Writing is a solitary thing – it’s you, the writing medium and hard graft alone together. Your imagination/brain/mind/muse and the pen or keyboard are it. Perhaps you have a writing buddy, known sometimes as a critique partner, or belong to a writers’ circle or a writers’ association, but if you’re an independently published author, you have another layer of questions to ask and topics to discuss.
I’ve found two groups for independent authors which I would recommend: both are friendly, open and collaborative. The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLI) fosters the independent sector as a valuable, fruitful and contributing part of the publishing industry, but above all, it is driven by and for its authors – ‘connection and collaboration, advice and education,’. A blog about trends, successes, writing craft and marketing go hand in hand with member support and industry campaigns such as ‘Open Up To Indies‘. I’ve never regretted a penny of my £75 annual membership fee! And you get a great badge…
As a self-publisher you are totally in control of publishing your books, but you don’t have the backing of a publishing house or their marketing and publicity services. Before somebody else says it, I know that all authors have to market themselves, however they are published, but indies have to be a tad more energetic about it. And they need to collaborate. Awesome Indies operates a quality control system for fiction – have a stroll through its website – but its director, Tahlia Newland, is very pro-active on marketing. If readers don’t know about a book, how can they buy and read it?
Recently, they interviewed some of their authors and posted the results on You Tube in a theme-based series of two-minute videos – start here. (I appear in most of them!)
And, of course, the fabulous Indie B.R.A.G. which is primarily a quality vetting organisation for self-published books, but one which runs a splendid blog for authors, readers and anybody with an interest in self-publishing. This brilliant post on how to support authors is typical of their generous spirit.
My experience is that these international sites complement each other; I’ve met new friends, new colleagues and garnered some pretty savvy advice.
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