IASD Update 1 – 2018

Happy New Writing Year

We have a lot to cover here but it is all important.

On behalf of the Admin, I hope you’re all safely en route with your literary plans for the next few months. Yes, set yourself targets, have one or many Work In Progress (WIP), because it’s what we all do — but make those targets achievable. Don’t get yourself caught up competing with the output of a writer with more time on their hands than you can afford.

Many of our members are in jobs, have families, a chronic condition to live with, or have time-consuming responsibilities. We must all remember that we are there for each other, so what might be ‘availability’ for one person might be a fantasy to another. I realise to some of you guys those are obvious points, but I thought they were points worth making.

New Members

As you’ll have seen on joining us, we extend a warm welcome, but what makes it important is the sincerity. When we say we support and discuss, it’s because that is what we are about. If you have a headache over your new cover, the title, what to do regarding the point of view (POV), marketing strategy, or myriad other things — give us a shout. Start a thread on the IASD page and let it simmer for an hour or two.

We’ve successfully published a couple of anthologies within the group and you’ll see covers and links throughout this post. If you’d like to be involved, all you have to do is remain active; visit the IASD page regularly.

Previously Published

As a group, we’ve compiled a collection titled ‘You Are Not Alone: An Indie Anthologyby Ian D Moore and friends. The proceeds of sales are donated to Macmillan Cancer Support.

We followed this with another collection titled ‘Holes: An Indie Author Anthology’. This book was produced more as a general marketing tool to highlight the skills of the writers involved.

Sylva Fae, Paul Ian Cross, Suzanne Downes, and Kate Robinson collaborated to produce Children’s Christmas Collection. The cover for this seasonal venture was redesigned by Sylva’s young daughter Sienna because according to her the original cover ‘looked like a Christmas card a granny would send!’ I believe we have a great author in the making there. 🙂

The Silent Lands Chronicles is a collaboration between Susan Darlene Faw, Judith Docken and Sylva Fae under the pseudonym EA Darl.

Featured Authors

Apart from the name of the group the first thing noticed by a visitor to our Facebook page is our Featured Author pinned post. It’s no accident that it’s called the Featured Author. It’s a prime location for any author and for this reason every member is eligible for the spot.

When I started organising this idea, I listed all of our (then 360) members and subjected the list to a randomiser. The top name was checked and if they were still a member they were contacted. The next year saw me using the Sociograph programme to see who was most active in the group. I have to say although this proved useful for last year, it precludes many members who are unable to get online regularly.

What’s next?

This year, I’m going to list every member who has initiated a thread or commented in the current month. All of the names will go into the randomiser, except members who have already been featured – of which I have a list. It will mean that all you have to do is be a current, active member of the group. (Having at least one book published would be good. 🙂 )

Why did I use ‘active’ in the previous paragraph? The admin team are always on the lookout for those who infiltrate our ranks to promote their books and do nothing else. If we can trace a name who only ever appears to plug their work, but never comments, likes, or takes part in any discussion — they become ex-members at the touch of a button.

Harsh?

No, not really. The title of the group includes the words Support and Discussion, but not the words spammers or freeloaders.

We’re looking for a member to manage the Horror anthology which we’d like to publish later this year. The previous project leader has asked to take a step down but will assist whoever steps up to the plate. I’m not going to insult any of you guys who are a whizz on Internet, programmes and suchlike, but I would suggest as long as you’re comfortable with the use of Dropbox and you could afford a little time, you’d be a good candidate. There will be plenty of support with respect to proofreading stories and later if required, help with the formatting. The project leader is effectively the liaison who can update the rest of us as we make progress.

How do you apply for this amazing position?

Give a heads-up on this thread or drop a Private Message to Ian, Sylva, or me. We have others in the Admin team but for a variety of reasons, I’d rather keep the collating of names tight. It might be another admin who heads the project. 🙂

New Anthologies

In the pipeline for last year we had planned a couple of new anthologies, but due to an abundance of different issues they didn’t happen. This year we are going to work together to achieve our aim. For those not already in the loop our anthologies are:

1. A children’s anthology – headed up by Sylva Fae and Denise McCabe.

2. A multi-genre anthology – headed up by Ian D Moore. Ian will be looking for support by way of proofreading, and other activities while the collection is compiled and confirmed. To avoid disappointment we may have two volumes on this collection. The theme is ‘Freedom’.

The cut-off date for entries to be considered is 28th February 2018. If you have any queries regarding word count, genre, etc., please contact Ian.

3. The third collection we’re assembling is a Horror anthology as mentioned above. Of the three books, this one is being targeted for publication in October so has the longest lead time. If you’d like to help or donate a story, please get in touch when the new project leader is known.

Our membership presently stands at around 300, which is a workable group size for our aims. If you’ve joined us in fairly recent times, please take a look at our IASD blog/website. You might find something to your advantage, like being listed in our catalogue/brochure (description depends on nationality). This superb document was compiled by Melanie Smith.

