Why Are Writer’s Groups Important?

Being a writer can be a lonely road.  We often spend long hours at your desk researching, writing, and editing. If we’re not careful, we can get isolated. Sure, we spend time with our friends and families and love them very much for their support. Still, sometimes it’s hard because they don’t always understand us. We need to be around our own kind but with many writers having busy schedules outside of their writing lives. How do we combat this? Writer’s groups. Why are writer’s groups important? They give us the friendship, support, and feedback that we crave.

Why Are Writer’s Groups Important?

  1. They are a place where writer’s can develop personal friendships with fellow writers.
  2. They are a place to get constructive criticism about their work.
  3. They are a place where writer’s can share tips, articles, and blog posts about the craft and business of writing.
  4. They are a way for those who are published to mentor those who want to publish a book.
  5. They foster a sense of community by each member of the group supporting each other through attending each others personal author events.
  6. They are a great way to share information on upcoming local author opportunities.
Why Are Writer's Groups Important?

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

How To Find A Writer’s Group?

Online-There are many different groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc for both writers and indie authors alike.

Local Community-Call your local library or community college to see if they know of any writer’s groups in your area.

Start your own-Sometimes you live in an area where there is nothing going on. Does this mean no one is interested? Not likely. You are probably surrounded by writers like you who just aren’t sure how to connect with others. This is the time to be the catalyst and start something in your area. Contact your local libraries and community colleges and see if they can help you get the word out about what you want to do and get some feedback.

 

I have met some amazing, talented writers in the groups I have been in, some of which have become close, personal friends. It is always great to know I can post a question and get honest feedback without ever feeling dumb for asking. Writing is an ongoing process, not to be done alone. There is always a question to ask or something to learn.  Interacting with others will feed your mind, soothe your writer’s soul and make your journey a lot less lonely.

 

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Indie Author Day Is Coming.

Mark your calendars my author friends, Indie Author Day is coming.

Indie Author Day Is Coming.

What is Indie Author Day? Indie Author Day is a day where authors, libraries and readers connect. This event is held across the nation in various libraries and offers authors the ability to speak on different panels, display their books, and interact with other authors and readers. Last year was the first of its kind.

When is Indie Author Day?

Indie Author Day is being held on Saturday, October 14th this year.

Indie Author Day Is Coming

Photo by James Barker on Unsplash

My experience from last year.

As I said, last year was the first Indie Author Day event ever.  I went to the library in the next town over to participate and had a great time. Here are some of the highlights.

  1. I was able to meet other local authors just like me and develop some friendships.
  2. Being able to go around and chat with everyone about their writing journey.
  3. Being able to display my books as this was my first event ever.
  4. Chatting with those who came in to take a look at what we had to offer.

However, there were some low lights too.

  1. I didn’t sell any books
  2. Very low traffic. Most people were there specifically for the library and not for what we had to offer.

Would I participate again?

Absolutely. I’m not going to write it off (no pun intended) because last year wasn’t fruitful. The way I see it, it was a learning process for everyone. Librarians can gauge how they need to change their promotion compared to last year. Local authors can help by writing about it on their blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Regardless of turnout, it is a great way to meet other authors, learn from each other, and build relationships.

 

 

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How To Run A Blog When You Are A Beginning Author.

Being an independent author is one of the greatest things I have ever done and one of the hardest things I have ever done. So many people think that we just sit and write books all day and nothing else. If only it were that easy.  There are so many hats we have to wear-writer, publisher, marketer, editor, public figure to an extent (depending on how big you are-events, appearances and such), blogger, and the list goes on. Just the other day I heard someone say that once you decide to publish a book you are officially an authorpreneur.  Today I want to focus on how to run a blog when you are a beginning author.

 

How To Run A Blog When You Are A Beginning Author.

Photo courtesy of kaboompics via Pixabay

How To Run A Blog When You Are A Beginning Author

Here are some tips to get your blog off to a good start.

*Have a clear topic. Do you want to showcase other authors? Give advice to other authors? Promote other books in your genre?

*Write for your audience.Think about what they would like to know or questions that they have about your genre.

*Learn how to use keywords and SEO. Keywords and SEO  are a learning process. I use the plugin Squirrly to write my posts and it is a HUGE help.

*Add social share buttons. If you have a WordPress site, you can search for social share button plugins that are compatible with the theme of your site.

*Post more than once a week. I have heard you should post less often than you want to. I suggest posting at least twice a week and I need to take my own advice here. 🙂

*Set up an opt in/newsletter option-If you want to promote your work, you’re going to have to set up an opt in with some sort of freebie or discount to persuade people to give up their email address.

By implementing the steps above you should have a pretty good start on how to run your blog when you are a beginning author. Keep in mind it will be a work in progress and there will always be something you can change or tweak to make it better.  Most important, have fun with it and make it your own.

 

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What’s in an ISBN?

You have finished writing your book, the editing is done, and now you are ready to move onto the publishing process. One of the most important parts of publishing a book is the ISBN. What’s in an ISBN? Apparently, how you choose to obtain one has a lot to do with how much reach you will have. I found this out the hard way this week after publishing four books using a free ISBN for each one. Big mistake. Here is why.

What’s In An ISBN?

I published all of my print books through Createspace using a free ISBN for each. By doing this, Createspace OWNS my ISBN. Not good. This limits me to only being able to sell my books on consignment to local bookstores and at local events but not much else. (Don’t get me wrong, working with local bookstores in my area has been an absolute delight.) However, if I want to extend my reach into bookstores I’m going to have to change my game plan. Here is an article I found that explains why using a free ISBN is not ideal.

http://www.newshelves.com/2016/12/13/can-i-work-with-wholesalers-if-i-use-createspace-to-print-my-book/

 

What's In An ISBN?

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what is the answer to this dilemma? The first thing you need to understand is you will need both Createspace and IngramSpark to help extend your reach. IngramSpark is a publishing company that offers distributorship to their authors, allowing their books to be available for bookstores to purchase and sell in their stores. Here is an article to explain why you need both places.

Why you need IngramSpark AND CreateSpace – UPDATED

The second part of this answer is that you will need to buy your own ISBN through Bowker. Here is an article for more information.

Why You Need Your Own ISBN From Bowker

Okay, so you have been enlightened and are ready to proceed correctly. How do you do it? Is there a way for you to transfer your Createspace titles to IngramSpark? Thankfully, yes. Here is how you do it.

How to Transfer Your Book to Ingram Spark From CreateSpace

Learning this information was a huge eye opener this week. I hope by sharing with you, I can help you avoid my mistake before publishing your first book. However, if you’re like me and realizing your mistake, thankfully there is a way to fix it and to give the power back to all of us.

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