Friday, March 14, 2014

On-line groups that I've found useful

Part of the process for an up and coming author/writer is to understand that there are tons of existing published authors that are willing to help. It's a bit of a strange concept I'm sure but most authors seem to be normal people, quite sane in a creative way, and quite willing to impart experiences as a way of helpful learning. The same can be said for some of the avid book readers that you will meet, a unique situation where you can have direct access to your buyers, and vice versa. So much sauce to dip your chips in!

There are a huge amount of Facebook groups that purport to be helpful, and I have by no means visited them all, (in fact I've only probably visited a fraction) but the couple that I have found that are true to their word are worth me highlighting;

The Indie Author Group - This is an application for membership group that covers all genre's and aspects of Indie Author life. The members are in the main very knowledgeable, or at the very least willing to share their own findings in an effort to help others. The group is as diverse as you can get which means few questions asked receive only one point of view in response. It is also well administered, especially when it comes to self promotion of your own book/blogsite/website - it's a capital 'NO-NO'.

It hosts files and directory's of the services that some members offer i.e proofreading, editing or cover design. There is also a list of members own sites, writing genre, up and coming events and advisory pamphlets; a real diamond source of information and help. It's for those interested in all things 'Indie' but any self promotion or unsolicited advertising will result in a ban from the site. All of this makes it a great group to be part of.

I also belong to The Wishing Shelf Independent Awards FB site. It's another 'member club' that you have to ask to join. I presume that Edward (or Billy Bob Buttons as is his Author name) set this site up to help with the same named award promotion. It was a portal of reference for those Authors that were selected to continue in the competition from the entry stage. Anyway, although the finalists have been decided the group keeps growing in number. It has just welcomed it's 200th member.  Like The Indie Author Group I have found this group to be very welcoming and quick to offer help and advice when asked. That's not to say that all 199 members rush to your aid, but there are a number that do, and do so willingly.

These are the only two that I am regularly following but I do look in on these next two;

Book Club and Book Club tend to be just self advertising sites with very little actual discussion, but again they are both member sites. The UK one in particular is only just starting to increase it's activity so it will be interesting to see how that one develops.

So, why do I think it's important to join groups like these? There is the obvious advantage of learning from others that have travelled the same path but are further along. There is also the advantage of being kept informed of events that have an impact on the Indie Author world. But most importantly, for me, it's about introducing me as a person into a global writing/reading community. Although the literal world is numerically huge, it is also surprisingly small as far as people are concerned. You will of heard the phrase "Its a small world" well, it's an even smaller 'literal' world, so these on line communities can easily impact your eventual success ...... or failure, as an Author. Simple rule to live by for any on-line site or forum is learn the rules BEFORE you do anything else, but especially before you post anything. You can make enemies as well as friends on these sites.

As I have already mentioned, I also visit the Amazon Forums pages, flicking between a couple of specific forums. There is a lot to take in on these forums, and sometimes it can be hard to stay interested when they spiral into personal attacks, or grudge posts, but you have to get past them. Think of it as an Indiana Jones type scenario, if you want the rewards you have to be prepared to fight through the peripheral negative activity to get to the 'gems' that are undoubtedly there. Look for the rough diamonds, or the diamonds in the rough, they are there to be had. I make it my business to stay out of other peoples business on these forums, it helps. To digress slightly, if you happen to come across an author by the name of Edwin Stark on the Amazon forums, give him a wave. Edwin is quite literally hiding out for his life in Venezuela. For those that aren't aware, it appears that Venezuela is involved in a deepening crisis with pro and anti government rallies and demonstration resulting in many deaths. The disorder has spread into the surrounding area's where it seems that police and gangs are engaged in lethal in-fighting resulting in random killings and abductions. It ain't a nice place to be, so wish him good luck.

Well, these are the on-line sites that I visit and/or follow - If you have any recommendations by all means let me know - my email address is in the Blog title description at the top of the page.

Next Wednesday evening (NZ Time) I'll be publishing a guest post from Judi at ProofreadNZ - she'll be giving an inside view on what her processes are that can take my manuscript and turn it into an Amazon Best Seller.

Just as an additional edit, the following was posted on the 'Tell us about the nicest Authors..." thread in the Amazon Top Reviewers Forum by JZS

"In addition to some of the nice authors we've "met" here, on my one visit to MOA, I "met" a very nice guy, Andrew Wilson who wrote Russian Redemption Nice, reasonable, friendly. Although his book subject wasn't for me I was impressed with his writing and how much effort he had clearly put in to make sure his book was proofed and well formatted. " 

Good manners cost nothing, and you just never know who is reading your posts.


  1. Thanks for these, Andrew. It's useful to have these links. I don't know what kind of books you write (yet), but I also belong to Clean Indie Reads, another very supportive group. Their only criterion is that there should be no explicit language, violence or sex in your writing to belong as they promote books to readers who prefer 'clean' books.

  2. Ah Val, unfortunately my book ticks more than a couple of that criteria. Its great that they are supportive though.

  3. No problem, Andrew! I'll check out your books anyway. I don't have a problem reading books that are more explicit in those area than mine, but I don't write them, so CIR is good as a place to promo mine :)