Finding a writers group is not that hard. Especially down here in the Sarasota area. In fact I belong to four. Finding the right one for you is sometimes more difficult.
In 2012 I met with a small group of writes and we founded ABCBook4Children&Adults, Inc. We started out exchanging information on everything to do with becoming an author, from finding a publisher to marketing after. We had all made expensive mistakes. We paid much too much to get our books published. Our group was not interested in agents, query letters and finding a Traditional publisher. I didn't write my first children's book until I was in my sixties. I couldn't wait around for what might be years to see my book in print. A lot of writers feel the same way. Along came self-publishing. It's come a long way from the old vanity press day. I read some of those and they were terrible. They contained stilted dialogue, punctution and grammatical errors.
Does it still happen today? Yes, and even in the Traditionally published books.
What has changed is the quality of the work being published by self-published writers. They know that to be taken seriously they have to produce the best product they can.
That said what type of writer's group do you want to join. Do you want a critique group. A group that will help you refine your work. They will meet in libraries and coffee shops.
There are some like the Sarasota Authors Connection, that have great speakers come and you listen and hopefully take home some words of wisdom to use in your writing.
The Florida fictions Writers group has conferences and workshops. They have agents come to these and you can pitch your work and hopefully get and agent to help you get traditionally published.
Then comes the writers group I'm most proud, of the ABC Group. We try to help with the marketing of your book. No one will buy your book if they don't know it's out there. You have to use every trick in the book to let readers know about your book. social media, go to events, set up book signings. We attend at least ten events or more as a group.
All the writers groups are great to belong to. Authors are willing to share what they know. If you are serious about being an authors try to find one in your area. You will make friends, talk books, exchange information and have fun.
Book fairs and Arts and Craft shows are a great way to get out there and introduce your book to the world. Most authors do not like to go to events. I know of several really good writers that all they want to do is write the book and hope someone will discover them.
I try to tell them it just doesn't work that way. You have to promote your work somehow. They don't even use social media. I know that the world has changed and older people don't like and can't use all the technical stuff out there. I'm 68 and had to learn a lot. I'm one of the exceptions I guess in that I love to learn new things.
We had a wonderful speaker at one of the groups I belong to and helped to found ABCBooks4children&Adulta, Inc. our website is www.ABC-Artisansofbooks.com
The speaker was Dee Dee Scott, DD.Scott@live.com ,She was traditionally published and now is self publishing her books. She told us that even traditional houses are cutting back on the amount of publicity they do for their authors and the advances are getting smaller.
So authors have the choice to stay home and write their next great novel and wait to be discovered or get your butt out there and promote your book.
I love to go to events. I know I'm nuts. but I have made some wonderful connections with fabulous people. Marketing your books is not easy. It takes time and a bit of money. I'll give some ideas next week.
Living in Florida is fun. you have all summer to get that next book written, work on your social media and get ready for "SEASON" which runs from October to April. that's when the Snow Birds come down to the Sunshine state and spend their money at book fairs and arts and craft shows. I'm already booking myself for things in March of 2017.
Maybe we will meet at one of them. August 27 & 28, 2016 I'll be at Fiorelli's Winery in Bradenton FL. In my last book, Honey Tree Farm - For the Love of the Beekeeper's Daughter, two of my main characters got engaged and bought some wine to take home. I'll promote my book and see if they would like to carry it in their shop. They expect a couple hundred people so hopefully I'll sell a couple books. If you are in the area come out and just say hey!
I listened to a webinar the other evening about selling to libraries. It was extremely interesting. The presenters talked about reaching out to the person in the library that handles acquisitions. About how they would provide a template for emails to this person. How difficult and costly it was to purchase the list of libraries around the country. in the end the promoted a course that would teach you what you had to do and provide you with the list of libraries and the template for the e-mails. It sounded wonderful. I could make eight times the royalty selling to libraries. Believe me I could use the money. At the very end they mentioned the cost of this wonderful special course for authors who wanted to get their book into the library system. The cost was almost $500. I don't have that amount just laying around.
What could I do? The very next day I went to my old computer, still running Windows 7, and googled Florida Libraries. You would not believe how many libraries were listed with address and phone numbers, right there for free. I love free. The presenter said the list alone cost several hundred dollars.
Then I googled the libraries that might be interested in my new book, It's set in the Myakka/Arcadia area of Florida. I tried the Sarasota County Library first. I wrote them a very nice email telling them about my book, I'm a local author and went on about how their readers would love to know about rural Florida and how much the readers would like the story line. A day later I got an email that they bought three copies of my new book Honey Tree Farm. Yeah!!! Spurred on by my accomplishment I emailed the Manatee County Library system. You guessed it they bought two copies of my new novel. I have two other novels that are set in New England, Broken Branches and Bottle Alley. I did e-mail libraries there but nothing happened - yet. Since I have phone numbers I'll call them and ask who is in charge of your new acquisitions. My first email might not have gone to the right place but I plan on following up with a phone call.
You can sell to libraries. You just have to work at it.
From the active mind of Brenda M. Spalding