Welcome to AskALLi, the Self-Publishing Advice Podcast from the Alliance of Independent Authors. This week it’s our monthly Member Q&A where ALLi Members’ have their most pressing self-publishing questions analyzed and answered. Join your regular hosts for the Member Q&A: Michael La Ronn and Dan Blank.
The AskALLi podcasts are sponsored by Damonza: Books Made Awesome.
Questions this month include
- Should I republish a longer book into smaller books?
- Where can I learn to setup a Facebook page, YouTube channel, blog, etc?
- What do I do if the KDP dashboard isn’t working as it should?
- Where can I find native speakers of another language to review translations of my book?
- Should I write my novel in the present tense or past tense?
- Should I be using social media, a blog, or both? And what/when should I be posting?
If you haven’t already, we invite you to join our organization and become a self-publishing ally. You can do that at http://allianceindependentauthors.org.
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About the Hosts
Michael La Ronn is the author of over 30 books of science fiction & fantasy and authors self-help books. His books include the Galaxy Mavericks series and Modern Necromancy series.
Dan Blank is the founder of WeGrowMedia, where he helps writers and artists share their stories and grow their audience. He is the author of the book “Be the Gateway: A Practical Guide to Sharing Your Creative Work and Engaging an Audience.”
Read the Transcripts
Michael: Hello and welcome to the Ask ALLi Member Q and A podcast, the podcast where we answer your most burning self publishing questions. I’m your host Michael La Ronn and I’m joined today by Dan Blank from We Grow Media, how are you, Dan?
Dan: I am excellent. How are you today?
Michael: I’m awesome. My internet is back up and all is well so far. It’s like freezing in Iowa, though, I’m not sure what the weather is like in New York but man, it’s cold.
Dan: Yeah, yeah that must be a constant challenge of living in Iowa though.
Michael: Yeah, yeah, the Iowa winter, just mountains and mountains of snow. It’s pretty fun so what are you working on?
Dan: So what’s new in your world?
Michael: Oh, well I just got back from Las Vegas to go, I went to the 20 Books to 50K Conference put on by Craig Martell and Michael Anderle and yeah, that was a great conference. It was, I mean, I expected it to be good because I heard really good things about it last year but it exceeded my every expectation, so I actually gave a speech and that was on how to be a part time writer with full time results so if anyone on ALLi has followed me you’re probably familiar with that.
It’s a topic that Jay Artale and I did last year, I think so, I talked about that and kind of how I balance all of my writing and law school responsibilities and work responsibilities and all of that and it was good. I met some really great people, some supporters of ALLi which is always a good thing and yeah, I would highly recommend anyone who’s interested if you’re able to get to Vegas it’s just a great, great venue, I mean, they really thought about everything, like, I mean they thought about every single detail, everything. I mean, there was no stone unturned. Craig Martell is a great event organizer so yeah, I couldn’t couldn’t be happier and other than that, I’m just working on some new projects, new books. How about you, Dan?
Dan: I’m doing a lot. I ran a little reader connection project in early November, late October which was really fun. It was neat to do like a little short form engagement with people, almost like a conference but it was 10 days, it used Facebook and had a lot of video and a lot of engagement really quick. It’s fun to play with and then I decided to go from monthly on my podcast to weekly which I’ve always resisted because, you know, it’s work but what I’m finding is that this amazing benefit is I’m having 4 X the number of conversations with, like, deep conversations with writers every month, so it’s really fun, it’s kind of fun to sort of double down on something and it’s something I always encourage writers to do is think about ways that you can engage more directly with a reader, a librarian, a bookstore owner, other writers and the 10 day reader connection project got me to do that with writers and the 4xing the podcast gets me that do that with writers as well so it’s fun to feel that rather than, I think, intellectually all we think is, ugh, more work, I don’t have time, the other side of it is like “Wow, I just met all these great people and we had a great time together” almost like your Las Vegas thing, I would bet.
