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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!