I met a couple of local authors today at a coffee shop. We had a nice chat. We talked about kids, publishing, other writers, blogging, series, marketing…pretty much anything you can think of, we discussed. It was a grand time and something I recommend every writer do.
Now I know what you’re thinking: “That's a fantastic idea! Let me find the most talented, wealthy writer in your area and hit them up for coffee!” I recommend against that.
First off, they won’t answer you; they don’t know you from Adam.
Secondly, they can’t give you much actionable advice on where you are today other than what big-name authors typically give at conferences, podcasts, and videos on YouTube. Seriously, Brandon Sanderson teaches a class at BYU every year and the last few years all the lectures have been posted online. You don’t get much bigger than him, and it’s hard to pass up all that free advise. Watch it if you haven’t seen it.
But the benefits of having other authors that are at your same level are vast. They understand your current struggles because they are most likely going through the same things. It’s vital to get reviews on your early works as Amazon will decide who it shows your book to based partly on the number (and possibly quality) of the reviews. That was one thing we spoke about today. We also spoke finances, pricing, and even talked about the ramifications of leaving book reviews as authors. Yes, that’s something that we as authors have to worry about.
They know resources that are useful to you today. We shared links to websites where other authors hang out, sites where readers who might be interested in our stories hang out, and talked shop about some of the biz going on with indie publishing and small/large press. Interesting stuff!
The other thing to remember is that writing is a lonely job. You generally write all by your lonesome, usually away from noise and other distractions. We don’t get out much, and I think it’s important to find time to make those human connections when we can.
So find a local author and meet for coffee! You’ll be glad you did!