Confession From a Newbie (plus a spontaneous #FF!)

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Just under four months ago, having had my fill of rejection letters from literary agents, I signed up on the spur of the moment with a random indie publisher on the web. Now, I know I should have asked around first but in my defense, I was all alone in this back then and knew nobody. Anyway, to cut a long story short, my debut novel got distributed across all major online stores and just like that, I became an indie author. Until then, I had done virtually no research; a mistake that I got to rue painfully once I finally did! The first mistake I realized I had made was the fact that I had done things backwards: instead of promoting my book before the launch, I launched it first and then started to promote it. What followed my shocking realization was a hectic and stressful period of three months where I researched the internet daily for promotional tools & tips while trying at the same time to build a platform on the social media.

In the very beginning, all I had was Facebook. I had been using it confidently for years in order to keep in touch with friends and family but had always steered clear of Twitter. Why? Somehow, it had struck me as an unfathomable and inhospitable place. All these funny little words and hashtags didn’t make any sense and used to put me right off. However, once I finally read the basics and had a go, it turned out to be an amazing promotional tool, second to none. On Facebook, I had managed to get a measly 80 or so likes after a daily struggle of one month that mainly involved harassing my old friends (sorry guys!) but once I gave it my all on Twitter, the likes on Facebook started to increase painlessly. This is because my Twitter followers (who soon  started to increase with geometrical progressions), felt somehow obliged to head to Facebook and connect with me there too. I couldn’t believe it and wondered why I had waited for so long to join this amazing community of eager supporters. Twitter is a great place to meet people. Virtual strangers find it easy there to say hi and have a little chat. On the other hand, talking with strangers on Facebook seems to be avoided by all. I guess it’s because on Facebook we tend to disclose far more personal information (family & holiday snaps, schooling info and so on). Anyway, to cut a long story short, these days you’ll find me on Twitter more often than on any other site, promoting and connecting with the world.

As a new indie author trying to find my feet, my life got a lot easier since I started to make friends with some lovely people on Twitter, mainly Indie authors but also readers and bloggers.

By now, I have a handful of new pals who have proved to be invaluable assistants and supporters. Among the authors, some are newbies like me and others are well-established already. Before meeting these lovely people I never believed there could be so much solidarity and kindness among virtual strangers. The thing that amazes me the most is that even the established ones who you would think would be too reluctant to give me the time of day, are actually the ones who dedicate more time to give tips, share insights and secrets of the trade. My new friends often feel inclined to share with me the odd article they come across that lists a valuable tip or statistic. Others may inform me of a site that promotes authors or another may alert me to a competition going on somewhere. It goes without saying that I do the same for them too, often sending an email to all in one go to share a tip or a resource. We make sure to visit each other’s blogs too as to enrich the bottom of every new post with likes and comments and we do the same on Facebook for each other, never leaving a post go unnoticed, creating a buzz that often attracts other users to engage in the conversation.

On Twitter, we often introduce each other to our followers with all the usual hashtags (#FF, #WW, #SO) that just four months ago would have had me running for the hills with distaste.

It is always wonderful when I visit my mailbox in the morning and I find a message from one of my new friends who has gone out of their way to recommend something to me or to offer to be helpful in some way.  There is so much kindness in that and every single time, it feels like a beautiful gift.

To say the least, having fellow author friends means you never have to look for proof-readers, beta readers or reviewers ever again. There is no end to the blessings I feel I have gained in just these past four months! It has been scary in the very beginning but that was when I used to walk alone. Now, thankfully, I am penning a different story every day.

To make it as an indie author, as it is with every man in any walk of life who has a dream, it takes faith and perseverance. Along the way, we are bound to face drawbacks, disappointments, difficulties. But as long as we can count on others who are willing to share our frustrations and to give us sound advice from experience, I have full faith that at the end of the line, we will all be arriving together as winners.

So this is to thank my precious new friends! (listed below)

Thank you for everything you have done for me guys; for your support, your kindness, your sweetness. I admire you all for your amazing talents and strengths. You are a blessing to me – I love you guys!

