Sunday, November 27, 2011


What’s the secret to making it as an Indie writer?

Successful self-publication is not a race where you win by beating the others to the top; it is a community where cooperation and collaboration increase everyone’s profits.   If you want to be a part of that community, ask yourself one simple question every time you meet a writer online or in person:  How can I help this person with their goals? Many times it is as simple as tweeting about one of their projects or mentioning them to your circle of friends. 

You might be thinking: Wait!  I thought this was about me and my book?  It is and it isn’t. If you genuinely care about how your fellow writers do, you’ll soon find that they begin to care about you.

Sound too simple?  Don’t underestimate the power of being good to people in the writing community.  Yes, there will be those who will not appreciate your efforts, but over time you’ll find that many more will…especially if you pick people who also share the collaborative spirit.

Where to start?

Let me introduce you to some of the nicest people I’ve come across in my promotional adventures this year.  Get to know them.  Some are authors.  Some are entrepreneurs.  Support them and you’ll find yourself welcome among some of the best and brightest in the Indie community.  Promote them and you just might find your projects being mentioned all over the internet. 

Monique is not a writer.  She is an avid reader who supports new Indie romance writers via her FB page and websites and will let you promote your books on her site for free.  She’s incredibly helpful and welcoming to new writers.  Her FB community is about 900+ and growing everyday.  Check out some of the people there.  Many will be on my list.  She’s not only a wonderful woman, but she is also surrounding herself with some of the nicest and most talented people I’ve come across.  Join the action there and start making connections.  How to help her out?  Mention her sites.  Encourage your friends to join the community.  Oh, and tell her I sent you.  She’ll get a kick out of that.

An author out of Africa who writes fantasy/adventure.  Her first book, The Eyes That See, is still free on Smashwords.  She is a talented writer who will take the time to write a review for your book if she likes it and those are like gold when you’re starting out.  Like so many of us, she’s at the beginning of her career, but I’m sure she’ll be a name people know in the future.  Give her free book a plug and you just might find your work being discussed on a whole other continent.

She is a new Harlequin Kimani Romance Author whose debut novel, These Arms of Mine, will be released on January 24, 2012.  Sure, she’s not an Indie writer, but you’d never know it by how supportive she is of self-published authors.  She’s active on Twitter and Facebook.  I’d friend her at both and help her make her first novel a hit.  Why?  Because in my experience, Judy is the type to repay your efforts by mentioning your projects…and she’s just a wonderful new friend to make.

Her Never Too Late series are making name for her in the Indie community.  Dating the Cougar is FREE on Amazon.  I met Donna online earlier this year when I put my own book up for free and am so glad I did.  She has a wealth of information about  the ins and outs of self-publication and she is another supporter of new writers.  When we first started to collaborate, she wrote to me about her realization – that my readers were also her readers.  So, when we promoted each other, we doubled our audience.  Isn’t that what all this networking is all about?  The readers we want to attract don’t read one book a year (ours).  They love to read.  Helping them find other great authors endears our readers to us more. 

Won’t this take up all my writing time?
It takes only a second to RT something an author mentions on Twitter or to share one of thier projects with my Facebook friends.  None of these connections detract from my writing time, but they add so much to my enjoyment of the process.

Annette Blair is a National Bestselling, award-winning author. In her thirty plus books, she’s explored nineteenth-century Amish Country; Regency and Victorian Britain; and madcap, modern Salem Mass, where bold women follow the Celtic faith with heart. There, she fought dragons, and fell in love with an angel. More recently, she’s solved mysteries beside Connecticut’s Mystic River.  She has a strong Facebook and twitter following and is cutting edge when it comes marketing.  Her background in traditional  publishing is a real asset as she moves into the self-pubbing arena.

Karen is retired teacher in Ohio who is an avid supporter of new writers.  She’s also an example of how good networking can lead to real friendships. I met her when I put Maid for the Billionaire up for free and she wrote to me with a list of errors she’d found in it.  She knew I was just starting out and wanted to help me fix them before too many people saw them.  I’ve come to value her opinion and her eye for mistakes.  I wouldn’t put a book up without hiring her to look it over first.  How grateful am I to her and her book group, Brainless Bargain eBooks Book Club? – I dedicated one of my books to her.  No, she’s not a professional editor, but if you can’t afford one, she’s a skilled second set of eyes.  Check out her website for prices or just to say hello.

She has an amazing number of venues to promote Indie authors and does so for FREE.  She’s definitely knowledgeable to make it into a business, but for now she does it for the joy of getting to know new writers and knowing that she makes a difference in their lives.  She sure made a difference in mine.  How to help her?  Well, first and most importantly her series, Safe with Me, has two FREE  parts.  Check out her writing.  Recommend her to your friends if you enjoy her writing.  Check out her many websites.  Tweet about them.  Mention them in your blogs. 

Cali is a steampunk Indie author who has her first novel, Viridis, on Amazon for FREE.  Her second book, Devil on a Sparrow’s Wing, is holding its own on the charts.  She designs ebook covers and is a wonderful resource for how to use Twitter effectively. Ask her about designing your next ebook cover or just tweet about her free book.  She’s a good friend to have and is connected to many other up and coming authors. 