Michael: Yes, it’s amazing how, I don’t know, it doesn’t matter what conference you go to it always feels like, you feel really energized when you come back from a conference. The problem is when that energy start fading. Well, it’s been about a week since I came back and the energy has not faded for me and that’s always a good thing but that’s cool your podcast is going to to weekly. I notice something really funny in my app, so I’ve got the overcast podcast app and I just updated it and I noticed that the podcast app it displays next to every podcast now the frequency so if you’re monthly it’ll say monthly next to the podcast. If you’re weekly, it’ll say weekly and if you’re one of those podcasts where maybe it’s like every 2 weeks or every 3 weeks it won’t say anything. And I thought that was kind of interesting because because, you know, podcast listeners are so, that consistency is so important and so going weekly, I think that’s going to help you.
Dan: I thought you were going to say, you know, podcast listeners are so addicting, they want the next episode.
Michael: Well, they do. They always want something to listen to so that’s really cool.
Michael: Alright, so the topic of our show this week is how to promote your first book when you have no other books to your name. So this was a question that came in and we thought that this would be a good topic for the week and this comes from our member, Norma and she says “I’ve published a romance novel on Createspace. I’ve sold about 100 copies. I’m no sales person. People buy one book and pass it around to friends. They all like it and ask about a second book. But how do I promote my sequel or how do I promote my book and then the sequel when it’s finished?” And so-
Dan: Big question. Big question.
Michael: I think it’s a big question, it’s definitely one that, you know ,we can spend some time on. We could probably spend entire hour on this episode alone but what are your thoughts, Dan?
Dan: The first couple things come to mind are clearly in here are the basics of platform, the idea and a lot of people know this in some ways but they still miss stuff. The idea of if people Google your name or the book name, have a website. Look at your Amazon author profile. A lot of people, people who think “I’ve been working so hard to promote my book” and I go to their book page and I look at the author promo and there’s nothing, there’s no photo, there’s no bio, there’s no website link.
Dan: Even little things, I do this a lot with clients is, you know, have a profile on each network. Like Facebook is usually the one where we talk about where they might not want to do a lot as an author on Facebook but it’s like, have a profile so when people search you, or not a profile, like an author page, something will come up as an author page, it’ll have your face, your book cover and it will say “I’m active on my blog or go find me on Twitter” something where you’re findable on every network and that’s number one.
Number two, I think a lot of authors they want the distant reader. They don’t really turn over every stone in their network. This is something that big publishers do. They want to know every place, everyone you’ve ever known, they want to know every sorority you were at, every organization you worked for, every place you volunteered and they want to promote to those people and I think a lot of authors when they’re self publishing feel, “Well, I don’t want those people reading my book. This is my new identity. My cousin, my coworkers, they don’t care about, they’re going to make fun of me or they’re not going to get it” and I find those are going to be your first couple hundred sells right there, so you want to really think about who you know and if you’ve approached them and the third part of my first part of my answer is look at the year after the book launch. Don’t just look at the 6 week launch window and think “I’m going to do the whole celebratory fear of missing out, the animated GIF on everything, like I’m launching, everyone look at this next milestone!”
Think about one thing you can do each week to connect with the reader, to connect with a new community, one thing you do each month. Look at the year and think about that long road of “Wow, what could I do 5 months from now to connect with a reading group or a librarian or a conference. What else could I do for that kind of long game between the two books?
Michael: Yeah, no, that’s great. So all three of those points were very well put and there’s something at the conference that I was just at that came to mind and Craig Martell said it many times and that is, nothing sells your last book like your next book so if I were you, Norma, what I would be doing is focused on getting that 2nd book out. I assume that they’re in a series.
Or, you know, series is sometimes hard to do with romance but there is a way to do it, you know, with the families and you know, having different heroines or they’re related to each other, that sort of thing, but I’m not quite sure what flavor of romance you’re writing, but the second book I think is important but yeah, I would say that to me, I would focus on getting that second book out as soon as I could possibly get it out so that way you could start doing some targeted advertising because there’s different schools of thought, so if you have a first book, does it make sense to throw paid ads at that book when the readers have nothing else to read and there’s some readers out there where they they won’t want to commit to an author that only has one book because if there are no other books out there, they don’t want to pick up your book, really like it and then have nothing else to read.
