Sticking Together


PJ Sharon
, here. First of all, I’d like to give a huge shout out of THANKS to all of my friends who helped me promote ON THIN ICE this past weekend. I had over 15,000 downloads and made it to the #1 spot in the Kindle Store>E-books>teen>Romance category. I’ll be sharing my results next week and hopefully passing along tips for a successful FREE run—my way of paying forward what so many have done for me. You see, one of the joys in this business, and one of the most pleasant surprises, has been the willingness of other writers to support each other’s efforts. There is no way I could have gotten this far or had a clue what to do if it hadn’t been for the generous support of my writing community.

Since 2007 when I joined RWA and then found the best chapter ever, CTRWA (Connecticut Romance Writers), as well as several on line yahoo groups for writers, I have been astounded by the collaborative spirit. YARWA (Young Adult RWA), Marketing For Romance Writers (MFRW), Indie Romance Ink, Authors Network, and WANA Minions (a group that formed after I took Kristin Lamb’s We Are Not Alone workshop a few years ago) are just a few of the online writer-centric groups well worth joining. I also belong to the WG2E (Writer’s Guide to E-publishing) Street Team, made up of dozens of writers of different genres who are always available to support each other by tweeting and sharing promotion duties to help each other out. These connections have been an integral part of me being able to do what I do and continue to expand my sphere of influence and reach new readers. They are amazing people and I appreciate every one of them.

These kinds of network connections take time to cultivate and maintain, but I can’t imagine being able to do what we do without that kind of support in place. Of course it’s tricky remembering which loops allow what kinds of promoting, and who belongs to which groups, but it’s worth the effort to learn the rules (I keep a file with all the group rules for if I forget), and be a contributing member. By contributing, I mean responding to the call to share FB posts, tweet promos and new releases, and step up to help when participating in a group event like blog hops, or group book deals. Not your bag? Try mentoring a newbie or joining a critique group. You won’t be sorry! Everyone is volunteering their time, so there is no arm twisting taking place, but it’s clear that if we all pitch in when we can, good things happen. I know it seems overwhelming, and yes, the email can become a bit unwieldy, but just start small. Join one group that fits you best and get involved.

I know how strapped for time we authors are, between writing the next book and promoting our books to the best of our ability. We are writers first and foremost, so there are times when we have to go into our caves and ignore the pull of social media and all it entails. The good thing is that other writers understand this better than anyone, so there is no judgment and only support when we need to take a step back and regroup. But once in a while, it pays to come out and jump into the fray. Adding to the conversation, assisting others when they need help promoting, or judging in a contest for your local RWA chapter. All of these are part of the writer’s life these days. Incidentally, CTRWA is looking for judges for their Write Stuff Contest-winners to be announced at September’s CT. Fiction Fest. Please contact kathyethornton@hotmail.com if you’re interested.

I’m not suggesting anyone take on more than they can handle, but if you want to create lasting friendships and mutually advantageous relationships within the writing community, reciprocity means giving back and showing sincere appreciation. If we stick together, we can all succeed.

So, Peace and Blessings to all of you dear readers, social network friends, and writerly buddies. And if there is ever anything I can do for you, just ask.

Do you belong to any groups that you couldn’t do without? Let us know what they are so we can join you!

About these ads

38 thoughts on “Sticking Together”

    1. Who says writing has to be a lonely job? Some of the groups I belong to have over a thousand members. It’s so comforting to know that I have so many knowledgeable people in my corner. If I don’t know something, I put the question out on the loops and within minutes a half dozen answers appear. Now that’s what networking is all about! I’m always amazed by writers so willing to help one another.

    1. Thank you, Kristan. I agree wholeheartedly. I feel fortunate to have landed in your little corner of the world. You were the first person I “met” when I was looking for a writing community. You set the tone for what I eventually found was the common thread in CTRWA-helping writers become authors through generous support and mentor-ship. I might not have joined if you hadn’t been so welcoming and helpful.You’re the poster child, sister!

  1. PJ – you are so right about writers supporting writers. I had so much to learn just a few months ago. And whenever I’ve needed help, someone has stepped up and given me answers. It is an amazing community!

