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This Facebook group which began in May, 2017, has about 220 author members who are published. The group is ‘closed’ so that only members can post and comment. There are three basic questions for which straight answers are required. Unanswered questions warrant an automatic decline. You must be a published author to join although aspiring authors can submit unpublished work as a sample for possible inclusion if your book is nearing completion.
The overall goal of the group is for members to share aspects of their publishing journey – what works, what doesn’t, what pitfalls have they learned to avoid, what web sites have up-to-date helpful advice, and much more. It’s about ways members can assist other writers with writing, editing, publishing, marketing and anything else that is part of the essentials of book publishing. What are the best platforms on which to self-publish? Are stock covers okay to use? Why aren’t my books selling? Is it a problem with my cover or back cover? Do I have a major editing problem to solve? Does my plot make sense? Are my characters wooden? Are they believable? Are they relatable? Should I do giveaways and under what circumstances? Is Kindle Select a smart choice or should I ‘go wide’? What does it mean to have publishing success? Traditional or self-publishing or both? Does Twitter or Facebook marketing work? Do I really need press releases and won’t all this marketing kill my writing time? Why is it that authors seem to be shy about sharing their ‘secrets’ in marketing, or in discussing their book sales or lack thereof? These are only some of the dozens of issues and questions that authors can and should explore.
Friends Who Share Best Publishing Practices is becoming a good vehicle for examining the overall publishing process in hopefully a deeper, more personal way, so that others can gain more clarity, and offer clarity and experience to writers who, for instance, may be very good writers, but simply do not have tons of money to spend and may be struggling in the all-important marketing game. Perhaps members could start to form sub-groups which could study and criticize other members’ marketing approaches and even decide to co-market books. There are many ideas that can be tested within a dynamic group, and I hope that, as we approach the second year, that such a dynamic energy will drive this group.
Thanks to all who have contributed to the ongoing success of Friends Who Share Best Publishing Practices.