Wednesday 3 January 2024

IWSG January 2024

Time for our monthly meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group and the first one of 2024! Hosted as ever by Alex J. Cavanaugh, the aim of the group is to offer a safe space where writers can share doubts and insecurities without fear of being judged. This month's co-hosts are Joylene Nowell ButlerOlga GodimDeidre Knight and Natalie Aguirre.

It's a brand new year, so there should be a lot to talk about. Chief among these is that I'm not going to miss any more IWSG postings if possible after skipping the last two. Life intervenes and all that, but I'm lucky not to get kicked off the list! 

First, let's look at this month's IWSG question. I was a bit caught unawares by this one:

Do you follow back your readers on BookBub or do you only follow back other authors?

BookBub is one of the many things that I'm on, but I need to do more with. I hadn't even thought about it for some time, which I know is bad. Upon realising I did actually have an account, I found I had a grand total of ten followers and was only following one back. I quickly put that right and followed everyone else. Now, I just need to see what BookBub can do for me. I have always inferred that it's hard to get listed in promotions and such, but I need to have a poke around. But yes, I would always follow back readers as well as authors, as I would on any platform. Authors are great sources of support and will often read your book and shout about it too, but I want my book to reach as many people as possible and not just readers.

So, turning to thoughts of the new year... apart from cracking BookBub, what do I have in store? Well, I decided that this is the year I finally put myself out there in the form of real, live author events.  Something that I've always shied away from or found an excuse not to do. But I do believe that a one-on-one connection between an author and audience is increasingly important in a world that's being digitised to death. I have recorded several podcasts and Facebook live events, so have dabbled in public speaking to an extent, but it's a different ball game when the people are right there in front of you. I'm going to have to do a lot of practice so I don't fall on my face, but I'm up for the challenge. I'll be starting off with a reading at Cymera SFF festival in Edinburgh in the summer, and then there's an indie book festival in the autumn that I hope to confirm this week. 

Apart from that daunting prospect, I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing, but more consistently... writing, marketing, newsletter, whatever else. I don't believe in making grand resolutions out of leftfield that will probably only last a couple of weeks. Instead, it's better to refine and improve what you already do. That said, I do want to get fitter this year. I'm also continuing with querying and of course will give updates on any positive news on that front if it comes.

I hope 2024 is a wonderful success for you whatever you have planned! To read other IWSG entries, as ever, check out the list here.