Writer. Adventurer. Currently working on The Dreamless City, a series of steampunk novels and short stories.

Dear Writer, How Can I Help?

I tell people I’m a writer, and more accurately when I tell them I’m self-publishing, I receive a range of responses that I group into a few categories:

  1. by Rebeca Sarray

    by Rebeca Sarray

    Polite bemusement – These people have never thought about what I do with the 24 hours in my day (to be fair, I’ve probably never considered what they do when the kids are in bed either), so when I tell them I’m a writer, I’ve just stomped all over their notions of me.  They freeze like deer in the headlights and smile, knowing there’s an expected response, but not sure what it is.  It’s okay, let’s talk about our favorite shows on HBO instead.

  2. Wistful admiration – Some people confess to me that they thought about writing a book too.  I recall a survey that half of all American women dream of writing a novel one day.  This was me for a long time, picking up writing books, occasionally writing a couple of pages, then wandering off for another month.  Eventually I met someone where I had the thought that if she could do it, I could do it too.  I hope that maybe I can inspire someone else like that.  If Tracy can do this, how hard could it really be? xD
  3. Cynical suspicion – These people act like I have a communicable disease.  Maybe it’s the idea that all writers are crazy and/0r depressed.  Maybe it’s my audacity to self-publish instead of waiting for traditional publishers to knock on my door.  Maybe it’s the science fiction and fantasy thing, like I’m an adult and should have put down the comic books and picked up some James Joyce.  Meh.
  4. Eager helpfulness – Usually these people are “in the know.”  They know a writer, are a writer, or have heard about the crazy numbers about writers making a living through self-publishing.  They ask the questions like “What do you write?”, “Where can I buy it?”, or even more awesomely, “How can I tell my friends about it?”
also by Rebeca Sarray

also by Rebeca Sarray

That’s been the most awkward thing I have been facing lately.  I’ve gotten used to calling myself a writer, I have found a wonderful group of writers/beta readers/support group/friends, but it still seems awkward when I tell people “Yeah, I have an anthology and a book out on Amazon.  Please go check them out.”

So, how can you help your fellow self-publishing friends when you meet them?

  1. First, shake their hand, tell them that is interesting and awesome.  Ask them what they are currently working on.
  2. Offer them some coffee, a brownie, or maybe a quiet space to take a nap.
  3. If you are dreaming of becoming a writer too, don’t be shy in asking the how they got started.  Ask them if they are in a critique group.  Most productive writers I know surround themselves with other writers.

And how can you support their publishing efforts?

  1. Ask what name they publish under, check it out on Amazon, buy and read it if is strikes your interest.
  2. If you do read it and enjoy it, please leave a review for them.  Getting review when authors are starting out is hard.
  3. If you blog, tweet, FB, or instagram, take a moment to mention your friend’s book through social media.  I think we should all use our online resources more to support each other in general, not just about this book thing.  I really should tell more people how amazing my friends are.

Enchantments&ExperimentsSo, like I mentioned before, I did a crazy thing and got a story published in a science fiction and fantasy anthology.  The editor of the anthology I’m in is doing a Thunderclap media blitz for the book, which is like a social media Kickstarter. You pledge to post about the book through Thunderclap (no money, just posts), and if enough people agree, then Thunderclap does a huge media blitz for the book.

If you want to support me, take a look and pledge. More buzz would be awesome, thanks!!  (Also, Friday is the last day to help support us in the Thunderclap, so don’t wait if you’re reading this today.)

Thunderclap Link
Enchantments and Experiments

Gaslight Carnival

3 comments on “Dear Writer, How Can I Help?

  1. sjstevens5
    August 10, 2015

    Thanks for the like on my blog. I used to enjoy steampunk and science fantasy more. Good luck on your novel. I’ll have to check it out when it’s done.

    • tracycembor
      August 10, 2015

      Really funny you say that, my novella Gaslight Carnival will be available on Amazon tomorrow. Can’t believe the preorder is over! Check it out if you have some free space on your e-reader!

      • sjstevens5
        August 10, 2015

        Absolutely. Glad to hear it’s a novella too; a lot of good novellas get tossed aside by legacy publishing because of the length.
        The new world of publishing is very exciting.

Comments are closed.

Of Days and Weeks

July 2015
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Posting Schedule for 2014-15

Monday through Friday I will be posting about writing as business and craft, the science of creativity, all things steampunk, and progress on The Dreamless City.

Weekends are reserved for my Music Playlist.

Writers of the Future Honorable Mention

About the Author

Tracy Cembor attempts to juggle a preschooler and a baby, a full-time job, random geekery, and the writing life. Currently working on The Dreamless City, a steampunk urban fantasy novel. Come join the adventure.
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