I've been thinking a lot about my experiences with publishing and the main thing that comes back to me over and over again is how many people are involved. Yes, the author's name gets the main focus but there are SO many wonderful people that make the book what is. Today is all about bringing them into focus!
First and foremost - I don't think any successful author has gotten that way without a writing community of sorts. Whatever that may mean to them - it's the way they keep them sane, keep their idea flowing. My community is HUGE. A mix of readers, critique partners, other writers, family and friends. I would be NO WHERE without them. Seriously, they have been my rock, my source of happiness and support. They hold me up when I feel like quitting - they talk me off the ledge when I'm getting cray cray. I am the author I am BECAUSE OF THEM.
I LOVE supporting and helping other authors, especially other indie authors. This is an incredibly hard business to be in - and there's no better way to be in the mix than to read and support my fellow writers. I have met some incredible authors who are lifelong friends. I've met authors who leave me in awe with their words and some who are so humble, kind and giving. These are the people I call my colleagues, mentors and friends.
It's impossible to put out a great book without editors, in my opinion. Not only have the editors I've been involved with been talented individuals, but they've helped me become a better writer. It's not easy to tear someone's baby (because books are very much like little babies) apart but they do it because they know writers depend on them to make the books the best they can be.
I owe every bit of my improvement to the editors who have worked with me.
Cover artists are a little bit like magicians. You give them a snippet of your book or an idea and they bring your book to life. As much as we want to believe we shouldn't judge a book by it's cover - it's just not the way this business works. I put so much trust in my cover artists and am constantly in awe of the magic they produce.
Books are a lot like stripping down and showing someone a part of your soul. You're voluntarily putting a piece of yourself out there to be judged and critiqued. Beta Readers are such an incredible part of the process. And it's not a job they take lightly. They know how special it is for an author to give them early access to their manuscript - and to trust the judgement they have. My Beta's are incredible and I couldn't continue to publish books without them.
A little fact: I used to be a book blogger before I started publishing books. It's not an easy job. It's a fun job, no doubt. But most of the book bloggers spend a lot of their hard earned money supporting authors, giving away books and gift cards to their readers. They spend A LOT of time on their reviews and helping spread the word. Bloggers have been instrumental if not THE reason self-publishing has been so successful. I can't say enough good things about the bloggers I've worked with in the past. There are a few bloggers I trust implicitly and will buy anything they recommend. There have been bloggers that have taken a chance on my book when many others wouldn't and I can't thank them enough. Remember that most of these bloggers have full time jobs outside of blogging and they do it for one reason: they love books and their authors.
*Keep your eyes peeled - I have a special blog post dedicated to the bloggers who have been instrumental in my career and who are overall just amazing people.
Readers (aka YOU)
Lastly, the most important people in the publishing process are the readers. Simply put - without readers, I wouldn't be able to put out books. Reader support and love is what keeps me going strong when self-doubt sets in. When a reader messages me with kind words about what they read in my book - or the time they take to connect with me. That's the most important thing to me. It's why I LOVE being an author. My readers mean the world to me and even if I never sold another book - the relationships and connections I've built mean more than a sale ever will. You allow me to live my dream EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
In conclusion: Writing is sometimes a lonely thing - but with the right village - you can do ANYTHING. THANK YOU does not cover all the love I feel for my village <3