That’s personally how I am. That’s just my personal preference as a reader, but there are other readers out there that don’t care as much and so I think you’ve got to speak to both of those camps but, you know, I probably would hold off on a lot of your paid advertising until you have that second book out because then what you can do is you can drop the price of that first book and then people will, you can, you know, back matter call to actions that will lead people to that second book but I think Dan’s point of just kind of doing that groundwork in the beginning, like building the platform, I think it’s never too early to build your list. I think that’s critical. Even if, you know, there’s only a few people that know about your book, just getting them on that list I think is going to be absolutely critical so that when you do have that next book you can benefit from your launch.
Dan: I always feel like the asterisk in the Michael advice is this is a guy who writes like something like 4, 5, 6 books a year.
Michael: Yes, now here’s the thing, though and in here, so I’m actually following my own advice because I am actually launching a new pen name here probably around the end of the year, so I’ve actually decided to commit to-
Dan: Please tell me the word Dan is in there somewhere.
Michael: Michael Dan, there you go. That’ll be my pen name. Michael Dan. So I’m actually starting over, so I’m going to do urban fantasy, I’m doing an experiment and I’m going to have a brand new pen name and I’m going to write just urban fantasy in that pen name so in many ways, in the next couple of months, I’m going to be starting fresh, like I’m going to have one book, I mean, my current readers will know about it, like I’m not going to keep it secret, but in many respects I’m completely starting from scratch just to see what happens. I’ve kind of got my own motivations behind it but one of the first things I’m doing is I’m building a new website, I’m getting a mailing list going. I don’t know that I’ll have Facebook pages, I probably should but I’m going to start building that platform even though there’s no one there so that when I do launch that first book I’ve got at least someone that can, you know, help support me and, you know, all those sorts of things. So that’s one of the first things that I’m doing.
Dan: I think the next two things I would say with this are think about very clear marketing campaigns you can do and again, this can be 6 months, 12 months after the book is out where one problem with platform is people get into a comfort zone, they say “Well, I’m on Twitter, I mean, I tweet every day, it’s not moving books” and like, “Well, OK, that’s fine, that’s a lovely to do that but how are you getting people to take action to join something, to be a part of something, how are you really focusing them, how do you use fear of missing out, not in a spammy salesy way, but think about ways you can engage other authors.
You could come up with five other authors, a year after your book is out and say “Hey, let’s do a little promo, nothing too crazy but let’s do a round table, let’s do a podcast, let’s do an online conference, let’s do, you know, something to package it together. Let’s approach this audience. Let’s approach this community. Let’s approach this conference. And really think about specific ways to do that, if you do that four times a year or once a quarter, which is not that often, you’re not really burning any bridges, you’re meeting new people and you’re giving people a whole new way to think about you as a writer and of course, your book.
And the other thing I think too and this goes back to your advice what you’re heard at the conference is the idea of, you know, the your next book, I feel like a lot of people write their book, they promote it and then as they’re writing next one they go silent and all of the momentum, all the audience they’ve gathered is now, they don’t hear from you and the reason authors give is, “Well, the next book’s not ready yet, what am I going to talk about, I don’t want to like give it all away now” and I feel like this is where people lose a lot of steam and a lot of audience. You want to bridge that gap from one book to the next.
This is where you want to be active. You want to be reaching out. You want to think about what didn’t you have in that first launch, what connections, what network, marketing, what readers, what fun ideas didn’t you have then that you can now spend a year or 2 or 3 years building, because not everyone can write 6 books a year and it’s fine if you don’t, also. I have to imagine there are plenty of authors who hear that idea, which I totally understand and love the idea of build a series and you can do the ads, you can do all the marketing, the free book and they just feel, “That’s not the kind of writer I am. I don’t want to write three books a year. I want to write as I feel so I’m going to come out with a book every two years” and I don’t want them to feel kind of left in the dust either.
