Support for Indie Authors discussion

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message 1: by Tia (new)

Tia | 12 comments I really struggle with a lack of support, mainly from friends. I know I shouldn't have expected anything, then I wouldn't be disappointed.

It's frustrating to try so hard and get nowhere. At this point, I don't expect them to buy the book. All I want is for them to at least share my posts to hopefully increase my network. That's all, and I shouldn't need to spell it out. I have asked and normally only 2 or 3 people might share a post.

Should I give up on that avenue to promote my work and just focus on promotion elsewhere? Strangers and acquaintances have been supportive and my family is very supportive. Anyone struggle with this?


message 2: by Martin (new)

Martin Wilsey | 447 comments When I published my first book I was surprised by the lack of support from some friends and family. Some were even jealous. I also discovered that few people read ANYTHING.

I let it go.

My friends and family are just that, not customers.

In the end I actually found that a positive review from a stranger even means more to me.


message 3: by Rachael (new)

Rachael Eyre (rachaeleyre) | 194 comments It's the way of the world, sadly. I'm lucky that my other half writes too, so she understands the aspirations and anti social hours, but to everyone else it's an amusing foible. People only tend to take you seriously as a writer if you're making big money - and then they go on about how they always knew you were special. You can't win.


message 4: by Dylan (new)

Dylan Callens | 193 comments Tia wrote: "I really struggle with a lack of support, mainly from friends. I know I shouldn't have expected anything, then I wouldn't be disappointed.

It's frustrating to try so hard and get nowhere. At this ..."


I actually stay away from friends and family about my writing as much as possible. They only see or hear about the book from what I post on Facebook, as part of my promotional work, or the odd rambling when I am into something.

I don't know if I do that because I am trying to avoid disappointment or if I do that because I know the audience is elsewhere.... but it certainly has helped me to stay positive.


message 5: by Morris (new)

Morris Graham (morris_g) "I really struggle with a lack of support, mainly from friends."

If your not rich and famous as a writer, most friends and relatives will not take you seriously, so move on.


message 6: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Hi Tia,
There's a wholw thread of folks who have had the same experience right here:
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Not that it makes it any easier to deal with, but at least you should know that you are not alone.

My theory is that most people don't understand creative types and expect that you are going to ask for money or worse, a moment of their time. No, your friends and family should not be marketed to, but everyone wants to hear a 'good job' every once in a while, even authors.


message 7: by Cori (new)

Cori Dyson | 23 comments Since I am a physician by day, all my family is polite, but definitely give me the look that says, "Don't quit your day job." My wife is also a writer and extremely supportive. I've found such wonderful support from here and Facebook groups that it makes up for the polite looks from my family. I'm starting to make author friends and it fills that void. I would encourage you to reach out to other authors, offer to do something for them and watch friendships grow. Writing life can be lonely, but a few author friends makes it all worth it.


message 8: by Riley, Viking Extraordinaire (new)

Riley Amos Westbrook (sonshinegreene) | 1510 comments Mod
Cori wrote: "I'm starting to make author friends and it fills that void. I would encourage you to reach out to other authors, offer to do something for them and watch friendships grow. Writing life can be lonely, but a few author friends makes it all worth it."

I want to picture this and frame it. Great sentiment Cori.


message 9: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4307 comments Mod
Riley wrote: "I want to picture this and frame it. Great sentiment Cori."

Agreed. Cori summed up very well what this group is about.


message 10: by Joe (new)

Joe Jackson (shoelessauthor) Whatever you do, just don't beat them over the head with it. People who want to help will, and those who don't won't, and the biggest lesson you can take from it is who your "real" friends are.

In the end, keep your chin up, because you can say you wrote and published a book. Can they?


message 11: by Micah (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 1042 comments Christina wrote: "My theory is that most people don't understand creative types..."

I agree with that. Most people don't have the urgency to create. To them it's kind of a foreign concept. They associate creative endeavors with childhood when they used to draw with crayons. But adults doing creative things? That's weird.

Becoming weirder, too, since almost no one makes their own clothes anymore, and music is something made by others; it's not something you do in the living room with family and friends, as pretty much everyone used to do.

