IASD Update 1 – 2021

Dear fellow members, I’ve been for one of my regular breaks out to the garden.

Before getting into this update, I make no apologies for being blunt on certain matters, but it’s only because you don’t need purple prose—you need information. We have an admin/committee and occasionally in the past we’ve collated thoughts on ideas for the group. This update is being produced without a request for anyone else’s input—not because I see myself as the guiding light, or want to rant, but because I’m confident that my fellow admins would agree with me.

Since this group started, we’ve evolved into more than a bunch of people with a few common interests. Friendships have been formed beyond the regular acknowledgement in a comment. We have obviously got writers of the various disciplines, but also readers, editors, cover designers, web-designers, plus other skills besides. Unfortunately, we also have a few ‘freeloaders’.

Did that last point bring anyone up short?

If it did, I’m pleased, but I’ll get back to that in a while.

It’s acceptable that authors who sell their work will harbour a hint of self-interest. No, I’m not talking about selfishness, I’m talking about marketing, making a noise, shouting about the fruits of days, weeks, and months of labour—trying to capture interest—selling the end product—books.

A freeloader is different, and is a person inclined to use our group purely for networking and marketing. They don’t so much as ‘Like’ or ‘Comment’—they use us and our group. Yes, they may come across as ‘friendly’ but they are in it for themselves. I’ll end this point by suggesting that I will quietly remove such a member. I do so regularly, after consulting a filter which confirms my suspicion of a person who only ever makes personal ‘marketing’ posts.

Don’t worry if you are one of those members who don’t say much or don’t appear regularly—we understand, we know who you are, and that’s fine. Life exists outside of writing and our group … apparently ….

And now, let’s look ahead ….

I have an idea and it’s another unilateral decision, so however you feel about it, I take responsibility. Please comment here ON THE BLOG POST if you have anything to say.

The Featured Author slot ran for about four years and worked for a few of our members. We asked for input on any new ideas, and the response was less than overwhelming, apart from which, most comments were made on Facebook. Those comments have now disappeared, which is why it was requested that comments were made HERE. No more needs to be said on that point.

As a result of new ideas, many of you will have noticed on Facebook, Robert organised a regular Tweet/Blog group for all those interested. He will decide if and when the idea is shelved or continued.

Again on Facebook, in another effort to promote interaction in the group, and draw attention to an individual’s work, I selected work at random and posted on a Sunday for a three-day stint. Since April, I changed that tactic, and I’ve been plugging our group’s brochure on a Monday, by posting the link to a particular genre. The posts for this will soon come to an end and I’ve been considering another weekly entry.

First Chapter

I know that this latest ‘brainwave’ has been tried by groups and pages before, but here is what I propose:

On a Monday (usually), I will post the link to a ‘first chapter’ for a member, complete with the appropriate book cover, and a single link of their choice. i.e. Author Website, Author Amazon page, Amazon page for book.

Yes, it’s that simple. Too many links create issues and not everyone has a multi-choice option.

1. The ‘First Chapter’ would be located here in the IASD blog/website under a new main menu heading.

2. First Chapters would build as we add to, and not replace, those already there.

3. No more than one entry per member/author, so do some soul searching about your work if you intend to request a slot.

4. If necessary to accommodate an author who doesn’t write novels but produces poetry or short stories, we can use them instead. If this were the case, I will explain it to readers in the menu header info.

5. If a ‘Post’ is short, it lends itself to being shared more easily outside of the group, so no need to worry about a ‘Share’ option not showing below the post and link. Copy and paste as you please. If I insert the cover as a thumbnail with the chapter file, it means it ought to show when the link is pasted somewhere.

IASD Brochure

The brochure was designed, created, and is maintained by Melanie. It is a monumental undertaking to update such a document and she does so periodically. When she gets underway with the task again, do not overwhelm her with requests to update your information. It will be done, as and when Melanie is able, but please, ensure that any information you offer is accurate. After the next update of your information, any amendments will be on hold.


Let’s remain one of the best writing groups on Facebook—and if you feel you’ve been a freeloader so far—get involved. Interaction is what makes our group special.

First Chapterdoes it inspire you to comment one way or the other? If it becomes a reality, it will kick-in with effect from Wednesday 4th August 2021. Comment if you wish HERE ON THE BLOG.

IASD brochure—it will be updated in due course, so please be patient.

Any comments/suggestions are appreciated.

Thank you,


28 responses to “IASD Update 1 – 2021

  1. I am happy to get involved with this. As a children’s writer, I will need to break the rules and maybe only share a page or two – then again, I’m known for ignoring rules.

    Thank you, Tom for organising this.

    Thank you, Melanie for updating the catalogue.