Michael: Yeah I agree. I do think though that at the end of the day, you do have to, you do have to focus on the writing.
Michael: You know, writers write, you know and if you write a book every two years or you know that that’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with that. Here’s what I will say though, I think that having an autoresponder sequence for your mailing list is something that can help you, so maybe if you write every two years or every year maybe you have an autoresponder sequence that’s a year long so when someone joins your list, you know, you have something that hits them every 60 days, you know, or every month, you know, that’s something different about you that helps them keep re engaging with your content so that when you do have that new book launch, people have still heard from you. It’s kind of, like, automated and it takes some time to put those together because you’ve go to sit down and write them, you’ve got to figure out, you know, how long you’re going to send them and when you’re going to send them but I think that that could be an effective tool, particularly if you’re writing your 1st book and you know it’s going to take you a long time to write that second book, maybe having that sequence is another way that people can engage with you. Yeah, that’s just an idea for those that take longer to to write books.
Dan: Love that. I think a lot about is the idea of relationships, something I think about sometimes too is the idea of who are you building a relationship with. So there’s a lot of talk nowadays of what you said with ads and there are some obviously very prominent programs that teach that. One thing I think a lot about is the life that the writer is building for themselves. Everyone has a different motivation, they have a different dream of that. One thing I think about too is are you building a life for your days are spent building a relationship with all of the buttons in the Facebook algorithm, in the Amazon ad system, which can be good, it can be fruitful, it can be smart and professional.
Sometimes I do worry though that what they want is just relationships with readers and people who love that and it might not be as aggressive in terms of sales and algorithms but it creates not just sales for the book, hopefully but also a life where they’re filled, their days or weeks are filled with engagements with other writers and people who love books and I think there’s a lot to be said for that and I think I say that because I talked to a lot of traditionally published authors as well, people who’ve had big launches with big publishers, the type of thing where you feel like they’ve been given all the resources and even then there’s no guarantee of anything, really, of any sales whatsoever, let alone big sales and I think about when does a writer feel isolated, when do they feel jaded, when they feel depressed and one of the things that pull them out of that and I feel like that connection to other people is sometimes a big part of that, whereas someone like you or me, it’s like we could be talking this podcast three years from now, six years from now, because like you and I are, like, we’re just entrenched in the life of the communities of writers and people who are isolated sometimes, it’s not difficult for them to kind of cut that cord and say “Yeah, a couple years ago I wrote a book, it didn’t work out and now I’m back to accounting.”
Michael: Very true. So to wrap this up and end it on a positive note here.
Dan: I kind of take us down.
Michael: That was pretty heavy, man.
Dan: I’m not done with my coffee yet.
Michael: I haven’t even had my coffee so yeah, just remember that like Dan said, this is about relationships, it’s about longevity, think about a year from now where you want to be and it doesn’t have to be anything monumental to promote that first book, just think about it, you know, how can I spend 15 minutes every day or 15 minutes every other day or 30 minute, you know, 45 minutes a week, you know, marketing my book and what can I do to do that and I think you’ll put yourself in a good spot to start promoting your book and get more books out and you know, do all those fun marketing things.
Dan: I love it.
Michael: Alright, let’s move into our questions here.
Dan: We’ve got questions. Alright, the first one is from Rick who asks, “Should I republish a longer book into smaller books.”