When you think of it, it's an odd disconnect. We're a consumer society so everything creative that we consume (music, TV, radio, streaming video, movies, books, cartoons, comics...etc.) seems like it just falls off a tree ready made for us to devour. And yet someone has to create that content.

But just like how most of us have no idea where hamburger comes from (the beef fairies make it in their magically sanitary and oh-so-humane beef packaging trees, right? Right?) they subconsciously believe that Authors (capital "A") are a special breed of human being, born and raised in isolation, trained and sanctified by secret rites of passage in the great publishing house "out there". Real people never meet Authors or Movie Directors or Video Game Producers. And therefore, if you know someone who "dabbles" in any of that stuff, they're obviously (and embarrassingly) just a fake wannabe.

I mean, no one actually does this stuff, right?


message 12: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Hill (kevinrhill) | 102 comments Learn to love the process. That place you go when you write, that is the joy for us, for me. For years I traveled--an international bum--because that creative turmoil inside me would not let me relax with life. Learn to love it so you don't need the approval of others. That process, like any self development, is like pealing an onion. When one layer is dealt with you begin on a new one. Create, love, move along. k


message 13: by Tia (new)

Tia | 12 comments Thanks to all of you for your responses and support. I agree, this author gig is hard! It's very rewarding though. I love writing and obviously just want to be able to share it with others.

Christina - Wow, thank you. I read that full thread and found myself agreeing and feeling for so many. I am not alone because other authors understand.


message 14: by L.S. (new)

L.S. May | 55 comments Most of my friends and family don't even know I write. They aren't really in my audience anyway.
I would rather people who were interested in my genre read my work than friends and family reading it because of some sense of obligation.


message 15: by Erin (new)

Erin Zarro | 95 comments My family is somewhat supportive, but I can tell they just tolerate it. Which is why I don't talk about it unless I'm asked. My father-in-law and my hubby are great, though. They celebrate every sale and every milestone.

Friends don't really get it much, so I get the "that's nice" kind of comments. *shrugs* It is what it is. I know I'm doing what I love to do, and that's really all that counts.


message 16: by Ian (new)

Ian Copsey (ian_d_copsey) | 69 comments My wife thought I was crazy in writing a book. My teenage daughter has her own reading interests. However, since the reviews have been better than expected they've begun to pick up interest... My elder daughters have been supportive though. Friends? Mostly supportive but thinly spread...


message 17: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4307 comments Mod
Tia wrote: "All I want is for them to at least share my posts to hopefully increase my network."

This is the part I don't get, either. I post once in a while on my facebook about my stories, when they're free, etc. I always post about the Book Blasts. But, they rarely get shared by people on there. It doesn't really bother me, but I don't get it. People are willing to pass on ugly political things slamming candidates they don't like, cat videos, "witty" sayings (usually accompanied by a picture of Snoopy or a Minion or something, even if the saying is nothing like something they'd actually say). But, they don't want to forward on ads for free books. Don't get it.

But, I don't expect family or friends to buy or read my books, unless they really want to. My books are not for everyone. And I know most of my relatives won't like or get my work, anyway.


message 18: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4307 comments Mod
Micah wrote: "Christina wrote: "My theory is that most people don't understand creative types..."

I agree with that."


And I agree with you.

And I'd like to take your word "disconnect" and run with it a bit.

I don't know how it is for other authors, but I've always been a bit disconnected from life, society, friends, family, etc. I rarely get close to anyone. I make friends easily and have many, but few I would even call "good" friends. I don't think most people know how to approach me, even people who have known me for years. They don't often understand me or my life as I'm on a different wavelength from them. I'm not saying this is a good or a bad thing, or that I'm better or worse than anyone somehow. I'm just different. And I'm fine with it.

But, I do think this is part of why people aren't interested in my work. They don't get me, so they figured they're not going to understand my stories, either.


message 19: by Erin (new)

Erin Zarro | 95 comments Dwayne, you are so right. I've always felt the same. Sometimes I feel like I spend too much time in my own head. People don't get it. And it sucks.


message 20: by Ian (new)

Ian Bott (iansbott) | 263 comments Seems to me that there's a difference between supporters, and customers. Sometimes the groups overlap but mostly they are very different animals.

