Dear Writer-Friends,

I've been self-publishing since 2011, and I've shared the knowledge I've gained in two books: the Indie Author Survival Guide, Second Edition, and For Love or Money. I'm not an indie rockstar or a breakout success: I'm one of thousands of solidly midlist indie authors making a living with their works. These books are my way of helping my fellow authors discover the freedom of indie publishing. Write on, writer-friends!

S.K. Quinn, Independent Author of Science Fiction

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Guest Post: Seven Reasons to Join a Collective by Infinite Ink

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Thanks to Susan for the chance to guest post today! We are Infinite Ink—a collective of nine indie authors who write YA and NA speculative fiction—and we're here to tell you why you should think about joining (or forming) an author collective, too. Hold on, back up, you say. What is an author collective? It's a group of authors who band together to support each other in multiple ways in their quest to connect with readers. Much like Susan's own Indelibles!

Here are seven reasons to join a collective:

1. Cross-Promote - stop shouting into the wind about your own books - let your collective do it for you! : ) Of course, when others in your collective have news to share, you'll help them out, too.

2. Grow Your Readers - if your collective writes in a similar genre (recommended, but not necessary) then each author brings a pool of readers with them who may also enjoy your books. A win-win for authors and readers.

3. Be Efficient - every author has parts of the publishing process that come easily to them and parts they struggle with. Working together, you can share knowledge and split marketing efforts in a way that both makes things easier and lets you all work more efficiently.

4. Share Information - keep each other in the know, rather than trying to keep up with all things publishing on your own. Share links and resources, bounce ideas off one another, and discuss the merits and drawbacks of various aspects of the business.

5. Support - got an unfair review? Complain in private to people you can trust. Revisions taking forever? Commiserate. Need a beta reader? You've got a built in group to ask.

6. Community - if you're starting to feel like writing is a special form of solitary confinement, then a collective may be the answer. It can take the place of wine or cats in what often feels like a lonely career.

7. Fun - being part of a group is a lot more fun than going it alone, right? (If you don't feel that way, a collective may not be for you.)

As one Infinite Inkling put it: "I'm no longer an author island. I'm a guest at the best indie party in town. And the lampshades abound."

Sound good? Go find your party.

Infinite Ink is:

Kea Alwang

Zoe Cannon

Nicole Ciacchella

S.K. Falls

Katie French

A.G. Henley

A. J. Krafton

Megan Thomason

Shelbi Wescott



17 comments:

  1. Thanks for having us, Sue! :) I've loved being part of the Infinite Ink authors, and can't imagine doing the scary work of being an author all alone.

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  2. I remember when the Indelibles started and thought: how lucky they are--and how smart!

    Now I'm fortunate to be part of a crew of our own. Gotta say... smartest piece of luck I've ever experienced. :)

    It's groups such as these that truly take the "alone" out of "indie". With Infinite Ink, I haven't just joined a network of writers just like me...I found a new writing family. That's a blessing because sometimes we need more than business advice--we need a little emotional support, too.

    Cheers, everyone... and thanks for hosting us, Sue!

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  3. I love that you guys are doing this! Especially with so many familiar faces. Rock on!

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  5. Let us know if you have questions about how we formed as a collective. We're happy to answer them here!

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  6. I love the support of being in a group too. I can't express what a positive change it's made not just in my professional life, but my personal life too. It's made writing (something I already loved passionately) even more fun, and it's helped reduce my stress levels. Plus, I have TONS of fun with my fellow Infinite Inklings.

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  7. I couldn't agree more. Being part of an author collective has so many pluses and I honestly can't think of the downside to being part of one.

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  8. We obviously agree, Angela! I can't think of a downside, either. Probably the biggest obstacle is the work involved in getting started. Our own Nicole Ciacchella did the heavy lifting to get us going. (Thanks, Nicole!)

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  9. I love the idea of collectives, and have thought about looking for one or starting one on my own for MG. Would you recommend doing a call-out for authors interested in banding together, or is approaching individuals a better idea? Is having a similar style or quality of writing something to keep in mind?

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  10. That's a really great question. For me, I was approached by an author who'd beta read my work and was therefore familiar with the quality of my writing. And then each author invited someone else with whose work they were familiar, and whom they could vouch for. That way, you're not just putting out a cold call and getting people who might not be as vested as you. Does that make sense?

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  11. Yep. I guess it'll just take some time. ;)

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  12. Hmmmm, group, would love that, but as you say...cold calling, not a great plan. I was part of a really great group of writers on the traditional side, who then all signed contracts and our worlds split...THAT was devastating. I've fought back from that loneliness and don't really want to return. So I'm a bit wary, but open. Maybe I'll just hope to be approached.

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  13. Thanks so much for having us guest, Susan. BTW, I looove your banner. In addition to loving the moral support you get in a collective, I love how we each take charge of a different area of social media, divvying up the responsibility.

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  14. You could approach just one or two people to start, then build from there. We had a core group of five who did an anthology together, so we had communicated a lot around that. We were also familiar with each other's work through that process. Someone else otganized us, thouvh, and we've added great people along the way. We've been lucky to some extent that we all virtually get along and are supportive. I definitely would not recommend cold calling. You need to feel like you can trust each other or the group won't be the support system you are probably looking for. I would also recommend finding folks in the same genre as much as possible. Infinite Inklings all write YA/NA spec fic, for example, so we can target readers who might enjoy any or all of our work.

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  15. Exactly right A.G., need to be in the same genre just to relate and to promote and to really have your heart in it, and yes, trust is very important, and the support...I suppose I'll just hang out a while and see who I connect with...thanks for the advice. Smiles.

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  16. Oh, Kea that part about divvying up the social media sounds heavenly to me...sigh...

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