Michael: Yes, so Rick says that he has a series of three books. The first book is 208,000 words, the paperback is 565 pages and so he has some concerns about readers, you know, wanting either to buy one book or to buy three books and so should he split those up? I think this is a hard question to answer without knowing the genre of the book and without knowing what the story is. My thought is if you can split up the books in a way that it doesn’t become a disservice to the readers, sure, I mean ,you can try it. But I think if you start cutting cutting your book up into parts where, you know, maybe it doesn’t make sense or, you know, you’re not really ending it on cliffhangers or maybe the endings don’t make sense or there’s no logical place where you could break it up, I don’t know that that’s, I don’t know if that’s the greatest idea. So yeah, I think that if the genre makes sense, you know, if it’s if a genre where readers expect series, if it’s a genre where readers expect multiple books and they’ve proven that they’re willing to pay for multiple books if you’ve got, you know, the resources and the ability to create good covers for all 3 of those books because, you know, you’re going to have to buy new covers and all of that and reformat and do all of that, that might be worth a shot but it might not be, so I just think you really need to do the research and understand what the market wants because you know, I’ve seen some people do this in the past where they’ll have this huge monumental book and then I’ve seen them cut it up and then I’ve seen them not have a huge sales benefit, but I’ve also seen people do it and it seemed to have worked but sometimes just the next book might not, you know, is the best thing to do if you’re thinking about writing a series, just start fresh and start with a brand new series and then just, because that way it just feels more organic and it’s cleaner but I can definitely understand the concern if you’ve got one book out there that’s really long and it maybe not be selling that you may want to try to do something to clean it up and make it a little bit more appealing to readers.
Dan: Alright, next question’s from Norma, “Where can I learn to set up a Facebook page, youtube channel, blog etc.
Michael: YouTube. YouTube is a perfect way to do that. So Norma says that she published her 1st novel about a year ago on Createspace and she’s just wanting to try to kind of figure out how to build a platform and you know, promote more book sales and things like that and so she’s wanting to build a better website, create that Facebook page, kind of some of the things that we were talking about before and I’m not sure if this is the same Norma that asked our first question but sounds a little familiar but what I would do if I wanted to learn how to do anything like that these days is I would go to YouTube and I would type in “How to create a WordPress page” and there are plenty of people that have, you know, very long videos where they actually will screen share their computers and they’ll actually walk you through how they set up a WordPress blog in 45 minutes, how they set up a Facebook page in 5 minutes, those sorts of things and that probably would be the best way to learn how to do that and then just make sure that you look at the dates on the videos, sometimes they can be a little bit old, so try to find the most current, you know, up to date videos on that but if you’re just looking to find ways to set things up, YouTube is, in my opinion, the very best way to do it.
Dan: OK, so Jesse is asking “What do I do if the KDP dashboard isn’t working as it should?
Michael: Yes. So Jesse had a unique situation. I believe, I’m not sure if it’s Jesse male or Jesse female but they live in the U.K. no longer exclusive on Amazon, there’s an issue where the 70 percent royalty rate wasn’t appearing for Jesse even when the book was priced above $2.99, so not quite sure what’s going on there, but I think this this begs a bigger question, right, that what do you do if you have a problem on the Amazon dashboard or if things aren’t quite working the way that you want them to work.
I have found, this is Michael La Ronn’s opinion only, you can either email them or you can call them but I found that you get better service when you call. So and how you get the phone number is not always very clear but it’s at the very bottom of the KDP page, at least for the U.S. it’s on the bottom of the page, it’s on the the bottom right and it’ll say Contact Us and so you can email them and I’m sure they probably could help you but sometimes I find that, you know, I pick up some tidbits and things that I would not have learned when I called them.
So I had an issue with one of my books, I think it was about a month ago and for the very first time I called Amazon and it was a huge night and day difference compared to emailing them, so I would say I’m not quite sure what’s going on, why that button’s not showing up, but I would definitely call them if you can as opposed to e-mailing and for those of you that remember too that if you do come across issues or if there’s an issue you can’t resolve ALLi has a great relationship with KDP, certainly write us in confidence and you know, we can try to do what we can to help you in those situations where maybe you’re not getting a resolution with an issue on Amazon that you are having as an author.
Dan: Alright, so Ingo asks “Where can I find native speakers for another language to review translations of my book.”
