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What we’re about

The Washington DC Write to Publish Group is unlike many writers’ groups which focus on critiquing each other’s work. Instead, this group is dedicated to the business and business craft side of writing (writing to market is encouraged)*** and works to help authors and would-be authors find resources that can help them through the publishing process. That said, members are encouraged to find critique partners within the group.

Since this is a DC-area group where it's possible to meet up, let's shoot for maybe once or twice a month, sometimes with or without a set agenda. It helps to hang out with people who share a passion and get re-charged. Instead of conference rooms, I'm looking at a restaurant meeting venue (likely Four Provinces in Falls Church on a Wednesday evening 7-9 PM - https://www.4psva.com) where they will host 8-10 people in person.

The invites will be RSVP-restricted to avoid overwhelming the venue, and the idea is to knit together an overlapping group of friends who share the common passion of writing. The agenda items will also be discussed online, but there's more to come on that later since Meetup is about to revamp the communications toolset.

The suggested new focus is:

Indie Publishing - primarily genre fiction
Marketing - paid advertising, social media, and other tools
Resources - for the business and craft of writing that can help you make your writing more competitive in the book market
Traditional (Big 5) Publishing - not a focus unless a co-organizer wants to lead
Small Press - not a focus unless a co-organizer wants to lead
Hybrid/Vanity - not recommended and will not be discussed

To get started, here are some online resources:
(No affiliation or financial interest in any of the links below.)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1056593901397144 - Author Unleashed - This is Robert Ryan's group and a good place to get your blurb critiqued by a pro!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/20Booksto50k/ - 20BooksTo50K - This group is very business oriented, and hosts the largest Indie Writers conference each year, usually in Las Vegas.

There are some good articles on both business and craft here:
https://writerunboxed.com/ - Donald Maass and others
https://janefriedman.com/ - Jane Friedman
https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/ - KM Weiland
https://www.thecreativepenn.com/ - Joanna Penn
https://davidgaughran.com/ - David Gaughran

Paid advertising on Amazon and Google is the closest thing we have to a silver bullet, and even then it has to be done right.

Janet Margot worked at Amazon, so her advice is likely the most valid: https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Ads-Indie-Authors-How-ebook/dp/B097TW5KLH/

Robert Ryan (see above) has great insight into marketing:
https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Ads-Unleashed-Publishing-Self-publishing-ebook/dp/B07ZXV4MVZ/

Additional resources:

https://reedsy.com/ is a central marketplace for author services like editing, book covers, and others.

https://www.fiverr.com/ has a robust marketplace for paid beta readers.

https://www.reddit.com/r/writing/ - All about writing with 2.4 million subscribers.

https://www.reddit.com/r/selfpublish/ - As the name implies, this is a discussion forum for self-publishing, also called Indie Publishing

https://www.reddit.com/r/books/ - 24 million subscribers. 'Nuff said.

https://www.reddit.com/r/scifi/ - Not limited to writing, but they do allow one self-promotion post each Saturday in front of 4.3 million subscribers!

https://www.reddit.com/r/fantasywriters/ - Focused on writing fantasy.

https://querytracker.net/ - The place to search for and find an agent if you are starting out and want to pursue the Traditional Publishing track.

#booktok on TikTok (34 million posts) and #bookstagrammer on Instagram (20 million posts) are potential viral launchpads. They mostly work best for Romance fiction.

Sorry for the sudden changes, but Meetup said this group was about to close, so I stepped in to save it. If anyone wants to step up and help, let me know. I could use a co-organizer with better knowledge than I have on Traditional Publishing. I'm going the Indie route myself. The Past Events listed below have some links to some of Robin's slide decks. Thank you Robin for leaving those in place!

I know I can't step into Robin's shoes, so I'm not even going to try. This is a reboot.

Tom

*** Writing to market does NOT mean chasing trends. It means that you understand what your readers expect to find when they open your book. Is it science fiction? Fantasy? Thriller? Action-adventure? Do you know which BISAC code(s) applies to your books? If someone on Amazon or Google entered the search phrase 'books like _______' where that blank is your best comparable, do you know what that comparable book is for yours?