My family is politely supportive in the sense that they are curious (up to a point) and offer genuine well wishes, but only one or two of them buy my books.

Forums like this, and other groups of writers, are tremendously supportive because we all understand what each other is going through. But I don't really expect to sell to other writers. We are all looking for sales, and the game of "I'll buy your book if you buy mine" doesn't put food on the table :)

The biggest surprise group of customers for me has been work colleagues (and, yes, that gives you an idea of the scale of my sales overall :) I had no idea there were so many sci-fi fans in the building, and they are genuinely interested in reading.


message 21: by Charles (new)

Charles Hash | 1054 comments Dust it off and keep going.




message 22: by J.D. (new)

J.D. Cunegan (jdcunegan) | 240 comments Ian wrote: "Seems to me that there's a difference between supporters, and customers. Sometimes the groups overlap but mostly they are very different animals.

My family is politely supportive in the sense that..."


Same here... I never once thought any of my co-workers would be interested in anything I write that's not work-related, but as word trickled around them that I wrote a book, I was inundated for requests for copies to purchase. I was glad for the rush of business, don't get me wrong, but... that was a bit surprising.


message 23: by Colin (new)

Colin Lever | 51 comments My first attempt at self-publishing sold a few books to colleagues but then died a death. Roll on 15 years and my ex-students discovered it on FB and it sold a whole lot more. Family have never read it,nor have they read any of my other books since. I found a niche market with my second book, and whilst it barely sold on the high street shops it sold out elsewhere. Like others have already said, you take your audience where you can get it. I go to a lot of local fetes and fairs as well as local craft shops etc. Getting sold online is the challenge that faces all of us.


message 24: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments Tia wrote: "I really struggle with a lack of support, mainly from friends. I know I shouldn't have expected anything, then I wouldn't be disappointed.

It's frustrating to try so hard and get nowhere. At this ..."


Yes, this certainly be a frustrating business. That's a reason not to involve friends in it (or family in some cases. The moment friends get involved in an avocation with financial implications, they are (even if in a trivial way) becoming "co-workers" and that may not be comfortable in a friendship (or with family). Asking them to help can create feelings of obligation and that can erode trust. So personally, I choose not to go there.

So my feeling is that it is indeed better to focus elsewhere.

And the thread Christine mentioned does have a lot of good insight.


message 25: by Frederick (new)

Frederick Finch | 100 comments I don't expect my family and friends buy anything from me, it looks to me as asking for money (or it seems to them maybe). Anyway, support is something that either comes along or it doesn't. It is not bothering me. I expect support in other aspects of life, those more common. That way I find less dissapointed in many less ppl.


message 26: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4307 comments Mod
B.B. wrote: Charles wrote:

More and more I suspect that B.B. and Charles may, in fact, be the same person.


message 27: by Segilola (new)

Segilola Salami (segilolasalami) | 108 comments it is a simple case of "a prophet is not valued in his hometown"


message 28: by Charles (new)

Charles Hash | 1054 comments Dwayne wrote: "B.B. wrote: Charles wrote:

More and more I suspect that B.B. and Charles may, in fact, be the same person."


That is probably the meanest thing anyone has ever said about BB. :(


message 29: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno You have a whole lot of supportive goodreads friends here! We rarely buy books, but we extend endless support -:)


message 30: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Hill (kevinrhill) | 102 comments I read somewhere that the expression 'out of the closet' originated with writers. I look at it as though going to university and working on my degree. None of my friends know quite what to do with me until I stand on the graduation stage and wave my diploma (popular novel). In the mean time I get to have lots of sex and go to wild parties and drink too much. (Kidding! about some of it)


message 31: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4307 comments Mod
Nik wrote: "We rarely buy books, but we extend endless support -:) "

Actually, there are some here that do buy books. I know of several here who pretty much only buy books by the members of this group, even.


message 32: by Tia (new)

Tia | 12 comments I'm very grateful for all your responses. I am glad to have found the discussions - a wealth of information and support. Where would we all be without our awesome goodreads friends!


message 33: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Hill (kevinrhill) | 102 comments Tia, you're correct. We are lucky to have these forums. Like minded people sharing experiences and help--how valuable.


message 34: by Ty (new)

Ty (tyunglebo) | 50 comments I get little return from any information about my writing I give to my friends. With my first book, I figured our friendship and the one dollar price would be enough for some support and some reviews. It wasn't and still isn't, which is why I told them far less about my efforts for my second book. I still let people know, especially on launch day. I'll even point it out a few times that day, and throughout the coming weeks. But I expect little now.

