I see a lot of newbie writers posting in places like the KDP boards on Amazon or on Goodreads boards, writers who are searching for help from other writers. As many have said before, writing can be a lonely business. Worse, we tend to be terrible judges of our own work. It’s vital to make connections with other writers to gain information and share your work. Of course it also goes without saying that you need to be open to such advice and criticism.
It occurs to me that it would be helpful to have a small list of websites where writers can turn to in order to get answers, meet other writers, and join critique or beta reading groups. Note that this is just a small sampling of what is out there. Most of these I have used and found helpful in one way or another.
Forums for general questions about publishing, marketing, being an author:
- https://www.createspace.com/en/community/index.jspa (for print books)
Blogs with lots of useful information for indie writers:
- Smashwords founder: http://blog.smashwords.com/
- Joe Konrath, author: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/
- Dean Wesley Smith, author, mentor: http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/
- Kristine Kathryn Rusch, author: http://www.kristinekathrynrusch.com/
Writing critique communities online: (for getting your work critiqued or beta read by other writers)
- http://www.critters.org (very thorough, I have found, but it takes a while to move through the queue)
- http://tor.com/community (yes, it’s a publishing house, but there’s an active reader/writer community there, and you can post chapters of your book up for review. I had some excellent suggestions from there for the first chapters of my book).
So these are again just a few to get you going, but there’s a wealth of knowledge there, as well as support from other writers. One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give to new writers is this: BE PROFESSIONAL. Don’t be one of the “badly behaving authors” who think that because they wrote a book they deserve every reader on the planet to bow down to them and buy their book. Be respectful, be humble, be polite. I don’t care how many hours/months/years you spent on your book. It’s not your baby. It’s a bunch of words. Words that may need to be improved, so that you can get your story across.