odblocks which spell friend

Completely Change Your Life with Facebook Groups

I have discovered you can completely change your life with Facebook Groups.

cast-party

Okay, the title of this post could be a bit of a stretch. Not for me, though.

 I’d say I’m a typical Facebook member with several hundred “friends” whose posts I enjoy reading. As a director and teacher, I’m interested in the day to day routine of people.  You simply fascinate me.

At the same time I’m sort of a loner, too.  What does that make me?  An extrovertive introvert?  or vice versa?

I’m self reliant.  When I was ten years old I learned to be so and ever since, I take care of myself for most everything. Other than my husband, I go to only one friend when I have a problem I can’t solve.

 I’m an indie author, too.

Enter Goodreads. (You thought this post was about Facebook. It is. Just bear with me.)

Goodreads bibliophiles are a large, diverse group. I admire people who will read any book put in front of them. I’m always impressed by how many books some people read in a month.  I know  voracious readers who read several books at a time.  I’m trying that at the moment.  I’m reading My Brilliant Friend before I go to bed and The Handmaid’s Tale during the day.  Yikes!  Next, I’ll read two indie author’s books simultaneously.

Through Goodreads, I ran upon an indie writers group. I’ve gained so much knowledge from this great group of authors, I only wish I had met them several years ago.

Considering my need for independence,  I was reticent to join any “groups” –writing groups, primarily. One  friend of mine suggested that I stay away from writing groups because he thought I might try to conform and change my writing in order to be accepted by the group instead of writing what I wanted.  That is definitely a problem of mine.

Recently, I suggested to two young indie writers who are just getting started (I’m not that far ahead of them BTW), they should join a few Facebook writing and reader groups. In particular, I suggested the Indie Writer’s Cooperative.

These writers are hesitant to share and make friends just like me.

Before I joined, I figured there was some catch which I didn’t see.  You know, a we’ll-get-you-hooked-and-somehow-manipulate-you-into-doing-something-you-don’t-want-to-do.

It’s been QUITE the contrary.

If you aren’t a part of a group on Facebook, I highly recommend you join some, even if your interests are basket weaving with goats. I guarantee you’ll feel more connected to people.  Sometimes the only friends I have are through these groups.  We’ve moved twice in eight years.  We aren’t spring chickens.  At our advanced ages, starting all over in a new town takes its toll on one’s desire to make friends. Again. But we persevere…

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Let’s use the Facebook group Indie Writers Cooperative as an example.  It began last year in October with 20 members.  We wanted to have our own indie authors day in celebration of the national one.   There were about twenty of us.  Now there are nearly 600! This is not an open group, but anyone who writes can be a part of it.  You just need to ask to join. No biggie.

Indie Writer’s Cooperative is a place for writers to field questions and concerns they have about their writing, find a shoulder to lean upon when writing isn’t going well or a group to cheer you on when something great happens.

We publicize our giveaways to each other and share each other’s posts as much as we can.  Several times a year, we have indie author days which gives us an opportunity to work together for the good of the group.

Near Valentines day, we kept our page live for over twenty-four hours giving readers an opportunity to become acquainted with us all in one spot!

It’s a varied list as you’ll see. I’ve made some friendly, helpful contacts through IWC.  We have members from all over the world.

 Here are some of their names, their country or state of origin and a few titles of the books they’ve written:

Joanne Van Leerdam

  • Victoria, Australia

  • Books: Nova, Lear, New Horizons

  • Genre:  Poetry, Short Stories

Fiona Hogan

  • Laois, Ireland

  • Books: The Lights Went Out and Other Stories

  • Mixed Genres: Humor, Romance to the Supernatural

Laurel Heidtman aka Lolli Powell

  • Kentucky, USA

  • Books: Whiteout (as Laurel Heidtman) & The Body on the Barstool (as Lolli Powell)

  • Genre:  Thriller (whiteout) and cozy mystery (Body)

Claire Buss

  • Barking, England

  • Books: The Gaia Effect

  • Genre:  Dystopian Sci-Fi

Renee Gauthier aka RM Gauthier

  • Ontario, Canada

  • Brooks: Control

  • Genre:  Psychological Thriller/Mystery

Kyra Leary

  • Lowell, Massachusetts

  • Books: Earth No 104 & Earth No. 105: Birth

  • Genre:  Paranormal/Romance/Sci-fi

Susan Wee

  • Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin

  • Books:  Absence of Color, Spectrum of Color Book One

  • Genre:  Fantasy

Pamela Grusendorf Workman aka PDWorkman

  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada

  • Books:  Questing for a Dream

  • Genre:  YA/Women’s Fiction, Contemporary, Diverse

Scarlett Van Dijk

  • South Australia, Australia

  • Books:  Sky Stone (book 2 of the Sky Stone Series) Guardian Core (book 2 of the Sky Stone Series)

  • Genre:  Young adult fantasy

Marie Jones

  • Sussex, England

  • Books:  Into the Shadows

  • Genre:  Romantic suspense/mystery

  • Sherri Whaley Frontz

  • Johnson City, TN

  • Books:  When the Morning Comes (Book one in the Land’s End Series)

  • Genre:  Mystery, Romantic Suspense

Jeannie JB Richards

  • New Hampshire

  • Books: Miriamne the Magdala

  • Genre:  Historical Fiction/Romance/Young Adult

And

Deborah Baldwin

  • Lawrence Kansas

  • Books:  Bumbling Bea

  • Genre:  Young Teen, Humorous

Pretty cool, huh? It’s a terrific gathering place.