It may be the way it is, though that doesn't mean I understand it any better than anyone else here. It's not like the very same people aren't promoting their very own stuff to the same Facebook lists, and so on. I have friends who do tupperware, avon, make jewelry and so on, and they are certainly not shy about their own promotions. I admit it does blow me away how much they want to receive support without giving much to others, but that does seem to be the pattern of such things.


message 35: by Michael (last edited Nov 26, 2015 10:29PM) (new)

Michael P. Dunn (wordboy1) | 86 comments Support? What means this word?

I've gotten used to pretty much being on my own. Up until within the last year, my parents acted like writing was a waste of time. My friends and coworkers act like they're interested in my writing...up until the point where I hand them a business card. I can't even get anyone to read a completed story to give me some feedback. (I almost want to tell that if they think I'm that bad a writer, just tell me.)

I'm not sure what to do about the situation but it's frustrating sometimes.


message 36: by Mary (new)

Mary Criswell-Carpenter | 44 comments Ty wrote: "I get little return from any information about my writing I give to my friends. With my first book, I figured our friendship and the one dollar price would be enough for some support and some revie..."

Ty, I am exactly in the same place as you. The endless promotions of expensive party products confuses me when there is no reciprocity. I, too, wonder about those who say they will and won't/don't. We are talking 5 words and 5 minutes, or less.

I make it very clear that without reviews, I am limited in my advertising options. Call me "frustrated".


message 37: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Stafford (sarahstafford) | 5 comments Micah's comment literally sums it up. Very few people take indie writers seriously in the first place and that certainly doesn't help. Do as much self-promotion as your budget allows but certainly do not rely on friends and family to spread the word.


message 38: by D.E. (new)

D.E. | 7 comments My family has always been supportive. Frankly, I think my parents are relieved I have a 'job' they can understand. They struggled with a lawyer who didn't litigate (I was a corporate lawyer). I was very, very disappointed in my friends. Now that I'm six books further, they are starting to support me a lot more. I think there are a heck of a lot of self-published authors out there and unfortunately no one takes you seriously until you have a few books under your belt. Sometimes hurtful, but it is what it is.


message 39: by Mark (new)

Mark (goodreadscommarkgillespie) | 27 comments Concentrate your energy on building a community of readers. The only thing that matters is that you don't give up. Just keep going, be yourself, spread the word and the world will catch on.


message 40: by M. Ray Holloway Jr. (last edited Nov 27, 2015 04:33PM) (new)

M. Ray Holloway Jr.   (mrayhollowayjr) | 180 comments Dwayne wrote: "Nik wrote: "We rarely buy books, but we extend endless support -:) "

Actually, there are some here that do buy books. I know of several here who pretty much only buy books by the members of this g..."


I went to the bookstore the other day and started to pick up a couple of books to read. Halfway to the register, I thought to myself, "There are so many amazing books being offered by the authors in SIA, why would I NOT buy from them?" I actually put the books back and am about to read another story from one of "our" authors. I have also been encouraging friends and family to take advantage of the great talent represented here.


message 41: by Ceanmohrlass (new)

Ceanmohrlass Ceanmohrlass | 69 comments Hi Tia! I struggle with lack of support as well and so many of us are in the same boat :) Hugs! I write because I simply cannot ignore the stories that flitter around in my brain. I come from a creative and artistic family and it can't be ignored! Lolol As Indies, we are not considered as real writers by some but that no longer phases me. We create in a very challenging time for sales. I am aware I shall never be ultra rich but my work will be in the world forever, and if I ever outearn a day job so be it. I have decided that I will only buy books from Indies from now on in support of our plight.


message 42: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4307 comments Mod
M. Ray Holloway Jr. wrote: "I actually put the books back and am about to read another story from one of "our" authors. "

Great to hear that, Ray! We have some fantastic authors in this group. You're one of them.


