Writers helping writers- I experienced a true sense of community this week, big time, as I joined a new writers group.
In a time when people rarely know their own neighbor's name, I have found an online community of writers and authors who are out there, calling your name, giving you high fives and just...amazing.
Writers, in my recent experience, are truly some of the nicest people I have ever met. They share share their experience through helpful information, all in an effort to help newbies like me. They are encouraging, they are supportive and they are just nice people. Maybe it's a fluke, and I just ran across a great bunch of people, but I can't help but feel lucky to be part of this community, like I have my home team in the dugout, cheering me on, crossing their fingers for me and pointing me in the right direction toward home plate.
On Twitter, writers and authors really do support each other. One of my first tweets was to announce I had just finished my first manuscript and the first message I received was a congratulations from a YA author right away. I have followed some of my favorite authors and tweeted and favorited their content. In return, these people have followed, retweeted and favorited my content, sending some congratulatory messages along the way, on my first book.
There are some wonderful blogs out there as well by authors who send out helpful information on the writing process, publishing process, marketing process, all sharing freely in the wealth that is their knowledge.
Wow, very cool.
Maybe it is because writers are the most avid readers and they want to read good books. Why not share the knowledge?
Let me give you some examples of writers and authors helping their community:
Mark Coker, of #Smashwords, has published 3 books on how to self publish and they are free for anyone to read. They have been a great help to me during my first publishing experience. He also keeps a list of affordable cover designers and formatters http://www.smashwords.com/list which is where I found my next connection.
LJ Anderson, of Mayhem Cover Creations http://mayhemcovercreations.com/ is a published romance author who has her own company which specializes in book cover design, formatting, book marketing and web design. She designed my ebook and print covers and did the formatting for both, which turned out amazing.
Judith Briles of #AuthorU http://authoru.org/ puts out extremely helpful podcasts and has a wealth of information on her website for authors and writers on how to navigate the business.
As for writers who have personally helped me through this process so far, I would like to acknowledge the following people...Shout Out Time
Tami Lund, http://tamilund.com/ Author of The Naked Truth, The Resort Series and Candy Crush (not the game, but the romance novel) did me the honor of giving me my first review. She is a member of my new writer's group and was nice enough to read an advance copy of Sweet Dreams and give me her honest feedback. Feedback that is going to help me put out a better final product.
Sheri Williams, another writer in my new group, was kind enough to read an advance copy of Sweet Dreams and give me my second review. In the short time I have been part of this group, she has been one of the most encouraging.
Katherine Grubb, creator of 10MinuteNovelists, had been a friend on Twitter for a while, but when I engaged in last Thursday's Twitter Chat, I was immediately welcomed by Katherine and added to her group, where I have been interacting with these awesome folks.
Tammara Webber, http://tammarawebber.blogspot.com/ Author of Easy, Breakable and several others, gave me advice via twitter on cover design. I was amazed she took the time to respond and engage with someone she didn't know from atom. That was an awesome moment.
Colleen Hoover, http://colleenhoover.com/ Author of Maybe Someday, Hopeless and several others, I met at a book signing in Oakland, Ca and gave me some great advice on being a new author. She was extremely down to earth and extremely nice.
There are so many more people out there in the writer community, that I am now lucky enough to be a part of, that have encouraged me from the beginning and continue to do so. I feel truly blessed.
I wish all communities in life were this welcoming.
What is my neighbor's name you ask? I have no idea.
I'm also on