Supporting Indie Authors

3 Ways to Be a Great Fan

It’s one thing to like someone’s writing, but true fans are hard to come by for a lot of literary professionals. Here are three ways you can do your part to help your favorite authors become successful in their craft and be a sincerely great fan of their work!


 

1. Tell the World

Good fans read the books, blog posts, and magazine articles written by their favorite authors. Great fans encourage others to read their favorite author’s stuff as well. They tweet, blog, email, and post about the book. They pin and Instagram pics of the book when they get it in the mail or download it onto their e-reader. They recommend the author when they text, call, or chat. The never miss a chance to mention the author’s latest book when speaking with a friend, colleague, or family member. These are the behaviors of fans who help create careers for writers that last!

How do you measure up? When is the last time you tweeted about your favorite author’s work or passed one of their books along to a friend or co-worker?

 

2. Get Involved

Many authors (especially independent ones!) have ways that you can get involved with the publishing process for their work. This could mean anything from pitching plots or characters to joining an ARC list. Authors with a little more notoriety may already have a few Goodreads or Reddit groups about them. But if they don’t, a great fan may be the one who starts that group for discussion about the writer themselves and the works that the writer produces. Sometimes just realizing that there is someone in the world devoted enough to a particular artist to create a group based on their career is what can draw other people into considering becoming fans as well.

Have you gotten this deeply involved on behalf of your favorite author(s)?

 

3. Buy Direct

As much as you are able, try buying directly from the author. This could mean purchasing their work from their shop, their website, their booth at a book fair, or directly through their publisher’s site. Purchasing through third parties such as Amazon or Barnes and Noble often takes a healthy chunk of profit out of the author’s pocket. While it isn’t always an option based on where you live, how far you’re able to travel, and other factors, consider doing what you can to deal as directly with the author as possible.

 

 

What else do you do in order to help your favorite author’s succeed in the publishing world? Leave a comment and let everybody know!

Writing Group Indie Author

How to Accept Constructive Criticism in Writing Groups

Writing groups are a great way for independent authors to get support, make connections, find resources, and–perhaps most importantly– hear critique on their works in progress. However, getting this feedback without becoming resentful, angry, or sad can be tricky for some. Here are three things to remember during the critique delivery process that can help you actually enjoy it.

 


 

1. “This is what I’m here for.”

Remembering this can help ease some of the defensiveness you might feel when people start dissecting your writing. The entire reason that you joined the group and decided to submit your book / chapter / poem for critique was so that you could get honest feedback about how it could be better. If you didn’t join the group for this express purpose, then the fault really lies with you for presenting yourself as someone who wants to strengthen their craft, yet all you really wanted was for people to kiss your ass unjustifiably.

 

2. “How bad would it be if I’d published without knowing this?”

Many independent authors are self-published. This means that they have full control over the creation, revision, publishing, and marketing of their writing. Unless you’ve created a Cartel like I have, there’s a good chance that your writing groups are the only thing saving you from publishing something that is full of plot holes, grammatical errors, character inconsistencies and the like.  If you find that your writing group is bringing up a bunch of problems that you missed, don’t look at it as an attack on you or your writing. See it as your reputation being pulled back from a cliff!

 

3. “No one is perfect.”

I have read books by many authors who are traditionally published (meaning they have teams of people and bundles of cash at their disposal to make sure that their writing is consistent, error-free, and as strong as possible), yet have several errors in them. If these bestselling authors with publishing powerhouses behind them can’t produce a perfect manuscript, how sane is it to believe that you will do so on your own? Hell, even with the feedback of your group?

 

The point is: Relax. Take the feedback you think is helpful. Ignore the feedback you don’t think fits. Just don’t ignore solid feedback because you didn’t like hearing it. That’s not fair to you, your writing, or your readers.

Have other tips for getting through the critique process? Leave a comment!

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Just another great Volo Press exclusive! Click the pics to buy! 

 

Volo Press 1000 Subscribers

Volo Press Hits 1000 Subscribers!

Just taking a moment out to recognize and thank all 1,000 (+) subscribers to Volo-Press.com!

By doing so, you support independent business, small business, woman-owned business, minority-owned business, and US-based business! Looking forward to serving you and your fellow bookworms and authors in the future!

 

 

4 Free Things Writers Pay For

I cannot tell you how many writers I’ve spoken to who have spent hundreds and even THOUSANDS 🤢of dollars on items and services that they could have gotten without ever pulling out their wallet. ere are just a few.

 

1. Book Publishing 🖨️

You knew this would be #1, didn’t you? My heart shattered when a fellow author told me that they’d spent nearly $3,000 publishing only about 500 copies of their book through a vanity publisher. For such a critical part of beginning to build your audience as an independent author, you don’t want to waste money like this right out of the gate. Especially when there are so many free, cheap, simple options that give you a high level of control over the project. And when you buy in bulk like this, you have to be responsible for storing, protecting (fires, thieves, rodents, insects, water, etc.) and transporting all these books. Whereas, having books printed only when a purchase is made–and without you having to store them–can save you a lot of risk, time, effort, and money.

2. Web Site Setup 💻

Again: easy and free. You can even go for ‘affordable’ and get a website with features like this one for around $10 a month. I could understand paying for a tutorial or some IT help once in a while if you’re super-uncomfortable with technology, but paying someone hundreds of dollars just for clicking a few buttons for you seems absurd, generally speaking.

3. Social Media Setup 👍

Social media profiles are generally free and can be set up within minutes. Once you become a world-famous author, maybe these profiles will get a little overwhelming and you’ll want someone to help you manage them (though that’s still not really necessary in most cases). But please, please, please do not pay anyone big money to do something so simple as merely setting up the profiles for you.

