This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
This is not a new phenomenon, but there’s been a real surge of authors (and aspiring authors) working together to create joint author platforms, and I’m intrigued to know whether it works, and whether you need to be part of one.
Personally, I love being around other authors. There’s something about the energy, enthusiasm, and determination that often seems to be infectious. When I come away from a writers’ group meeting or an RNA event, I’m always super-keen to get writing again, or desperate to try out new marketing ideas. Whatever it is, it seems that there’s a certain magic that you get by mixing with other authors. And luckily with social networking there are plenty of opportunities for you to have that all important contact no matter where you are in the world. So I can more than see the attraction of having virtual pods of authors with likeminded goals who spur each other on.Yet interestingly the sites that seem to be popping up at the moment aren’t so much online writers’ groups, but sites created by groups of authors which are a way to raise the profile of all those involved. These groups range from aspiring authors, indie authors that have banded together, and traditionally published authors that have a genre, or location, in common.
In the days before I took the self-publishing leap (and in fact it was one of the reasons why I made the leap in the end), I belonged to one of these band-of-authors sites. It was great to be surrounded by people who were just as dedicated as I was in trying to become the next bestseller and everyone had so many ideas. But as much as I liked being part of the group, it just didn’t work for me.
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A big motivation behind the group was to support the other authors in it. And this for me was where it fell down. I often found I didn’t have enough time to support myself with social networking, let alone finding time to keep track with what the other authors were up to. I quit the group, because I felt I wasn’t pulling my weight, and instead of being ecstatic that another one of my blog links had been retweets by a fellow member of the group, it made me feel guilty that I hadn’t retweeted one of their links for ages.
But just because it didn’t work for me, doesn’t mean to say that I don’t think those kind of sites work. There are some really good examples of authors that write in the same niche genre that have created joint author platforms. Whilst they maintain their own platforms too, having a shared presence means that they’ll hopefully share their readers.
I’ve also seen it done really well amongst aspiring authors, too. When they’ve created a site which features not only posts about themselves, but also interviews with authors and publishers. I’m guessing that it’s again to increase their profile, networking opportunities and to add another string to the writing bow to be able to talk about in cover letters.
So does the twenty-first century writer need to belong to one of these sites? What do you think, do they work? If you’re part of one, what do you hope it will achieve?