer. Then, there are some of us who use humor to cope – and will end up writing a spoof or comedy. Maybe you just want to have something documented to share with your grandchildren. None of these ways is wrong. Whatever helps you cope is the right thing to do.

Those of you who have been working on projects may feel a little lost and unable to focus. That’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up. These are times the likes of which we’ve never seen before. Feeling a little funky is to be expected. I’ve had a huge list of things to get done forever and now I’m at a loss for what those are. If looking at memes on Facebook was on the list, I’d be an overachiever. In any case, give yourself time to deal with things.

I think a lot of people feel helpless right now, but the reality of it is – staying home is doing something. It’s pulling dominoes out of the line and hopefully preventing something even more catastrophic.

An activity that might help could be playing a writing game with your kids. Ask them to write down how they feel about being home right now. Maybe you want to ask them to write what they would be doing if they could do anything. They could also write about what worries them. This will give you insight into what they’re going through and be an easy way to open up discussion and help them overcome their fears. Just don’t forget to write your own assignment at the same time. If they’re too young to write, have them draw.

Many authors are making their books free so people (and kids!) can have something to read to pass the time. Reading is such a great escape. Smashwords is having a big sale right now and many of those books are free.

If it moves you, take advantage of those free books. Take advantage of the new time you may have. Read, write – do what helps you find your balance. If it’s neither, that’s fine, too. Find something that works for you, and don’t feel guilty about it!

Keep safe and healthy. Whatever the “new normal” ends up being, we’ll get there together.

All the best from me and the IU staff,

Kat

Thankful Today and Every Day

thank-you-515514_640This Thanksgiving, we here at Indies Unlimited have a whole lot to be grateful for.

On October 31 of this year, we created a GoFundMe to help cover our web hosting expenses. Within five days, we exceeded the goal of that fundraiser. That’s not something I ever expected, and it is deeply moving that our community values us so highly. Thank you so very, very much.

We appreciate each and every one of you, and are very grateful that you appreciate us. I’d like to give a special shout-out to the minions for their continued support over the years, too. I’m grateful for their generosity. We wouldn’t be “we” without them.

I wish each and every one of you a wonderful Thanksgiving, and a holiday season full of love and happiness. Thank you again for being a part of the Indies Unlimited family.

thanksgiving-1060214_640

 

A Little Help from Our Friends

empty walletIf you’re a regular to this site, you already know that we just celebrated our eighth anniversary. If not, in October 2011, Indies Unlimited was formed by Stephen Hise to help indie authors find their way through the confusing landscape that was publishing. A month later, he brought on K. S. “Kat” Brooks (me) to assist, and together we assembled a team which paved the way for an award-winning site that would go on to help thousands of people each year.

Everything on the site is free – there is no paid advertising because I felt strongly about not taking money from authors, and both Steve and I agreed that we couldn’t guarantee that any service provider advertising with us wouldn’t take advantage of authors. Occasionally, we’ll thoroughly vet someone and allow them to get word out through IU, but usually that’s only about once a year. And, with the number of predatory publishers out there, we couldn’t use Google ads (wouldn’t it be horrible if one of the bad guys had an ad pop up on one of our articles?), so we made the conscious decision not to make money off the site. We do monetize Thrifty Thursday and other book fairs with Amazon links, but don’t usually meet the threshold for receiving payment.

Over the years, Steve and I have paid out of pocket to support the site, with the occasion holiday bleg (blogging and begging) for PayPal donations. Our PayPal account became overrun with scammers, so we had to take the donate button down.

Just over a year ago, Steve had to step away from the site, so I’ve been shouldering the financial burden on my own.

I don’t feel shutting down the site is an option. Authors in search of guidance find their way to Indies Unlimited every day, and we get dozens of emails each week asking for help. The need is there. I don’t have the heart to take that away from people.

And now, the crux of it:

I have just had to renew the site hosting along with the SSL certificate and the security package that has been needed since January when the site started being attacked by hackers. My wallet felt that hit pretty hard.

IU has over 2000 people subscribed to the email newsletter, and theoretically, if each one donated $1 per year, the expenses would be more than completely covered. But we’re not going to charge people to use this site, instead – and yes, I’ve been dreading this day forever – we’ve set up an IU GoFundMe to cover these recent expenses. Some of you have already very generously donated money (thank you so much, we love you!), and we’re hoping that those of you who have found any benefit from the site will consider donating what you can, as soon as you can, whether it’s one dollar or five or ten. It all helps.

We at Indies Unlimited hope the site will be around for a long time to come, and we couldn’t do it without our fans and readers (and the awesome IU staff who donate their time and energy to the site). We truly appreciate everyone’s support. Thank you!