Click on cover or use main menu

If the figures were to be believed our IASD blog/website now has in excess of 3,360 followers. Let’s be honest, and say we don’t have as many, but the regularly increasing figure proves that there are people checking us out, which means they’re checking out our writing.

We’re successful as a group of writers because we work hard to stay true to our group title. While I’m here, on behalf of our members as a group, I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to all you guys who add a useful link or share an experience which benefits the rest of us.

Thank you for staying with me on this and catching up.

Tom

24 responses to “IASD Update 1 – 2018

  1. Thank you, Tom. I particularly like your comment regarding keeping the name of the group in mind when posting! And thanks to all the admin team for their unflagging support of the group – much work behind the scenes which we all appreciate, I’m sure.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Lesley. I think it’s very important to remain true to the objectives which Paul set out with when he set up the original website. To see a group which pulls together so much makes every bit of effort worthwhile for those of us behind the scenes. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m with you there, Sarah. In both my military and retail careers I was well known for saying to people, “Whenever you think you’ve got it bad, take a look around.” Yes, a tiny percentage of times a good deed might backfire, but I have to agree that the satisfaction of helping somebody is the most fulfilling repayment. 🙂 Apart from the help I get from others (like yourself), it’s one of the reasons I love our group.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I have been quiet lately in the group but only because I have been trying to focus on my personal production goals. I have backed out of many groups, but will always stick around this one if you will have me :p Trying to make a living at writing turns out to be two full time jobs (who knew?) But I am always just a tag away 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • You’re safe Susan. 🙂 One of the strengths of our group is that we have a handle on those in a ‘situation’ as the US police might refer to something. 🙂 You may not be around so often now due to circumstances, but you’re still regarded as one of ours.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Great post as usual Tom. I have been with IASD for a good few years now and have seen the group grow – not only in numbers- it’s the support, advice, helpful links and good banter that makes me look on IASD as my ‘virtual home’.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Sharon. Yes, it seems like a while ago when there were a handful of us. Away back when we started and I saw Paul’s reviews and articles I was confident we had somebody with a great idea.
      I’m like you because I check the IASD page before mine!. 🙂
      I agree that it’s the ‘mix’ and the members which make the group so good.

      Like

  4. Tom, thanks for this post, which was also a reminder to me that I have not participated very much here or at the Facebook page. I read nearly everything that comes past me from this group and try to stay current in that way. But participating has been difficult due to time constraints and priorities. I’m desperate again to find fulltime work so I can pay bills so that search has top priority. Taking care of my “lovelies,” the 5 chronic (autoimmune) diseases I have has given me some challenges too, specifically with the RA I have and trying to get proper treatment that won’t interact adversely with other treatments I’m on. My writing has fallen back as a priority — it’s a good week if I can write on Saturday. Marketing needs to get ratcheted up in 2018 and I’m now looking for time to do that. So I regret that social media and other internet pleasures have dropped to the bottom. I may be seeking some ideas on marketing from the group in the coming weeks. In the meantime, I’m trying to finish 3 short stories for submission to paying markets. Being a member of the “working poor” really sucks in America!! Thanks to the admins for their continuing work for and support of the rest of us and for keeping this group going. Cinda

    Liked by 2 people

    • Cinda, please remember that one of our maxims is that ‘you’ come first. If you have any issues which hold you back from being a regular visitor -it doesn’t affect your membership of the group.
      I hope things improve for you in the coming months, and hopefully, you’ll get some good feedback when you post any queries.
      Take care. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you Tom,
    As a newish member this was valuable information as it’s clarified a lot about the group. I had already worked out what great support it offers by reading all the posts but this has really explained everything you are doing as a group. Hopefully, I can become more involved this year.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, Patricia. I’ve been a bit tardy getting to some of these comments. I’ve got so much going on I sometimes have to make priority lists for my lists …
      I believe in the group and the members, which is why I also believe it’s important to keep everybody informed. If you see an opportunity to get involved in any aspect of our activities, please do, but there’s no pressure. We understand that all our members have ‘lives’. 🙂

      Like

  6. Marketing has to be the toughest challenge Indie authors face. I feel for Cinda, though my problem at present is with paid advertising. I’ll post about that for everybody at the end of the month. A company has offered to try to make up for a disaster, even though the VERY small print says they don’t have to.
    Patrica, if you like a few things, or glare at them, as you go, we’ll know you’re reading even if you don’t comment. :-).

    Liked by 1 person

    • My marketing is pretty low-level when compared to many of our members, Sarah. I have only paid for a campaign once. It will be a while before I pay FB or anybody else again. I’m happier writing so I prefer to pull out old ideas and spend time reworking them rather than worry about advertising what I have out there.
      Your work is good quality so as long as a reader picks up one — they’ll come back for the others. 🙂

      Like

    • A positive attitude is the first step and you’ve already got that going on, Lisa. Do what you can when you can and nobody, including your own body, can ask more. Take it easy. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Clare. I apologise for the delay in getting to the more recent comments on here. My fingers can’t keep up with the demands I’m imposing on myself.
      What would you like to know about?

      Like

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