One of the myths of independent publishing is that we go it alone. We don’t. Indie authors outsource and trade skills, collaborate, cross-promote and form partnerships. The next evolution is to form collectives and networks.
To expand our reach and range of projects, we need to think about how our varies skill sets can fit together. For instance:
♦ This summer I’ll be in a non-fiction self-help project with multiple writers. That project is headed up by my friend Shermin Kruse, author of Butterfly Stitching. Shermin is an ambitious, connected person determined to make the world a better place by organizing a team. I was shy about working with her, but who could say no to working with such heavy hitters?
♦ I’m writing a new series with a popular author. We both wanted to create another brand that was more focused. Our aspirations fit nicely, 50/50. That series will be under a new pen name for both of us. It’s exciting to experiment, and I’m finding two authors working together multiplies the energy and output. That’s a good thing, too, since we don’t plan to release any books until we have a trilogy.
♦ I just met another author with whom I hope to co-create new podcast episodes as I shift the focus of the All That Chazz podcast. (More on that another time.)
♦ I’m also co-creating the Ghosts and Demons Series with Holly Papandreas, author of Ouija: Based on a True Story.
The first book in that dark fantasy series is The Haunting Lessons. How that partnership came to be is explained at the back of the book, but the short version is, we can all do more by helping each other out, filling holes in each other’s game plan. (Hint: not everyone who writes wants to face all the complexities of publishing, even though they don’t want to find a traditional publisher, either.)
Cool cover, huh? The story is a fast-paced adventure about a girl from Iowa who, following a tragedy, discovers she has supernatural powers that lead her into more and more trouble, like swordplay, dangerous weirdness and inter-dimensional warfare.
As we face the uncertainties of the book publishing industry, remain calm and carry on. If you’re one of us, you’re going to write no matter what, whether you sell a bunch of books or very few. Relax and enjoy the writing process. There have always been ups and down in writing books and there always will be. You are not alone in your worries and aspirations.
Being a writer can be a lonely business, but it doesn’t have to be. We are not alone. We have each other.