Being an indie author can be a very lonely endeavour and I have very quickly learned how important it is to work with other authors.
Since joining a few key Facebook groups, I have noticed chatter about my books increase. It has been so cool to help each other out. Promoting is made easier as they all tell their followers about your stuff and you return the favour. Your audience is instantly mutliplied with very little effort on your part. Promoting another author’s work is a privilege for me and to have them promote mine is an extra bonus. There is power in working together.
We don’t have big publishing companies promoting us. We don’t have bookstores stocking our novels and putting up mammoth posters and advertising. What we do have is the power of mutual promotion. Continue reading “The Power of a Crew”
A writer buddy of mine was recently lamenting the fact that people won’t shell out 99 cents for his book. Mine are 3.99. If everyone I know (and the people I have come into contact with online) would buy my books, my wife wouldn’t check the bank account with shaking fingers every night.
See, here’s what got me thinking. Yesterday, at about dinner time, a young man showed up at my door and launched into his spiel. When he got to the ‘before you say no’ part, I smiled and said, ‘I’m not going to say no…we’re pretty broke, but can I donate $5?” I’m not trying to brag. My 5 crumpled up one dollar bills aren’t going to change his life or break us. And I have sold stuff door to door and it is hell. So, I empathized. But it got me wondering.
I’ve bought peanut brittle to send peoples’ kids on a class trip (I LOATHE peanut brittle). I tip 20%. If you’ve ever been a waiter you don’t tip %15. I’ve bought Girl Scout cookies…sometimes from people my own age who were selling them for their Girl Scouts.
I’ve bought water for homeless people. I’ve given countless bills and handfuls of coins to buskers and various street performers. But people get downright offended about spending money on BOOKS? Something that is tangible…that they can keep…that took a lot of time and energy to write?
OK, some books suck. Mine don’t. Neither does the book written by the fellow I mentioned who priced his wonderful book at 99 cents (ahem…Antrobus).
Now, here’s the part where I sound like a whiny bitch, but bear with me. I know you have bought Girl Scout cookies and chocolate bars and blah, blah, blah.
It has been less than a year since I got serious about getting my writing ‘out there’. I thought I would share my experiences thus far. I have made some mistakes, but I’ve done some things right, too. Prior to embracing the web, I spent a lot of time accumulating stories on my computer and submitting to literary magazines that three people read. Then, I wised up. I self-published my novel, ‘Joe Café’, and started a few blogs. I joined Facebook and Twitter. I joined a few groups on Linkedin. I learned a lot of things. Some of them the hard way. Most of them by paying attention.
I played in punk bands when I was younger, so I came into this Indie writing thing with some prior experience in ‘the independent arts’. I knew that it was important to make contacts…not people you can ‘leverage’…friends. I knew that it was important to find like-minded people and work together towards a common goal. I knew that it was important to promote your friends’ work before your own. I knew that community was the most important thing.