• Blog

    Finding your writing tribe online or the value of Facebook Groups for Writers


    Where is my tribe?
    Laptop and Coffee CupSocial media is an interesting thing – some people love it, some people hate it. I get both points of view but at least for now it isn’t going away.

    I’m on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. I find each of these has a place.

    I’m not entirely sure I’m using Twitter properly and I’m quite certain I’m not making the most of the other three. It’s a little bit like I’m standing in the library and I know the perfect book is inside but no one has taught me how the books are catalogued so I’m wandering around a lot scratching my head. I do find what I need usually but I’m sure there’s more that I could utilize if I only knew how.

    Facebook however I feel like I get. you all know I have a Facebook author page but that’s not what I’m here to talk about today.

    Today I’m talking about Facebook Groups and how great they are for writers. There are two sorts of Facebook groups that authors can utilize groups the first is where other writers (and sometimes readers) of your genre or with similar interest gather to support each other and share information. The second are groups where authors can promote their books to readers.

    Let’s talk about the first and what invaluable resources they are. I’m a member of several groups and the sorts of information and support available varies. What you need will determine what groups are good for you.

    For instance I started the #1000wordsaday Facebook group. We have just shy of 250 members whose aim is to write #1000wordsaday. Pretty simple. We start a daily thread and share our numbers and cheer each other on. Writing can be lonely having people who “get you” makes it less so. That’s all that group does. And that’s enough.

    I’m a member of several other groups for romance authors, indie authors, chicklit authors, #NaNoWriMo and they provide a variety of opportunities and information depending on the group but here are some examples:

    – People will help you pick your next book cover
    – Recommend promotional opportunities
    – Put together a short story collection or box set
    – Help you write your blurb
    – Cross-promote your book
    – Run an online party
    – BETA read your books
    – Help you if you’re having issues with uploading a book
    – Marketing advice

    You get the idea right? Depending on the group, where you are on your journey and what you need to know you can find people to help you. That’s pretty cool.

    A note of caution – not all groups are created equally and some of the people in some groups can be negative at best and nasty at worst. I don’t stay in those groups. I do not engage. So there can be some trial and error but I’ve met lovely supportive writers from all over the globe this way and the advice I’ve received is priceless.

    The second lot of groups are pretty much groups where readers go to find new release, free and discount books. Again these are not all created equally and some are populated almost entirely with other authors and some are populated with people who like to share porn so choose wisely. They really can help you sell books if you know which ones to choose.

  • Blog

    What is an indie author?


    When you are involved in any industry whether it’s mining, medicine of accounting you find there is language unique to that field. ( If you eavesdrop on three town planners it is my belief there will be so many acronyms used you may find yourself wondering if they’re speaking another language). One you understand that field the language becomes common place and you forget that others don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Since I’ve embarked on my journey to write and to get published I have learnt all sorts of terms and phrases that are used in contexts I would not previously have understood.

    Some examples:
    What does it mean when someone ‘requests a partial’? A publisher or agent wants to see part of your manuscript more than likely the first three chapters.
    What is a ‘beta reader’? (It is not a fish). It is someone, usually not a writer, who reads your book in it’s draft stage and offers feedback.
    What is a ‘crit partner’? This is a person who critiques your writing and you critique theirs, so usually another writer.

    So then we come to authors. Authors used to fall into two categories published and unpublished – simple right?

    When I say I’m an indie author, people don’t know what I’m talking about most of the time so I thought I’d take a moment to explain.

    Now we add indie authors. I’m an indie author. What is that?

    That’s an author who is independently published…you know how musicians have indie records (which everyone things is mega cool and is pretty standard in that field) same thing really! I’m like that guy in the garage band. (Maybe I can become writing’s answer to Silverchair!)

    Lets’ do another Q&A.

    Are indie authors just people publishers won’t publish? Sometimes they are. Sometimes they aren’t. These days lots of traditional authors also do some books as indies (hello Jackie Collins!)
    Why would anyone be an indie author? Some people like control of their work – choosing covers, setting prices and controlling how they are marketed. For example I’ve enjoyed creating a distinctive brand for myself and choosing how and when I would release my books.
    Don’t you make more money going through a publisher? Not always. These days with Amazon, Smashwords etc you can often do better on your own than with a small publisher, especially a publisher who is only offering you e-publication and not print. In fact you can make a pretty strong case lots of authors make less money with that approach. That’s not to say authors with small publishers don’t make money or big publishers because every author is unique and everyone’s journey is different.
    Do indie authors make money? Well authors generally don’t make a fortune to begin with. In Australia the average authors makes around $10,000 a year from their writing regardless of the method of publication. Of course that’s an average so lots are making more and plenty are making less. That’s true for indie’s as well.

    In summary – an indie author is just someone going it alone in the writing world. Of course that’s a pretty loose definition and not true really because I have a writing group, beta readers, cover designers, editors and of course readers and revision I’m not alone at all. I’m just an indie.

    Alphabet Dating Mug and Tote Bag

    Suzanne Brandyn
    5/13/2013 07:19:26 pm

    Very interesting post, Monique. As a first time INDIE author it was my decision as the traditional publishers in Australia said my story was a cross genre, and they didn’t know how to market it. At the time I didn’t want to either up the romance, or tone down the suspense. I believed in the story and it is dear to my heart, hence INDIE. It’s been an eye opener, one I’m not too sure I’ll repeat. With all the marketing, the worries, concerns, it left little time to write. I am planning to aim for all three. INDIE, Small independent press, and Traditional publishing. It has certainly opened my eyes and yet, I know where I want to be. Hopefully one day I’ll get there. 🙂 happen. 🙂

    Jackie Bouchard
    5/14/2013 12:49:04 am

    Great post to explain all the terminology. Going indie is definitely great for control freaks like me, and (as the previous comment mentions) for books that don’t fit nice & neatly into publishers’ genre marketing baskets. Via la Indies!
    5/14/2013 07:56:44 am

    Suzanne, it is definitely a lot of work although I think these days all authors seem to have to work hard to market themselves regardless of how they are published. I think all styles of publishing have strengths and weaknesses.
    5/14/2013 07:57:15 am

    Jackie – it has suited my inner control freak as well…:)