Michael: Yes. So Ingo is a writer who writes, I believe, children’s books in English and in German and the issue that they were having is that the reviewers that they have are native speakers but the reviews that they have on Amazon say that, you know, this phrase is a little awkward word or maybe this doesn’t quite sound right and so I believe what they’re trying to do is find, how do they find good editors or proofreaders in both the native languages in which they write so that you don’t have issues like that. So like if I were to write, I’m fluent in Spanish but if I were to write a book in Spanish I probably use phrases that did make sense or you know, I’d use things that native speakers wouldn’t understand, you know, wouldn’t use. So how do you do that?
So what I would do is there, you know, there’s lots of different services out there that can help you with this but I would maybe go on a site like Upwork and I would look for a translator or an editor who’s fluent in the native language in which you want to publish your translation and just pay them to to go over it. You know, and you can always check our partner member directory to see if there’s any services like that out there but I think Upwork would be a good place to start because then, you know, you can you can tell them what you need, you can put samples of your book up there, you can test them and you know, test their fluency and you know, I think Upwork even has like tests that freelancers can take and then you know depending on what their grade is, it will display it next to their profile so that you can actually verify how fluent they are and what their fluency in the language is so that would be what I would do, just be prepared to spend some money because it is not always cheap to to have someone review, you know, review a book in another language but I definitely think that the pain point that Ingo’s feeling is legit, right, so just make sure that you find the right people and that they’ve got the skills and the will to help you.
Dan: I also imagine being really clear on what kind of feedback you want to be helpful and I’m thinking of specifically, I see this a lot in Facebook communities, is like phrases in one language that don’t translate to another, like ‘penny for your thoughts’ like do you have that in your language? Does that translate? Do we change it to something else? So what you’re looking for.
Michael: Yeah, almost clarity is key.
Dan: Alright, so the next question is from the Facebook group “Should I write my novel in present tense or past tense?”
Michael: Yes, so this is a tough one because to me the answer is really based on the genre, so certain genres you’ll tend to see present tense more than past tense. I think that past tense is probably the king of everything. I don’t really think you can go wrong by writing in the past tense. I think readers have come to expect the past tense 9 times out of 10 but there are some genres like YA, for example, where it’s not uncommon to see the present tense and so what I would look at is I would look at the genre that you want to write in. I would look at, you know, the top 10 books that are currently selling in that genre and you know, if the majority of those top 10 books are in the present tense, then that means that readers are probably expecting the book to be in the present tense and I think you would have a good case for trying to write in the present tense.
The hard part about the present tense is there some it creates an unique editing issues, right and so you just want to make sure that everything is consistent, you know, I’ve tried to write in the present tense but I just, I find that I start going back into the past tense, so I’m just like, “No, I can’t do it anymore” but you know, you just make sure your editor, you know, you pick a good editor that can help you create that immediacy that the present tense requires because it’s a different skill set in many ways, writing in the present versus the past, and so I would definitely the first question that I would ask is, you know, what do readers in the genre expect? Because if it’s kind of like urban fantasy, almost all urban fantasy is in the first person, it would be really weird if I wrote an urban fantasy book in the third person, right, because it is just not what readers expect. It would make them sit up and say “Huh? What is this?” So I would definitely keep reader expectations key, core at the at the heart of whatever decision.
Dan: Alright, our final question is again from Facebook, should I be using social media, a blog or both and what when should I be posting?
Michael: Yes, so-
Dan: This will be about a nine hour answer.
Michael: Yeah, yes nine hour answer so I’ll keep this one to like 90 seconds, so the person that posted this in our Facebook group, they said that they want to promote their presence as a novelist and I guess they’re torn between writing on Facebook or writing a blog and personally my answer is do whatever you’re going to be comfortable with, you know, I don’t think that, you know, there’s this myth out there that you have to be everywhere, that you have to invest all your time in all the platforms and hope that something will payoff. I personally don’t believe that. I think you should do what makes you feel comfortable and borderline discomfort.
So if you’re not quite comfortable with blogging but you know, that’s something that you have a passion around, that’s something I would try but I would do either or, I wouldn’t do both, you know, so you certainly would have a Facebook page but what you can do is if you invest in blogging, you know, share your blogs on Facebook, you know, it doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to invest in a Facebook presence, it’s better to be all in on one than to be scattered and do a really bad job on both would be my short answer.