She writes romance novels with a twist, many have a lesbian theme, but not all. She rejoices in the many variations of humans in this world. She also writes sci-fi, fantasy, urban fantasy, etc.  If you want a free taste, check out her Novan Witch, (5 star rating). It’s free.  But don’t stop there.  She writes in such a variety of genres.  I admire her range.  We met via Twitter while discussing promotional contests. 

Elementary teacher by day, romance author by night, Christine absolutely loves to talk about writing and reading. She is willing to recommend any book she's thoroughly enjoyed reading. She firmly believes a good story is a good story no matter how it's published and that writers need to help each other reach the next level of success. She promotes on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, various email loops where readers hang out, and the faculty lunch room where she teaches. "Hey, don't underestimate the power of a quick book suggestion over a ham and cheese sandwich." She writes a variety of adult romance, and her newest release, ABRA CADAVER, a dark paranormal, is coming in January 2012 from The Wild Rose Press.  

Writer and avid reader.  She writes reviews on her blog and is a wonderful source of information about the self-pubbing industry. 

Heather Peters is a Native New Yorker, an erotic romance e-book author of 6 books; loves writing alpha males, her latest SECRET DREAMS, finds an 80's rock star falling in love for the first time. Collaborating on her first erotic romantic fantasy with her writing partner, Angela Aaron. She's an avid reader, and she and Angela share a blog at http// where they've been known to promote new authors. You can find Heather's books at,

There were a couple people I wanted to mention that I couldn’t easily find information to post.  That is the second most important thing to remember.  Time is a precious commodity to writers.  If I can’t quickly discern what it is you want me to promote or easily locate information about one of your projects, chances are that I won’t mention you – no matter how much I like you.  For me, networking has to fit into quick slots during my day.  It can’t take away from my work, family or writing time.  Keep that in mind when you market yourself.  Make it easy for people to find you by putting your links everywhere and don’t be afraid to create an elevator pitch for yourself as a writer.

Oh, and me?  I’m saving the world one billionaire a time with my Legacy Series: sexy, alpha men and the strong women who tame them.  Book 1: Maid for the Billionaire is FREE on Amazon.  Book 2: For Love or Legacy is holding its own on Amazon and iTunes.  Any mention of my free book would be appreciated. 

Let’s not end this here.  Who has impressed you along your way?  Showcase them below and include their urls. Let's celebrate those who have been kind to us.

So join Ruth this week on Novel Works!


  1. Hey there, thanks for including me in such talented company. I am honored to be mentioned is such a group. I wish each and every one of you success. :)

  2. Ruth, terrific article with great information--and I'm not saying that just because you mentioned me in it; I really mean it! You're the best and deserve every ounce of success you receive--which I know will be tons! Keep writing and I'm waiting for book 3!

  3. Fabulous article Monique and Shaina are the fact the support from Romance Novel Junkies is beyond belief!

  4. Love the article and all the support system listed. Thanks Ruth and Jerri.

  5. Ruth - you know how much I value our new-found friendship! Thanks for listing me with such wonderful people. You are truly amazing! Extremely valuable information for those just starting out!
    Karen Lawson

  6. Hi Ruth! I read your book and enjoyed it. I found out about it in Romance Novel Junkies, Monique's FB group, so I have to agree with you that it's a great place to meet other writers and avid readers who are very supportive. Monique has fostered a great community for romance lovers and writers.

    I also have to agree that Judy Hubbard is very supportive, too.

    And so is Jerri Hines, by the way! She promotes authors on her FB page every day for free, and it's most appreciated.

  7. Who has impressed me along the way? Ruth Cardello. She's an adventurer in the world of publishing, friendly, funny, willing to answer questions and help her friends, and a brilliant writer. So generous with her talent. She's taught me so much. I knew we'd be friends the day we met.

  8. Jerri - this is such a big surprise! Thank you!

  9. Love having every one here! Ruth inspired me to try going the INDIE route. I have the being of a fantasy series out now under my pen name, Carrie James Haynes. Honestly, its been a great experience so far. The community of INDIE writers are so supportive!

  10. Jerri, you have no idea how timely this was for me. I needed this encouragement today. Thank you again!!

  11. You're so welcome. Glad I could help make your day.

  12. I agree that Monique Brady is one of the nicest, most supportive reader-promoter of authors on the net. I am hooked by her Facebook Group Romance Novel Junkies and her steamy, seductive website is so inviting.
    This article was wonderful all the way around.

  13. Thanks for the nice comments, ladies. Let's see if we can get some more wonderful people mentioned here. Don't make me start adding more and put you all to shame :)

  14. Thank you for posting words of praise for two of the most generous women who support and encourage writers: Monique Brady and Shaina Richmond. I kiss their toes.

  15. Nice to see such encouragement between writers. Building a community is what it is all about. Thanks for including me in the article.


  16. Hello ladies. It’s an honor being mentioned among so many talented authors. Ruth, thanks for sharing this, and Jerri for hosting us. It’s nice to know more about some writers whose books I’ve seen or read, but that for lack of time didn’t look up. Best of luck everyone.

  17. Jerri, thank you so much for all your kind words, and for taking the time help fellow authors. It's truly appreciated!!