Creating a Dynamic, Active Writing Group In Your Area

Mickey Goodman in Atlanta has learned how to create and manage an active community writing group:

“Being chosen to head an ASJA chapter is easy. Just head for the ladies’ room. When you return, you’ve been elected president (for life). The challenge is keeping the group active and relevant. It all depends on member participation.”

Mickey Goodman

It’s a lot of work, let’s not kid ourselves. It takes a big commitment on the part of the President and of every single member to make it a point of contributing and being there all the time.

What you  want to do with your group–how you focus the time and meetings–is up to you. Having professionals come to speak is very helpful, but you also need time to share among yourselves what you’re writing, how it’s going, getting feedback from each other. You want to celebrate individual member achievements and milestones, as well as help each other through inevitable disappointments and setbacks.

Mickey says “Our meetings, which take place monthly at the same time and place, are well attended.  Phone calls, e-mail, and Facebook notices on our private ASJA-SE page are frequent. When members don’t show up for two or more meetings, someone will usually call or mail—out of genuine concern—to find out why. We hope no one feels neglected or alone.”

As an author’s consultant, I always enjoy talking to a serious writer’s group. They have practical questions and challenging issues to address. With almost three decades of experience, I can offer perspective and suggestions on particular aspects of publishing.  Mickey says for her group, “In 2014, we’ve already heard from a CPA talking about tax deductions for journalists, a program arranged by Karon Warren, and we’re planning a discussion on journalism ethics using the best-seller Five Days at Memorial as our guide. A talk by a literary attorney is also in the works, as well as a hands-on workshop with developers of Publisheze, a hybrid of Print on Demand and traditional publishing.”  read more

There can be so much value in your writers’ group, selectively assembled and kept to a size that is manageable and meaningful to you. writers group

If you cannot find a good-fitting group in your area, start one. Create what you need. Nathan Kressen of Nook Press offers excellent tips on starting a group.  And Emily Wenstrom has some practical advice with her 5 Tips.

Onward.

Luck Only Brings Success If You’ve Done the Work

Christina Katz, author coach and author of important writer resource books like GET KNOWN BEFORE THE BOOK DEAL and THE WRITER’S WORKOUT– wrote an honest and excellent blog post about how easy it is to think every successful author “got lucky.”    creative writing flows from pen

” Last time I checked, however, luck had nothing to do with my own successes, my students’ successes, the writers I have interviewed or profiled, or the success stories of writers whom I admire from afar. The proof is everywhere. In fact, most of the real experts, including me, all say the same thing about publishing success: Set a goal and focus on it and don’t give up until you achieve it. Work hard, then work even harder, then work harder than you ever thought you could. Expect setbacks and then they won’t throw you.”

I was an agent for 27 years and I know how hard my authors worked, at every phase of their success, from concept through researching, interviewing, drafting–losing themselves in it, rewriting and editing, and then on to the marketing–years of marketing. Learning, trying, changing, learning more.

Books and publishing are organic processes, not static plans on a whiteboard, not the result of a networking connection. Writers are working with mental and emotional clay, shaping and reshaping. You discover your true book in the doing. It’s a long road, and every piece of success an author has is hard-won and well deserved.

Read more of Christine’s blog post

Onward!

Are In-Person Events Worth the Time and Effort?

I am posting this blog by permission of author Ron Herron–this is a timely and timeless message about face-to-face marketing–if you want to be a savvy author, read it:

Painting With Light

Portrait-Boy-Microphone

Social Meetings or Social Media?
I’ve had this particular blog since 2006, but it was originally to talk about my camera-collecting and photography. I was content with a few photography friends and family as followers.

At the suggestion of my son, Jeff (an accomplished architectural photographer), I began my adventure using social media to talk about the world of indie publishing and to promote my books. I also created a writer’s page on the Book of Face, and started making those ultra-short speeches on The Twitter.

It all sounded like a good idea at the time, for two reasons:
1.) I didn’t know any better, and;
2.) It fit in my promotion budget, which was exactly zero.

Instead of pursuing any speaking engagements or book signings, I spent my time focused on social media. Book sales went nowhere.

When my first book, REICHOLD STREET, was published, I…

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