I’m not endorsing Facebook, per se but since I joined the Indie Writer’s Cooperative Facebook group, I signed up with several other groups. In fact, I don’t even know how many groups I’m a part of now– groups for writers, readers, teachers, retirees, political and arts lovers top my list.

I’ll call myself a social loner.  If I spend a bit of time with my Facebook groups and I’m good to  go again. Works for me!

Hmmm. I think I’ll go look for some more.

indie-writers-cooperative

What Facebook groups have you joined?  Do you see a benefit in them, too?

I’d love to hear from you.  Contact me at dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or DeborahBaldwin.net

 

 

I'm glad I'm an Indie Author

The 10 Reasons I’m Glad I am an Indie Author

The 10 Reasons I’m Glad I am an Indie Author is popular with my followers.

I’m listening to our grand daughter as she giggles with her grandpa. They are playing a rowdy game of  Peek-a-boo.   She’ll whimper a little like she’s unhappy and he’ll think of something else to do with her to make her happy.

That’s when I think of how glad I am to be an Indie author.

indie-book

I think if I had an agent and publisher, I might be spending time communicating with them and not enjoying our little bundle of energy.

Working for myself  as an indie author gives me some  great advantages:

I answer to myself. I don’t have to make phone calls and negotiate with anyone.  Negotiating is tiring, although usually good comes out of those kind of meetings.  I like to compromise.

I have no time constraints or deadlines. If I don’t want to work on the adaptation of Bumbling Bea into a play, I don’t have to do so.  Trust me, there are so many facets of indie publishing.  I can use my time wisely just about anywhere my cursor lands.  I accept the reality of this, however.  I know if I don’t finish a scene then I might not make my self imposed deadline, but that’s something for me to deal with.

I have no budget limits except those in my own pocketbook. I have to be careful with my budget now that I am retired.  Currently, I’m not directing any project or doing any extra teaching.  I think I’m in a transition period. It’s easy to overspend on advertising and marketing which is of course the crux of the work.

I set the price of both the paperback and ebook version. Because it’s mine, I can change the price any time I choose with the trust help of Amazon.  Usually, I can change the price in a matter of hours.

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 I receive a higher royalty for each copy than through traditional publishing. If you think I’m getting rich here you are sorely mistaken.  That wasn’t my goal, although the extra money is always welcome, you know?

I have complete creative control. I decide on everything pertaining to my book–its color, font style, size, synopsis, description, retailers, giveaways, etc.  This aspect reminds me of directing plays.  It was very fun to work with my illustrator, H. Russ Brown.  If I had gone the traditional publishing route, I wouldn’t have the team creativity we enjoy.

I have editorial control. Generally, this is a great asset.  It can be challenging some times because if I see an error (and I do see errors), I decide whether the error should be fixed and the book reprinted.

 In turn, I can also do a second printing.  That’s why Bumbling Bea received a new exterior in February of 2016.  I thought she needed some updating on both the outside and the story as well.  You ask what did I do?  You’ll have to read Bumbling Bea to find out!

I retain all the rights in a global market. If Bumbling Bea ever goes big and I mean IF, I reap the fruits of my labor, not someone elsewhere.

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Bumbling Bea is a book of a particular niche market. For readers who are interested in theatre and are young teens, Bumbling Bea is for you.   However,  we discovered readers of many ages and students of various grade levels enjoy the story, because it is relatable.

I’ve received reviews from grandmothers, teenagers, college students, actors, singers, dancers and even athletes.  That’s quite a broad appeal.

I will admit, I have good days and not so good days.  I like working by myself but at times I crave conversation with a friend or two to help me work out whatever my writing challenge I’m having.

Whenever that occurs, I chat with my  Indie Writers Cooperative Facebook group to gain perspective again.  They are a wonderful resource to me as unbiased listeners and peers.  The group was created in the fall of 2016 and to date we have more than 500 members. I think that speaks volumes about the importance of having a place to sound off with a group that understands you.

“But Deborah, what if an agent contacts you and wants to represent your book.  What will you do?”  I’ve spoken with two agents in the past. One wanted me to completely revamp the story turning it into a YA one and the other was overworked. So, if someone calls, I’ll call them back that’s for sure!From there, we’ll see…

So, there’s the ten reasons I’m glad I am an indie author.

Independent publishing is here to stay. Please enjoy a read on my behalf.

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Write me at dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or check out my website at DeborahBaldwin.net