Dan: I love that and I guess one thing I would add is picking up on your last phrase the idea of being all in, I think that when you really think “How can I be all in on the blog” it starts challenging you in ways where it might include Facebook, you’d say well if I’m going to do this blog post the best I can, shouldn’t I be engaging with this topic while I’m developing the blog post? Maybe I can do that with my readers on Facebook and they will contribute and they’ll help me shape it and then I can ask questions after and then I can. So even though I love that question “How can I be all in?” it actually should be a challenge of how you can do that blog better than anyone else can do it and that might lead you to social media in ways that are not about the social media, it’s about the blog.
Michael: It takes years to learn how to run an effective blog, just like it takes years to learn how to run an effective podcast. Like, if you jump into blogging, you’re not doing it lightly, you know, there are a lot of skills that it requires. Anyone can start a blog but it’s very difficult, it’s a very difficult skill to master, I found and a very difficult skill I think to build an audience for, especially if you’re writing fiction and so just know that if you do jump into blogging, you’re probably biting off more than you think you’re biting off and so if I were going to be starting a blog, I would make sure that I knew exactly what I was jumping into and exactly what the purpose is. Because it’s not really something you want to split your focus on too much.
Dan: Alright, those are questions for this week or this month.
Michael: They are and so it is November and it is Thanksgiving, at least here stateside it’s coming up so Dan, I thought we could end this episode by talking about one thing that each of us are grateful for.
Dan: Yeah, it’s, I mean, this goes back to my heavy stuff before about like, it’s early morning here in New Jersey and here I am, through Skype, chatting with you, before that I was recording a video for my mastermind group, I’m just thankful that, you know, I have this ability to sit here in a room by myself in New Jersey and connect in meaningful ways to writers and that’s exactly what this podcast is, even the nature of the Q and A is the nature of that, where all of those questions came from people all around the world and it’s amazing and I think that there’s so much confusion around how to use social media and there’s a lot of criticism which is of course good about social media but in the end, I love this idea that here we are isolated in our little lives and we connect in these meaningful ways with each other around the craft of writing and figuring out how to do it better, how to reach people and how to lead this life of what it means to create, so that is why I’m thankful.
Michael: You know, when you first started I thought you were going to say, I’m just grateful that I get to see your face every once a month.
Dan: I love that.
Michael: That’s where I thought you were going to go.
Dan: I love it.
Michael: So, I love that too, so my favorite part, or the thing that I’m most grateful for this year is the fact that we have such a great community. So I’ve been to two different conferences this year and they’re my first author conferences, believe it or not and I was just blown away by how supportive the author community is, you know, we’ve got some bad apples and some bad actors here and there, but for the most part, I can’t think of another industry where that would happen. You know, I was a musician for a long time and that just wasn’t the culture there, just different.
I don’t think artists have the bond that I think a lot of authors can forge and I don’t think that other creative professions have the ability to help each other as much as we do and I don’t know that there are other professions out there that actively help each other as much as we do. If I want to know the answer to something, I can just go and google it or I can just go and ask an author friend on Facebook and I can get an answer.
There’s no politicking, there’s no, you know, having to maneuver around this, there’s no weird stuff that I have to think about. I can just go off and get the answer and I know that if somebody comes to me I can give them an answer and it’s given in good faith and we’re all just trying to help each other. And I think we, I’m personally very grateful for that because I don’t think my career would be where it is if it weren’t for the great people around me. So, that is what I’m grateful for and we will end it on that grateful note. So, we want to thank you guys for listening to the Ask ALLi Member Q & A podcast, we’ll be back next month with another round of questions. If you’ve got a question for us, be sure if you’re an ALLi member to submit through our your dashboard, we have a form that you can fill out, you can put in your question and you know, Dan and I will answer it on the air for you, so we want to thank you guys for listening and we’ll see you next month.