Recently, I joined a group on Goodreads called Support for Indie Authors and was pleasantly surprised by the resources, tips, and members. If you haven’t checked it out, I would strongly encourage it. In the interim, please meet the fearless creator, Ann Livi Andrews. She has agreed to tell us a bit more about herself and the forum. I will let Ann take it from here.
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I was in first grade and I wrote about a pencil point that gets picked up by an eagle and taken back to her nest. My teacher stared at me either in awe or horror, I’m not sure which. I can’t be certain whether it was the writing process or my teacher’s reaction that drew my attention, but after that I wrote as often as possible.
Regardless of the enjoyment I drew from it and the “talent” that everyone said I had, I was never encouraged to pursue writing. They told me it was too difficult to get an agent or publisher interested and that I’d never make a living doing it; that I should be realistic and pursue a career like teaching. Which I did… and hated.
Still, my writing “hobby” was never a consideration. I wrote for myself and my future children. I thought they might enjoy reading what I had written someday.
And then my whole world turned upside down. I went through a difficult period in my life and everything changed – including me. I stopped doing what others thought I should do and started following what I wanted to do.
It was during this time that I met the man who would become my husband and he introduced me to the world of SELF PUBLISHING. I’d never heard of such a thing! And quite frankly, I thought he was using it as a pick up line. But as we started dating, he grew more serious about the concept and it was shortly after we moved in together that I published my first short story on Amazon Kindle.
After signing up with Goodreads and reading through a few blogs and forums, I realized that self-published authors weren’t exactly a welcome concept. With our lack of professional editing, cover design, and formatting help, many people thought we were watering down the publishing world and were giving writers a bad name. Because of this, I struggled to find the support and help that I needed to tackle the world of self-publishing.
Earlier this year, as I prepared to publish my 7th work, I realized that it just wasn’t fair. I kept thinking that it would have been so much easier and I could have saved myself many headaches and tears if there’d been a resource out there to help me. And I felt bad for other indie authors in the same place that I was.
So, on a Sunday afternoon in January, I made up my mind. Rather than continuing to gripe and complain about the lack of an Indie Author Support Group, I would create one.
Thus began our small group. I began by extending a mere offer to other indie authors: “I will read and review your book and feature you on my blog.” From there it expanded into this beautiful bunker of resources, chat sessions, brainstorming, and became an overall support group for indie authors.
April marked the launch of our Indie Author newsletter and our hashtag #SupportIndieAuthors. Our member count climbs daily and we’ve had to enlist the help of new moderators to assist us in keeping up with the discussion boards and bringing in new and helpful resources.
My main mission through all of this has been to offer an encouraging place for authors to share their frustrations, their plotline complications, and their continuous up-hill climb with publishing and marketing themselves. While we encourage constructive criticism, we refuse to allow arguments, condescending attitudes, or any other criticism that does not help the author.
Fortunately, there is light at the end of the tunnel. It appears that the publishing industry is changing. There are more resources out there than ever for authors who choose to manage themselves instead of spending countless hours begging for an agent or traditional publisher. And we want them to have the resources they need to put out their best work possible and be as successful as they want to be.
For more information:
Our Goodreads group can be found here.
You can sign up for our Support Indie Authors Newsletter here.
You can purchase your own Indie Author t-shirt here (at $0.00 profit to us).
Ann Livi Andrews enjoys fine wine and vodka. Though, she will also accept cans of cold Mountain Dew. When she isn’t thinking about her character’s personal dilemmas, she might be putting pen to paper or spending time with her family. You can find her FREE stories here or her published novels here.