I haven’t yet mentioned on my blog about the group I co-organize on the Meetup.com website, called London Indie Authors.
I joined the group some 2 years ago, back when it was just about still being run by Orna Ross, who founded ALLi, the Alliance of Independant Authors. A year later I was invited by then-organizer and my bud Jerome to co-organize alongside him.
We meet monthly to discuss marketing of our books. The group has changed a little in the last year, largely in the way we plan the agenda. We used to get speakers in about half the time, and half the time just do a kind of round robin chat of everyone’s current progress.
I wanted to move us toward a more internal focus, with fewer outside experts on marketing services brought in and a Mastermind-like structure to the agenda. The reason for this is because there is a huge amount of practical expertise amongst our group members which we weren’t tapping too often.
Now we’re tapping fellow writers’ expertise regularly. There are approx 3 half-hour slots in the 1.5 hour monthly meet, which folks can book in advance. Often there is a blurb critique, sometimes a report from someone who had success with a launch, sometimes a cover critique, and occasionally an open question period.
I love it. In this week’s session we had:
- My new blurb for The Last being reviewed
- One of our members asking about how to maximize the impact of a Bookbub
- Another member talking about her recent first book launch, which successfully got onto a nationwide BBC radio program via reaching out to social media influencers. Wow, right? It’s not something I’ve tried myself but the impact and authority it offers could be huge.
Another change in the group includes the membership rules – we used to be really an ALLi group – membership of ALLi and status as an Indie were both required, but neither are the case anymore. ‘Indie’ is still in the name, but I want the group to be open to all authors who care about marketing their books. Why not? We can absolutely learn from each other.
Indie marketing tends to focus on email lists and social media ads. Trad marketing focuses on getting into big media like the BBC and magazines. I want to hear it all. So maybe a further name change for the group is on the cards.
Now – what feedback did I get on my blurb for The Last? Extremely mixed! The new one is up on amazon. It takes good stuff from an earlier version (straight in with zombies rampaging in the streets) and a newer version (including Lara as a key ‘stake’). I’m pleased.
I believe everyone benefits from doing this kind of critique. Learning to write blurbs is the hardest. By critiquing each other, we definitely get to tune up our own skills, and get different ideas of what works. Plus it’s just good fun to help and be helped by ones peers.