message 43: by Marsha (new)

Marsha Ramnanan | 1 comments Wow! So glad I discovered this thread. I thought I was the only one who felt this way. In my imagination other writers were surrounded by friends and family who were tons more supportive.
It helps to greatly reduce that expectation gap (and the disappointment level).


message 44: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno I bet, if you invited unsupporting friends and relatives to a grand book launch party with lots of celebs and paparazzi, they'd be much more impressed. When you say to someone: "Hey, I've just published a book on Amazon", it doesn't sound that impressive these days. People are skeptical and may legitimately doubt my or anyone's writing skills. If they knew me as a lawyer for many years and all of a sudden I surprise them with the book, they might just think I'd lost my marbles -:)
I'm priviliged to have a few supporting friends who care to buy the books and even give them as Christmas presents to others, share my interviews on Face and so on and I'm very thankful to them for that. I'd be honored to give them the books for their own read for free, but they insist on buying them and I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that. On the other hand I have those friends that just show disinterest and it's also Ok and I have no problem with that too.
My close family doesn't read books in English, so I'm spared the awkward situations of offering them my "masterpieces" -:)

I think that every author has a conviction that he/she offers something special in his/her book and when the book is released and often nothing much happens (low sales, disinterest from close people, etc), some disappointment is inevitable. And along the author's path there are moments of frustration from bad reviews for example, but also those of joy..

Summarizing the above, unless you are a bestselling author, writer's path is not that rosy -:)


message 45: by R.W. (new)

R.W. Andrews (goodreadscomRWAndrews) | 5 comments Tia wrote: "I really struggle with a lack of support, mainly from friends. I know I shouldn't have expected anything, then I wouldn't be disappointed.

It's frustrating to try so hard and get nowhere. At this ..."


Don't give up!
I thought after a really rough 3 years of hard work writing, editing, and learning to finally go with indie publishing my Family & Friends would be "all In to offer support" and was shocked to see how that never happened.
I have written & published 2 books now the latest came out on paperback edition Nov. 28th. It is a Fiction novel and 1st book of the series. My Non-Fiction book was released in June 2015 and to date fewer than a dozen friends or family have actually purchased a copy. What is worse is these people were so encouraging during the process but seem like talking to total strangers when asked to even do a simple review.
Now as I work on my 3rd book I have learned something important. Just keep writing and keep doing what I have spent years of hard work learning to do. Authors using a self publishing method must become the marketing professional, sales rep, publicist, and above all the ad-campaign manager. Build your social media platforms, use every tool you can find to market your books, and understand like any other job you probably do not rely on friends & Family as your base customers. With success those people will gravitate to you in time. If I was a doctor I am sure they'd all be calling me every time they have a cold. Since I am a writer they run & hide every time a new book is coming close to release. Then gradually...a few start to ask questions and a few more buy a book then others decide they want to be involved. It is a process especially for a new author so just keep doing the one thing that makes us all happiest. Keep writing, keep publishing your books, and do not lose hope or sight of your dreams.


message 46: by Doug (new)

Doug Brunell (dougbrunell) | 14 comments I don't bug family and friends for reviews. It puts them in a bad spot if they don't like what you wrote. They all know reviews are important, but I don't press. Besides, full disclosure should mean that they are revealing who they are in the review, and few will take that review seriously.


message 47: by Riley, Viking Extraordinaire (last edited Nov 29, 2015 03:09PM) (new)

Riley Amos Westbrook (sonshinegreene) | 1510 comments Mod
John wrote: "I have a few observations after watching my wife write a nonfiction narrative. This will apply to all aspiring authors.

We had an agent suggest that she write the book, so she started. Even though..."


Can you go in and reword this John? There are no set rules when it comes to indie publishing, and saying you"need" to do something you might not need to do is bad form. There are plenty who get on without a professional editor, or do their own covers. But they do the hard work, and that's the key, do the work.


message 48: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Troll posts deleted for violating group rules.

Sorry everyone. Goodreads was down for service and took away my notifications for a while. Had we seen these earlier, the issue would have been taken care of earlier.

Ann is taking care of the issue as we speak. Carry on and again, sorry to have had this disruption. :)


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