 

DANICA CORNELL

NIKKI ANNE SCHMUTZ

JULIE RYAN

LEELAND ARTRA

KERRY HALL

MARIA SAVVA

MARIA MESSINI

KATINA VASELOPOULOS

ANGEL SEFER

KATE PAPAS

MATT KRUZE

LUCIANA CAVALLARO

SHAHZAD ALI KHAN

PHILIP CATSHILL

DR GLEN HEPKER

WENDY EWURUM

ERIKA BEEBE

JENNY TWIST

NICHOLAS ROSSIS

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15 responses to “Confession From a Newbie (plus a spontaneous #FF!)

    • Hello dear Julie, thanks for commenting my lovely! #FF is done on Fridays only and it is used to recommend your friends for other people to follow. It stands for Follow Friday. On other days, you can introduce your friends again but you use #WW (Worth Watching, ie these people). Hope this helps!! I googled so much recently to learn these things – great to be able to tell someone else!! LOL

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  1. Effrosyni, my heart is blooming! You are such a giver! I’ve told you in private before that no matter what happens with my upcoming book launch, meeting wonderful, creative people like you makes the whole journey worth it!

    P.S. I also snubbed Twitter and particularly disliked abbreviations and hashtags and weird talk, but now, I’m in awe!

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    • Maria mou, thank you! Yes I remember you saying that…and it is so true my sweet! For true friendship is a gem that many people never manage to find. I believe we are the lucky ones, all the people mentioned in this post and so many others we know who have a kind and giving heart. Thank you for your lovely comment and please forgive me! I have meant to write back to your emails but my dinosaur of a laptop keeps dying on me and I am running out of time for today. Promise to write in the weekend! xx

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  2. Oh my dear Effrosyni…you are a treasure…a gifted writer and true friend! I’m so happy we met and believe me, for all the info I’ve shared with you, you’ve returned this ten-fold!! Please know I’m always here for you and how much I adore you. Thank you very much for this moving tribute. Being an indie author is a tough road, but supportive friends really do make all the difference. ((Hugs))!

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  3. You are something else, my wonderful new friend! You bless me with your support, presence, and wisdom! Be patient with me if not responding early enough. Life demands most of my attention! I love your post! It resonates so much with my own feelings and thoughts, my life and outlook! With your permission, I would like to link this to a similar post that I a, planning to do, before my book comes out. A great way to keep connecting.
    Blessings of love and light!

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    • It would be my honour for you to link back to this post in any way you wish! Thank you dear Katina! I look forward to getting to know you my adorable Greek American friend…. Lashings of love and light right back at you 🙂

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    • Sweet Erika, thank you for visiting here to leave such a kind reply. You’re always looking at humanity as a whole in your writing and this is what makes you so special… Love you honey – keep on spreading pixie dust onto the world via your blog 🙂

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  4. Wow, thank you very much Effrosyni! This is perfect, you have done a service to many new authors that will follow in your footsteps. I have been honored to meet and know you and thank you for the salute, consider it returned ten fold! I often say the best repayment is to pay-it-forward and this article does that in spades. I can’t wait to see how high you fly! If you ever need anything don’t hesitate to ask.

    All the best!

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    • Thank you Leeland! To say I feel honoured for your visit here and for you following my blog would be an understatement. I admire and respect you immensely so your kind words mean a great deal to me! Thank you for everything you have done for me and God bless you for your kind heart… I agree by all means that paying it forward is the way to go. The universe works on trust. If we withhold our assistance until we get something back, it signals mistrust to the world. But if we can be of service, even in the least, then we can only have good things coming back at us. So glad I am in the company of wise people like you dear Leeland! Many many thanks for being a friend 🙂

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  5. Thank you so much my wonderful friend for this very touching post.
    I believe every author can relate to it, since we’ve all been there, at one point or another.
    I feel honored to be your friend.

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    • Thank you Angel for your lovely words! We could all use some tips from you, you’re doing so well honey! Congrats 🙂 – I feel blessed to know you sweetie! I sent an email recently, hope you got it, waiting for your news 🙂

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