    Liked by 2 people

    • We’ll get your work fitted in somehow, Sylva, and I’ll keep you in mind when I set up the blurb for the new header. 🙂


  2. I seem to have missed or forgotten the blog/tweet group. Do you have a link to it, Tom? I tried a ‘First Chapter’ Fb group but archived it as people refused to adhere to the rules. I think the idea would work better on the IASD website. I would be interested in providing a chapter if this gets off the ground. I’m trying to get my head around whether the chapter is uploaded as a file to the site, or just a link to read it elsewhere. I’m feeling a bit dense just now. 🙂 Anyway, thanks for the constant inspirations, Tom, and for the work the other admins do.

    Liked by 1 person

      • The Tweet/Blog group is Robert’s zone, but I’ll try to locate his links on FB and post a connection to them. 🙂


    • Robert deals with the Twitter group, Ruth. I’ve never really got into it, and my blogging in recent months is almost non-existent. I’ll see if I can locate the links Robert last posted. 🙂 I’ve noted that there is already interest in the ‘First Chapter’ idea so a brief and simple explanation will be posted soon.


    • What Tom refers to is a weekly post that we used to pin at the top of the group every week, for the first half of the week. We ran it for about 6 months. It turned out it was being used mostly by a small group of members who were already retweeting and boosting each other’s posts.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad you’re getting rid of the freeloaders in the group. There’s one in particular that posts often and never does anything else.

    I appreciate all the work each of you do on behalf of the group.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Ha.. I’ve been trying to read read over Sarah’s Shattered Lives manuscript for days now bit keep getting interrupted.. finally got stuck in last night.. took a week off last week to chillax myself but ended up working hard in the garden… we just finished building a new raised patio and destroyed our lovely garden in the process 😂 enjoy the chill times 🎈

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ha, I read this and thought, thank heavens for a square lawn to one side of the house, and an ‘intimate’, flourishing garden to the other side. I go a bit loopy when it comes to ‘trimming’ so I’m only allowed to deal with our tree (twice a year), or paint the furniture and stuff. 🙂 Of course, I’m also allowed to sit out there to write. 🙂


  4. Thank you for the update and ideas, Tom. And I thank the group for their understanding that life happens as well as writing happens. Besides dealing with the pandemic and health issues unrelated to it, I’ve had to change jobs. A new job is its own life event. I’ve been writing as much as I can, but everything has slowed down to a crawl. I read the Facebook posts when I’m there, which hasn’t been often for the past year or more. I wish all of you the best even when I don’t post. I hope that at some point I will be able to be more involved. Until then, please know that I am still here and reading about all of your accomplishments.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, Cinda, and thank you. You are exactly the type of member I had in mind at one point. You and your life come first and if you have time to take part in something or share a view–great. We know there are many of you out there in the shadows … 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you Tom, and Melanie, and those others behind the scenes who give freely of their time to keep this group alive and afloat. I am not so much guilty of freeloading (I hope) but preserving what energy I have in terms of interaction within in the group, so it varies. Just saying, for the benefit of anyone who wonders about my lapses of engagement. I think presenting an author’s ‘first chapter’ is a good idea. It will help us get a sense of other writers’ styles, and either prompt us to dive in deeper or recognise a book is not for us. First chapters – in fact first paragraphs – are what grabs us (or not) with any book. I’m so grateful to this group for the sense of companionship it provides. I’ve made some genuine friends here, and I value them. It’s really my only significant port of call on Facebook. 💗

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are still one of our stalwarts, Lesley. If you weren’t, it wouldn’t be noticed when you were MIA. 🙂 You come first, and then you get involved and interact when you have the time and feel up to it. Take care. 🙂


  6. Hi Tom,

    I, too, like the first chapter idea but as technical skills are a challenge to me not sure what we have to submit to enter. I am sure it will become clear once it starts! Although I don’t post a lot, I love this group and always feel like I am coming home when I log on. I appreciate the admins for all they do. And I love Melanie’s Connections magazine. This group has been inspiring for a number of years and I have read so many great books which I would never have come across were it not for the group. So yes, please, Tom go with your idea! By the way, I was very honoured to be one of the featured authors…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I like open and honest, Tom. I wasn’t aware of the tweety part. First Chapter idea is great. Thanks to everyone who works behind the scenes. It’s still the best writer’s group on Facebook, the only one I’m really dedicated to, apart from one other. We have so many helpful and talented members and so many I feel i know.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Some great ideas, and I appreciate the work that goes on behind the scenes!
    I ready liked the Writer’s Lives posts that went up a while ago, they were fun! First chapters sounds really good too, it’s always good to read a sample and see if it’s something you’d love but haven’t tried before.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Lisa. Writers’ Lives is still on the menu and open for anyone who gets in touch with a submission. I agree on the ‘sample’ and that was what brought the idea to mind. A cover and a blurb are all very well, but seeing the author’s style is useful. 🙂


  9. I think it would be very beneficial, and educational, to read the first chapters of books. I know how important it is to get the first chapter right and it is sometimes the most difficult to write. When I read my own first chapter, I come from a place where I know the story, but I wonder if it would be enough to get a reader interested in reading more. I would definitely be interested in reading writers’ first chapters.


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