Welcome to an entire month of Top 5 Tips for Authors!
Every day this month my friends and I will bring you a new set of Top 5 Tips to help you along on your author journey. 2017 was a year of change in the Indie author world for sure. So many happenings. So many new things to learn. So many old things that didn’t quite do what you’d hoped. Well, every day is a new day. And every year is a new year. So we hope that this month’s worth of tips will get you the kick start you need to make 2018 your best yet and please feel free to ask questions and leave comments.
Today’s guest blogger is Deanna Chase. (Same as yesterday! 🙂 So you can see per pic on that post here) Deanna is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a native Californian who transplanted to the slower paced lifestyle of southeastern Louisiana. When she isn’t writing, she is often goofing off with her husband in New Orleans, traveling, or playing with her two shih tzu dogs. For more information and updates on newest releases visit her website at www.deannachase.com or catch her on Facebook here.
Her next book, Soulless at Sunset, is up for pre-order here if you’d like to check out Deanna’s writing.
Being an author is lonely work. Day after day we sit in front of our computers, lost in our own heads, while we make up fictional worlds. Co-workers who aren’t the furry kind are hard to come by. And bouncing your latest marketing plan off your shih tzu isn’t exactly helpful if you’re looking for feedback. So what’s a writer to do? Well, she needs to get off her introverted butt and make some connections. Here are my top five tips:
Join a writers’ forum and/or writers’ groups on Facebook.
Ask around for good groups to join. Participate in the conversation. Get to know people. Don’t spend your entire online experience lurking. If you want to form friendships, you need to participate. A good romance forum is Romance Divas. It’s a supportive forum with good people.
Form your own groups on Facebook.
It’s helpful to have writer friends who are writing in your same genre. After you’ve joined in online and gotten to know some people, start your own smaller private group. Invite people you like and respect. Try to choose people who are at or around your own level. You’ll have more in common with them and you’ll be able to relate better. Don’t wait for people to invite you. And don’t get offended if some of the people you invite turn you down. Many of us are in a lot of groups and too many groups can be a distraction from writing. Try to remember, it’s not you they are rejecting.
Join your local RWA chapter (or other writers’ organization).
Gasp! You need to leave the house? That means pants and a hair brush. I know it’s hard. To be honest, I only went to one local RWA meeting when I first started, but the meeting place was far away and it was too hard for me to get there, so I joined an online chapter. It’s where I met my first critique partner. We no longer critique each other’s work, but we’re still friendly eight years later.
Go to conferences and actually talk to people.
This is a tough one for a lot of us. Writers are not the most social of creatures. But RWA Nationals is where us romance writers find our tribe. For a smaller, less intimidating conference consider NINC the Novelist’s Inc conference. Every year I go to RWA Nationals and every year I make new connections that are priceless just because I showed up.
Consider saying yes to group projects you’re invited to do.
Boxed sets, anthologies, Kindle Worlds, shared world projects. If you’re not invited to any, consider spearheading a project yourself. Here’s a tidbit. Back in 2013 when boxed sets were just getting going, I was sitting behind my computer wishing someone would invite me to participate in an urban fantasy boxed set. When I realized no one was doing them, I decided then and there I’d organize and publish a set myself. I recruited one author friend. From there she recruited another. And together we wrangled few more. We ended up with six of us. None of us knew each other outside of a forum we frequented. Those ladies have been my partners in crime ever since. We also managed to hit the USA Today list together for four weeks in a row, which was a total shock and awesome. Working with people, assuming it goes well, is one of the best ways to solidify a relationship. Don’t just jump into anything if it doesn’t make sense for you, but do weight if the project features people you really want to work with or have great cross over audiences.
I know this is six of five, but I want to end with this: when forming author friendships, be genuine.
Have the other authors’ best interests at heart. This isn’t about getting yourself a leg up, it’s about high tides raising all boats. Be happy for your friends when good things happen. Celebrate their successes as if they’re your own. Writing novels isn’t a zero sum game. The entire reason to form author friendships is to lift each other up and help each other wade through this crazy business. It can rough and lonely out there, but it doesn’t have to be. Happy writing.