Due to budgetary restrictions, I have been unable to hire tech support and have relied heavily on the kindness of strangers, caffeine and walnuts to get me through the frustration of all things tech related. If you have nut allergies this post is not for you. (It is also not gluten-free.)
Although self-publishing has gotten a bad wrap, it is a viable option for authors of the Indie variety as well as those who have used traditional publishing methods. In their efforts to keep out the riffraff or any would-be competitors, those who poo-poo self-publishing miss one important fact; Indie Authors aren’t afraid to share and we do so play well with others. (There is a quantity over quality issue in every form of media.)
I have found many forums for writers from which to choose. I can say, being selective about which ones to join is important and when you find one where people are genuinely interested in working together to review and promote the work of authors who self-publish, well that my friends is what you call hitting the mother lode. I am not a compulsive networker so finding opportunities for meaningful relationships is of particular importance to me. My friend list is short but of top quality, mostly, and those relationships exist because the other person has the spectacular ability to look beyond my surface & discover something worthy of their friendship. (Whoever gave my cell number to the political opinion surveyor, VERY FUNNY!)
Understanding that not everyone enjoys the same genre of writing helps to make writer’s groups more productive. I have seen comments in some forums that were as inappropriate as they were excluding and have learned to avoid those. There are also “like mills” where links to who-knows-what and endless requests to be “liked” are all they have to offer. On the other end of the spectrum, there are groups that have far exceeded my expectations. Some experienced authors have helped me navigate the volumes of information required to make good choices when it comes to just about anything regarding writing, self-publishing, and marketing. I am grateful for their willingness to provide honest feedback and point me in the direction of excellent resources. These people are remarkable and deserve some kind of special reward.
When I first began writing, I had no idea how to do much more than open a word doc. (Calculating foot pounds of torque on jet engine components is less complicated than some of this stuff!) In just a few short months I have learned to use tools I didn’t even know existed. Encouragement and support have come from the most unexpected places. I have been surprised by those who have honored me by purchasing a copy of my book and equally surprised by those who have given me the courtesy of reading (or not) the copy they received for free. Not all of my test balloons have provided data, although I have been trying to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. I am hopeful that I’m on the right track with this whole writing thing. My father, who follows this blog, said to me recently, “You sure do mention your book a lot.”……Yep, it sure seems that way, doesn’t it?