4. Mobile Credit Card Readers 💳

These are free. Please don’t ever pay for these. It makes me sad. One author told me they purchased a PayPal Here reader to use at a book fair, even though they didn’t even know how to use it. They hadn’t even set up a PayPal account yet, let alone a PayPal Business account! Yes, it was only about $20, but that’s $20 that could have gone towards book promotions, literary contest entry fees, a decent dinner, or–most lavishly–a brand new book! I understand that the new mobile readers with chip-compatible technology are available, and they can be relatively expensive, but there are still cheaper ways to get those than paying full price.

 

 

If any of this information is shocking to you, or if you have paid for some of these things yourself, I’m available for consultation as needed. As independent authors, we need to learn to reserve our resources (especially liquid cash), by not paying for things we don’t have to. If there’s a YouTube video, blog post, or pod cast that can teach you how to do something, learn and go do it for yourself for free!

How Repetition Hurts Your Writing

Are you being overly repetitive in your writing? What does this say about you as an author? How can it hurt your work overall? Read on and find out!


 

Am I Being Repetitive?

Maybe.

If you are, you have likely gotten this feedback from a member of your writing group or cartel.

However, even if you haven’t, it might be worth while to take a look at some of your recent work and figure out if you could stand to crack open a thesaurus.

For instance, a passage like this one might warrant some tweaking:

She pressed the button for the elevator and waited patiently for it. She nodded to the elderly man who stepped up beside her to wait before turning her focus back onto the doors. She couldn’t wait to get started on her first day at her new job. It seemed like she’d been waiting all her life for an opportunity like this. Now that her goal waited within her line of sight, she wanted to spring forward and grasp it.

Depending upon the story, there’s not a lot “wrong” with these lines. However, let’s try some more creative word choices:

She pressed the button for the elevator and waited patiently for it. She nodded to the elderly man who stepped up beside her before turning her focus back onto the doors. She was eager to get started on her first day at her new job. It seemed like she’d been in a holding pattern all her life, searching for an opportunity like this. Now that her goal hovered within her line of sight, she wanted to spring forward and grasp it.

What Does Repetition Like This Say About Me As An Author?

Not much, other than “you’re human.” Sometimes we are so exhausted we try to crank out as many words as we can and thinking about how artfully those words are crafted is the last thing on our minds. Other times, we can find some insight into how we think throughout our daily lives–or maybe just what kind of mood we’re in on that particular day–based on which words we tend to repeat.

For example, if you find words like “angry,” “irritated,” and “frustrated” are popping up over and over again throughout your piece, even when it isn’t really necessary, you might be dealing with something (or someone) annoying in your life. Did a family freeloader just ask you for money? Did a house guest overstay their welcome? Is your boss trying to take advantage of your kindness? There are lots of reasons why anger, sadness, anxiety, confusion or other dominant emotions could be creeping their way into your work without having any proper place there. Besides merely changing the words in your piece, you might want to consider changing the people around you, or how your interact with them, so that unpleasant emotions take up a little less space in your brain.

 

How Can Repetition Hurt My Work?

After all, Fifty Shades of Grey got published, so obviously it isn’t the end of the world if you’re a little (or a whole helluva lot) repetitive in your writing. My concern when I see repetitive language in books, magazine articles, or blogs is that is smacks of a lack of creativity. As though you either didn’t care, or didn’t know how, to use one of a number of synonyms for a particular word or idea.

If you don’t want to self-publish and are trying to go at it using the traditional channels (more power to you!), this could be one of those little things that leaves a bad taste in the mouth of a gatekeeper to the industry. You already have enough possible reasons for failure nipping at your heels. Don’t add ‘repetitive language’ to the pack if you can help it.

 

how has repetition hurt / helped you in your work?

Leave a comment!

 

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Affordable Services for Indie Authors

After all the hard work you’ve done to craft, edit, and market a great story, don’t lose out on potential sales because you didn’t promote in every way that you could!

Promoting Via Volo Press

If you go to the Volo Press Services page (volo-press.com/services), you’ll find regularly updated statistics regarding the digital footprint that Volo Press has online. For some of the lowest fees on the web, you can have your hard work shared with another segment of people who appreciate good writers like yourself who produce good work.

Promotion Options

$0: Free Book Review (not necessarily dedicated and likely, but not guaranteed, digital copies only)

$5: Inclusion in 2 semi-monthly newsletters

$5: 7 days of tweets on Twitter (1 per day)

$10: 1 dedicated Facebook post

$20: 1 dedicated LinkedIn post

$25: Showcase Post (cover, blurb, excerpts from reviews)

$30: Review Feature (a dedicated, guaranteed review, hard copies accepted)

$50: Volo Press Sidebar ad (one month duration)

 

Ready to get started? Go to Volo-Press.com/Services now!

 

Now on Reddit: Volo Press

The Volo Press subreddit is now available to subscribe to at Reddit.com/r/VoloPressers! Volo-Press.com subscribers won’t want to miss out!

 

What Kind of Content is Allowed On the Subreddit?

Just about anything, so long as it is related to literature. Got a new book coming out? Post a link! Love your local bookstore? Tell us about it! Just saw some big news on Volo-Press.com? Share it on Reddit, too!

Of course, as time goes on, there may be reasons to enforce various restrictions, but we’ll just play it by ear! Enjoy!

 

Get Yours Now: Wind Screen

I’ve been hearing a series of book trailers with voice-over work that has a lot of static and background noise. For less than $10, you could get a wind screen for your microphone that will help reduce (and possibly) eliminate the excess noise that brings down the quality of the trailer. Find purchasing info below. Happy book-promoting!

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