How Indie Authors Can Work Together

By Jason Boog 

For many writers, the “self” in self-publishing makes for a lonely endeavor. A team of indie authors recently banded together to create The Indie Voice group and release an eight-book To Die For boxed set, expanding their fan base and promotional reach.

We caught up with Tina Folsom to find out more about the group.

UPDATE: If you are looking to connect with other authors on similar projects, check out our new directory of authors looking to start a writers group.

The Indie Voice team of writers included: Jana DeLeonTina FolsomColleen GleasonJane GravesDenise Grover SwankLiliana HartDebra HollandDorien KellyTheresa Ragan, and Jasinda Wilder.

Folsom explained how it worked:

We promoted the box set “To Die For” and the Indie Voice through our individual newsletter lists, Facebook fans, and Twitter followers so our reach was 10 times what it would have been. Social media was very important during the promotion, and most of our fans love it when we recommend other authors for them to read. Because of our group effort, “To Die For” hit the USA Today bestseller list for two weeks and landed at #7 on the New York Times E-Book Fiction bestseller list.

We’ve included our complete interview below. The Indie Voice will release an anthology in June…

Q: How did To Die For come together? How did all these writers find each other and start working together?

A: Liliana Hart, Debra Holland, Jane Graves, and Denise Grover Swank met at the Novelists, Inc. conference in October of 2012. We’d heard a workshop given by several self-published authors about their “lifeboat.” Their group actively helped each other with cross-promoting and were seeing some great success from their efforts. The four of us met for lunch and brainstormed about forming a group.

We liked the idea of using the “It takes a Village” approach to publishing, where authors would use their individual fan bases to cross-promote each others’ work. Because all the authors were successfully self-publishing, we wanted to add authors to the group who had had equal success, and we each suggested some names of authors we personally knew and liked.

In February, 2013, eight of the ten current members met to discuss goals, structure and a business plan. Two more members were added, giving us our ten members for the Indie Voice: Jana DeLeon, Tina Folsom, Colleen Gleason, Jane Graves, Denise Grover Swank, Liliana Hart, Debra Holland, Dorien Kelly, Theresa Ragan, and Jasinda Wilder.

Q: Do you have advice for other indie writers looking to connect with other writers?

A: The most important thing to me is that everyone has a common goal. When you’re working with a large group like the Indie Voice, you can’t think about the “I” factor. Egos have to be left at the door and the all-for-one mentality really has to rule. The more you help the group and each other, the more you will personally benefit. It’s also nice to have authors that write different genres because most readers do read a variety of works.

Also, you must have mutual goals and personalities that will mesh. It helps if you can bring some diverse talents to the group. Picking people you feel you can trust is important.

Q: How did you decide on pricing for the set? How have readers responded to the set?

A: Our goal was to reach as wide an audience as possible. The sale price of $0.99 seemed the best way to do that. With our social media cross promotion and the help of a variety of online newsletters, we were able to achieve our goal and introduce eight of our members to even more readers.

Reader response has been overwhelmingly positive. Readers love great books and getting them at such a great sale price was even better. We’ve already been receiving emails, messages and reviews thanking us for introducing our readers to other authors.

Once our sale was over, we raised the price to $9.99 and plan to disband the book bundle at the end of April.