When I first started learning about the business of writing and self-publishing, I read every article, blog post, and how-to book I could get my hands on. One of the best I found is Martin Crosbie's How I Sold 30,000 eBooks on Amazon's Kindle. Martin is a strong advocate for paying it forward with our fellow writers and establishing relationships throughout the indie writer community. After spending ten years at an environmental nonprofit, I recognized this philosophy. Building relationships with donors (and potential donors) is the cornerstone of fund development at charitable organizations. Partnerships with like-minded groups often play a big part in the success of each as well. So when I read Martin's book, I knew his process was something I was familiar with and could translate to my writing endeavors.
Until VERY recently, I was struggling with one of his first recommendations - find a support group and surround myself with people who are successful at what I'm trying to do. There are several reasons why it was not as easy as you'd think - there has been a huge increase in erotica writers self-publishing after the success of 50 Shades, so many of the authors I was meeting were in the same boat, several of the Facebook groups I found have closed or have become little more than promotional posts, and the most active participants at my go=to resource, AbsoluteWrite.com, are almost all traditionally published. Unfortunately, I have also seen the green-eyed monster rear its ugly head between writers; it's unnecessary and counterproductive. I kept writing and posting and requesting reviews though, and I have met some very nice people who have been helpful. Still not as many folks as I'd love to have in my inner circle, but it's a work in process. These things take time and while I have infinite patience with others, I have very little with myself. Something else to work on!
Friday night, I attended a release "party" for multiple authors on Facebook organized by two of the hosts, Angel Payne and Zoey Derrick; the others were Victoria Blue, Audrey Carlan, Piper Malone, Red Phoenix, Kennedy Layne and Kallypso Masters. Although I wasn't sure what to expect, it seemed like something I should check out. It was fun! Fast-paced with contests and giveaways, there was also plenty of opportunities for asking questions. I asked Kallypso, there to promote Nobody's Dream, what she thought is the biggest challenge facing writers today. She gave me a very thoughtful answer and one psychically appropriate for me. She remarked on how difficult it is to have patience, given how easy it is to publish your own work. She recommended waiting until you have three books ready so readers know you're serious and in it for the foreseeable future. Thanks, Kallypso!
Last week, I received a contract offer for a short story I submitted to several publishers before I started self-publishing. For some reason, I didn't have a good feeling about it and I mentioned my unease in a post at AbsoluteWrite. I was given a link to a thread that helped me make an informed decision on whether that publisher was a good fir for me. Everyone respectfully let me decide for myself but they made sure I wasn't doing so with newbie ignorance.
That's the kind of support I've been looking for and hopefully will be able to pass on as I gain more experience. To all those writers who already have it down, please know how much we rookies appreciate every bit of help and encouragement you give us.
Next post: Cover that thing up!