As I continue the journey of self publishing my first book – Blue Violet – I have discovered an entire micro-community that I now find myself a part of – the world of indie authors.
Other than the few indie books I stumbled on as a reader, I had no idea how wide and deep this community would stretch. Social media – in the form of Twitter, book blogs, author blogs, Facebook, and other sites like GoodReads and Book Blogs – has connected us all in a way that was never before possible. And there are – as far as I can tell – thousands of us.
You would think that with so many of us out there trying to get our books to sell, that it would be a highly competitive environment. But instead, this is one of the most supportive and helpful groups of total strangers that I have ever run across.
Want to know why? I believe it’s because this is a group of people who share a very basic common interest – reading. Each of us is thrilled to find new books and new favorite authors out there. And in the pursuit of that goal, we’re each willing to lend a hand to one another.
Yes, many of the tweets, emails, and blog messages I get are generic “feelers” and even sometimes “spam” to just try to get traction. But I write that off as understandable given how much time one could sink into just maintaining a presence online.
However, I have been gratified by many positive experiences with people genuinely interested in connecting with fellow authors and readers. Here’s just a handful of examples of people going above and beyond for me…
- Wendy – My awesome editor – who is a kickass author herself – not only helped me hugely with the book, but has also been a wealth of help with things like the book description, managing my book on Amazon, and answering other random questions. If you’re looking for a stellar editor, you can contact Wendy through Indie Book Reviewers (also a very helpful group of folks).
- Jade Kerrion – Jade found me on the Book Bloggers site. She actually checked out my blog and then asked me specific questions about it. This led to her pointing me to specific articles on her website which have been hugely helpful in providing answers. Needless to say I now follow Jade’s blog as well as have purchased her book which I can’t wait to read. You can follow Jade and/or check out her book at her blog.
- Timothy Davis – I follow authors regularly on Twitter, and have been followed myself. Typically people send a generic “Thanks for following” message, sometimes with a “more info here” link. Tim takes it a giant step forward by not only following back, but then posting a tweet to his followers to check out your latest book. What an awesome example to set! More about Tim at his Amazon Author site.
- An Amazon reviewer who I won’t name for privacy purposes sent me not only one of the nicest rejections I’ve had in response to my request to review my book, but followed up with tips on reviewers who might be interested as well as sites to make sure my book was visible on – like GoodReads. Way beyond what anyone should feel obligated to do when rejecting a review request.
Thank you to the indie author/reader/reviewer/blogger community for the warm welcome and all the help. Keep it coming. I’m grateful for every little bit I can get!