When I started fiction writing, I knew nothing about the actual process much less all the other roles one must take on in the author world of publishing, public relations, and marketing. My innate sense for scoping out how to do things helped. Since not everyone has that ability, I’m sharing five reasons author tribes will make you a better writer and hone all your skills.
For most people, writing is a solitary event. The struggle may be not to feel isolated or alone. You need information, support, and unconditional writer love. Other wordsmiths understand. They can empathize while helping. Whether you need specifics on the craft of writing or the nuts and bolts of publishing and marketing, an author will be your best asset.
When I started out, my first definition of a tribe was a group of guides and facilitators for everything authorly. It’s still that way, but now it’s specialized.
As I looked for my tribe, I positioned myself and my writing to be Seen. My genre is erotica and erotic romance. My teacher, Rachel Kramer Bussel suggested I take part in three erotica writing memes that would link to my blog. There I met both authors and readers. Look for a meme component in your own genre and have fun with it.
Finding people for a tribe does not differ from making friends or creating business partnerships. I don’t have ESP, so I use a good plan with clear communication and authenticity that outlines my wants and needs. Be yourself in the specific circle. Each one may take a different facet of you.
The hardest thing for me about joining a tribe was asking. Here is my favorite example: I had connected with author Oleander Plume on Twitter, and as I headed to her home base in Chicago, I invited her to coffee. She said no. Now as business partners, we laugh about that first contact.
Be bold. Do it. Ask. We are all just people. With mutual values, respect, humor and we help each other. Hear me singing the Beatles’ song? “I get by with a little help from my friends.”
My tribe definition changes as I discover a new writer need. I wanted to talk to an author about the craft of writing, and I suggested a phone call. Yay, to Mischa Eliot for agreeing.
Today, my tribes have become content specific. I get specific information from my local writing tribe, state writing tribe, national romance tribe, worldwide erotica tribe, and book marketing tribe. AND tribes are divided between real life and virtual life. And they can be different on social media platforms, too. When you expand your tribe, your writing and your reader following expand.
I used my influence and expertise for a special marketing tribe. How did I do that? I created my own tribe Sisters In Smut.
We started with three, and now we are nine. We bonded together for everything related to sex-positive erotica. We have our own website, our own following, and our own work. Our first anthology in the Spring. #ChemSexv2
My sisters and I are resources for each other in everything authorly. We discuss the how-to of writing, we edit, we create promos, and my favorite, we uplift each other to be the best writer we can be.
To sum it up:
Here’s my one simple strategy that involves love of coffee and books. It’s my morning coffee shot, like this one for Rachel Thompson.
When you find your approach and you use it, I’d love to hear how it worked!
Dr. J. arrived at her writing career after being a condom packer, sex educator, sex therapist, and finally a college professor of human sexuality. Using her vast knowledge and experience of sexuality and the mind, she continues her education efforts to integrate positive sexuality into the human experience through her stories. She writes within the Romance and Erotica genres.
Living the island life on the Atlantic coast, Dr. J. plays petanque, knits, and supports all the visual and performing arts of the area
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Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge: How to energize your book sales in a month - created to help authors market their book. She is also the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader's "Best of 2015" top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival), and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post, IndieReader.com, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly. Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs and two live Twitter chats: #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with TheRuralVA, Emilie Rabitoy) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with C. Streetlights and Judith Staff. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.
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