As of last night, I achieved membership in the Independent Published Authors Liaison (IPAL), which is part of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers (RMFW) writers group I’ve belonged to for nigh 30 years. IPAL “…exists for the purpose of providing networking and promotional opportunities for independently published authors in RMFW and for promoting RMFW.”
I’m not normally a “joiner,” but I love these people! They’re fun, outgoing, and enjoy each other’s writerly company, and they truly care about helping all writers out, and I sorely need that—help!
Cause, you see, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about me, it’s that I suck at selling stuff.
I mean, sure, I can hand sell, one-on-one, if I have the right audience. The most books I’ve ever hand sold was 12, at The Bookman, in Colorado Springs, last year. For me that’s phenomenal. But, I mean selling stuff when I’m not around. On Amazon. Nook. Smashwords. Generating the reach and interest for those who don’t know me to want to look into what I have to say. So, I like that I’ve become part of a group that has some extremely successful folk doing just that. And this year has been the year I’ve put out the most. I did four writer events (Colorado Springs and Longmont libraries, Denver Comic Con, and RMFW Colorado Gold), and I hope to do MileHiCon48 next month. I’m getting my website looked at for a redesign. I did a photo shoot to get some new images of my fach that sorely needed updating. So, I’m putting myself out there. And with the folks at IPAL, I hope to learn and get better at this selling-my-stuff business. I need to learn how to better bring my work into the foreground with all these other successful people.
But that’s not all.
It’s not just about me. I do want to also help my fellow writers. Help them streamline their own efforts into this crazy business, but I also realize that since I have near-zero name recognition, no apparent track record to lean on, it’s hard to get into positions where I can help in any way I can help. Show what I’ve learned. I’m far from an expert in marketing and promotion, still have a day job (which makes my time harder to split to create workshops and such—but again, I’m not a “Famous Guy” selling oodles of books…), but am willing to lose some sleep over this and do some “forced reps,” as we say in the exercise world…with the right team and the right support.
So, I’m quite happy to now be included with these terrific people and their cause! Thanks to Karen Albright Lin for getting me to re-examine my position with regard to IPAL, and thanks to Lisa Manifold and IPAL…for bringing me into the fold!