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Indie Author Communities

The best indie author communities are twofold in the writing world. 1: Online and 2: Local group.

The benefits of being a part of an Indie Author Community are numerous, from advice on publishing, and marketing to a safe space to discuss new ideas, get feedback on new work, find out about author and writing software, cover artists, keyword software for your business, building author websites, exchange newsletter lists, asking for help, asking for reviews, finding beta readers, marketing channels, podcasts, ebook formatting, promo exchanges, a supportive environment, a shoulder to cry etc. Yes, we wear many hats as an Indie Authors who self-publishes and joining a community (or numerous communities) or forming your own is definitely a great decision and opportunity to connect with fellow independent authors and network.

NOTE: Play your part, communities work when people play their part, when we give our time, share our knowledge, respond etc. Yes, it can be overwhelming at first, especially if you are a noobie and you think you do not have much to contribute, but you do. Participate, and embrace the communities you join.

1: Online Indie Author Communities

Online groups for indie authors and self publishing are numerous here are just a few to get you started.

Facebook Groups

You are probably already a member of a few FB groups and yes, there are thousands of self-publishing and indie author groups on Facebook. FB makes it easy to find groups that cater for your niche be it romance, cowboy, horror, fantasy, spiritual, conspiracy, vampire etc and this is where it gets a bit tricky. Finding a group that has a collection of people that are looking for what you are looking for, is possible, they are out there, you just need to look and ask. 

Example:

I wanted to collaborate with folks in some of the FB groups I frequented to meet up virtually via Zoom/FB groups etc to read over materials and get feedback, discuss marketing, editing etc. So, I searched for posts related to this and then started asking around. I found this extremely useful when writing my first novel, I was fortunate to find a tight group of about six folks from all over the world, writing fantasy. We would meet once a month for a few hours and do an open reading, everyone got a chance to read and everyone gave feedback, which was powerful and transformative for my writing. Just a case of forming the band, so to speak. Lots of groups on FB. 

Note: Most groups specialise, so be specific about what you want from a group before you search. 

EPIC indie

https://www.facebook.com/share/2uGT8KTtvSKbaaQ1/

Wide For The Win

https://www.facebook.com/groups/wideforthewin

Writers Unite

https://www.facebook.com/groups/145324212487752/

Writers Helping Writers

https://www.facebook.com/groups/27659251025/

Writers Group

https://www.facebook.com/groups/311509740857/

Scottish Association of Writers

https://www.facebook.com/groups/391088947586072/

Fantasy Writers Critique & Support Group

https://www.facebook.com/groups/222563778503812/

Science Fiction/Horror/Fantasy Writers Inc.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/567018306677011/

Kindle Unlimited Readers & Authors

https://www.facebook.com/groups/927360507343854/

Authors’ Support Group

https://www.facebook.com/groups/AuthorsSupportGroup/

Fantasy Authors to Fantasy Artists premade / custom book covers.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1068682373498580/

StoryOrigin Authors (Cross Promo & Giveaways)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/StoryOrigin/

Fantasy Authors Cross Promotion

https://www.facebook.com/groups/fantasyauthors/

The WriterLifeGroup

https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheWriteLifeGroup/

Kindle Authors Helping

https://www.facebook.com/groups/KindleAuthorsHelping/

Smash Words Authors

https://www.facebook.com/groups/smashwordsauthor/

Writers Write

https://www.facebook.com/groups/writerswrite/

A Room For Writers

This is the small group I created to do readings.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/3406786382730652/

Social Media

There are many social media platforms and each author has their own preferences be it TikTok or YouTube for video. Instagram for images, X/Twitter for short form and FB for everything.

All these social media platforms use hashtags, and the most common indie author community hashtags can be used to find and interact with the community.

Hashtags

#writingcommunity #AmWriting
#writerslife
#writerwednesday
#fridayreads
#writing

#writingprompt

Reddit

One of the most active if not the most active forums online, with thousands of subreddits and threads galore. There is some really amazing information and people to be found on Reddit. Here are some of the classics for authors and publishers.

r/writing — for general writing purposes.
r/writingprompts — for user-submitted writing prompts.
r/destructivereaders — Caution, if you are sensitive to harsh criticism, this may not be the ideal choice. However, if you are open to receiving it, you will emerge as a more skilled writer by the end.
r/worldbuilding — Fiction worlds provided by users.
r/fantasywriters — for everyone into the fantasy genre.
r/characterforge —The ideal location for developing one’s character.
r/writerchat — For individuals who want to engage in conversations with other writers.
r/selfpublish — For those intrigued by self-publishing.

NaNoWriMo Forums

From their website:

“Once a writer (or soon-to-be writer!) signs up on our site, they can participate in our programs in a variety of ways. Prefer to write on your own timeline? Set independent writing goals and work at your own pace. Prefer the exquisite pressure of an ambitious deadline and enthusiastic community egging you on? Set an official challenge goal during National Novel Writing Month in November or Camp NaNoWriMo in April or July. You’ll receive resource-packed messages (and the occasional celebratory gif) from us, and if you reach your word-count goal, you can access a special winner page with sponsor offers and more.

Either way, once you’ve signed up, you can explore our how-to materials, make writer friends in the forums, join your local region(s) to see what’s going on nearby, pop in on the occasional virtual event hosted by NaNo HQ, make buddies and join writing groups, get inspired by pep talks from authors like Gene Luen Yang, Roxane Gay, Kacen Callender, John Green, and N. K. Jemisin, and—of course—track your writing progress, novel or otherwise.”

https://nanowrimo.org/about-nano

SF Chronicles

A forum dedicated to everything Sci-Fi and Fantasy.

https://www.sffchronicles.com/

Critique Circle

From their website:

Improve your writing skills in one of the largest and longest-running writing communities on the web.

https://www.critiquecircle.com/landing

Scribophile

From their website:

Become a better writer and meet beta readers in our online writing group.
Scribophile is one of the largest and most award-winning online writing communities.

https://www.scribophile.com/

Insecure Writers Support Group

From their website:

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

https://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/

Story Origin

From their website:

Join a Community of Amazing Authors. Find reviewers. Increase book sales. Build your email list. Together.

https://storyoriginapp.com/

Others to consider

Goodreads, BookBub, 

2: A local Author Meet-up 

Finding a physical group to attend, is really all down to the area you live. If you live in a large city or town you are going to have at least one writers group nearby. If you live out in the sticks, it may be something you travel for once every few months. 

For example, I live near Glasgow, Scotland and there is a sci-fi fantasy writers group that meets once a month in Glasgow (As yet have not attended but it is on my list) https://gsfwc.wordpress.com/ as well as groups like Shut Up and Write https://www.meetup.com/shutupandwriteglasgow/ and The Glasgow Writers https://www.meetup.com/glasgowwriters/ .

These are all great options to meet like-minded folks, exchange ideas, learn, teach, and be inspired.

Places to look for local groups are

meetup.com

https://www.downtomeet.com/

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/

Other great places to look for a local author meet-up are your local Books Shop, Community Group, Public Library, Education Facilities, Arts Council. If all fails then just Set Up Your Own. Get the community involved, find your people online and bring it into the real world.

Well I hope this has been of some use to you, I have various resources, on software, social, story structure and most other aspects of running a small indie author business on my website for free. https://www.robbwallace.co.uk/self-publishing-resources/ 

Cheers

Robb

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