  2. Couldn’t imagine taking this journey without the WG2E Street Team or the WANA’s. I also learned a great deal from the Kiss of Death Chapter of RWA over the years and from the DFW Writer’s Workshop of which I was a member of for years. The relationships I’ve made and maintained over the years in these groups are absolutely some of the best I’ve ever had. Awesome support!

    1. You and I met through Kristen Lamb’s WANA workshop, which was a FABULOUS workshop and got me started on my social media journey. I love our WANA peeps. Whenever I exchange emails with you, Sandy Rowland, Sheila Seabrook, Harley Brooks, or any of the other gals, it feels like old friends. I love it that we are still around and get to watch each other grow up in this business.

      And the WG2E Street Team has taught me how to do group promotions. I still feel like I couldn’t organize one myself yet, but a few more times through the process, and I think I’ll have it down:-) You folks are amazing!

      Thanks for sharing your groups with us, Rhonda.

  3. PJ, having the support and camaraderie of writer friends means everything to me in this otherwise solitary journey! Thanks for the post!
    BTW–we belong to all the same groups so I have none to add!

    1. You’re welcome, Stephanie. And you are one of the consistent contributors to dialogue on the loops. You always jump in to answer questions and offer advice. So helpful! Thank you.

  4. Hey PJ. Great success! Congrats. I loved “On Thin Ice” so it is easy to promote. You’re so right about CTRWA. Would never have gotten published without all the help from that group. Best wishes for much continued success.

    1. Thank you, Gerri. I appreciate your support of ON THIN ICE.

      CTRWA Rocks! We are producing published authors at an amazing rate. In the two or three years that the Scribes have become involved at CTRWA, all of them have gotten agents or are published authors! So exciting to see Katy Lee with Harlequin, Casey Wyatt with Soul Mate, Jamie (Sugar) with St. Martin’s Press, and our own lovely Suze Hardy climbing on board with a new agent. I hope I’m not giving away a secret!

      Oh, but that’s what we do here at the Secrets of 7 Scribes…

      Thanks for stopping in, Gerri. All the best with your books. They are both on my Kindle, waiting to be read:-( #needmorereadingtime

    1. Thanks, Jennifer! You are another of those many people I can say have helped me tremendously on this road. Without your offer of marketing advice early on, I wouldn’t have even known where to start. Raisin’ my glass and clinking yours sweetie!

  5. PJ, you’re so right. I wouldn’t have been published this soon without the support of CTRWA and you, and family and friends. So happy for hitting the top 20. Congratulations, you deserve it.

  6. YAY Paula! I’m loving “On Thin Ice” – and I’m so glad we got to know each other through Kristen’s blogging class. I’m actually taking it again – too much to learn and I guess it didn’t all settle into my brain, lol!

    I totally agree – writers have to be among the most supportive bunch. I love my groups and would be totally lost without them.

    Hugs hon!

    1. Thanks, Christine. I’m glad you’re enjoying ON THIN ICE. I’ve loved reading your wine blogs–always good advice there. I’ve tried several of your recommendations and enjoyed them.

      I would bet Kriten’s class has evolved a bit since we took that class a few years ago. It would be interesting to see how it has changed. There is soooo much to know and do when it comes to effective social networking. I hope you’ll pass along some of her tips:-)

  7. Paula, lovely post. You are right on target. This group is the most supportive professional group. Giving back is critical. And … I am so pleased you are doing great with your book(s).

  8. I’m thrilled for your success, PJ! Way to go. I’m very grateful for my LIRW chapter here on Long Island. Best single career choice I’ve made as a writer so far. Keep up the great work, and yes, networking and support is so critical in this business. :)

    1. Thanks so much, Jolyse. We’ll see over the next few weeks how successful it was. Hopefully, all the downloads and the ranking will translate to sales and positive reviews. Glad you found your chapter!

  9. Congrats PJ! I’m absolutely thrilled for you. And thank you! If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have known about MFWR, IRI and the author’s network and… You’re a great example of how sticking together makes a huge difference. Jordan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s