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Happy Wednesday Everyone! Today I'm excited to host Chrys Fey to help her celebrate her upcoming release of Keep Writing With Fey: Sparks to Defeat Writer's Block, Depression, and Burnout. She has some great advice to share on how to find online book clubs. And check out her earlier guest post in June 2019 about how to use a YouTube channel that was super popular and helpful. It's already gotten almost 8,000 page views.

Before I get to Chrys' guest post, I have my IWSG Post.

Posting: The first Wednesday is officially Insecure Writer's Support Group Day.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

The co-hosts this month are Jenni Enzor, Beth Camp, Liesbet, Tyrean Martinson, and Sandra Cox!

July 1 question - There have been many industry changes in the last decade, so what are some changes you would like to see happen in the next decade?

Here's three things that I'd like to see changed:

  1. More diversity. I would like to see more diversity across the board in the book industry. There is still so much room for improvement in the books being published and equalizing the amount traditional authors are paid.
  2. Easier marketing. I'd love to see marketing get easier for authors--both traditionally and self-published. It seems like there should be a data base of libraries, bookstores, conferences, and book bloggers who organize blog tours for authors. 
  3. More collaboration between publishers and authors. As we all know, writing a book takes a long time, and there is a good chance that a book won't sell to a publisher. Once an author signs a publishing contract and develops a relationship with their editor, it would be so much more efficient and productive if editors would work more with their authors on developing the ideas for the next book so it's more likely that they will want to buy the book. Of course, some of the decision on whether to buy a book will ride on sales on the prior one. But this industry change could help authors not write books they can't sell. 
Those are my suggestions. What changes would you like to see?

Crys Fey Guest Post

Here's a blurb of Keep Writing With Fey: Sparks to Defeat Writer's Block, Depression, and Burnout from Goodreads:

Catch the sparks you need to conquer writer’s block, depression, and burnout!

When Chrys Fey shared her story about depression and burnout, it struck a chord with other writers. That put into perspective for her how desperate writers are to hear they aren’t alone. Many creative types experience these challenges, battling to recover. Let Keep Writing with Fey: Sparks to Defeat Writer's Block, Depression, and Burnout guide you through:

• Writer's block
• Depression
• Writer's burnout
• What a writer doesn’t need to succeed
• Finding creativity boosts

With these sparks, you can begin your journey of rediscovering your creativity and get back to what you love - writing.

Now here's Chrys!

Thank you, Natalie, for having me on Literary Rambles for IWSG Day to talk about online book clubs and announce my newest book for writers!

How to Find Online Book Clubs:

·         The first obvious place is Goodreads. I hear that many authors avoid Goodreads like the plague because the reviews there can be harsher than anywhere else, but there’s so much more that you can do there.

Another book club I love on Goodreads is Emma Watson’s Our Shared Shelf.

You can do a search on the Goodreads’ groups’ page for a book club you’d enjoy.

·         Although Litsy (an app and webpage) doesn’t have book clubs (Or maybe they do!), the entire platform is like a massive book club. There are many challenges, book swaps, and even gift exchanges. You can participate in what you want, when you want. Add/friend many members to find opportunities.

·         Do a search in Facebook for groups that are book clubs, too. Make sure to check out their vibe and rules first to be sure the group doesn’t participate in piracy, as there are many Facebook groups for eBooks that do.

6 Benefits of Online Book Clubs:

1. Reading!

Of course, this is #1. If you love to read, you get to read as a member of a book club. I don’t think
there’s anything else I have to say about this one, do I? Because…READING! BOOKS! THE MORE THE MERRIER!

2. Discovery

You will discover books, authors, and even genres/topics that are new to you. Reading books is a great way to expand your knowledge, find new perspectives, and take a journey. Through books, you get to meet many characters and go to places all around the world, even the universe.

When you open up to reading all genres, even if you’ve never read a memoir or a romance or a horror novel, and may even think you wouldn’t enjoy it, you could discover that you actually do enjoy it. Maybe you won’t like every memoir or romance or horror novel, but finding one book could lead the way to others.

And finding new-to-you authors is like befriending someone you feel as though you’ve known for years. Sometimes, we may get stuck reading the same authors, especially well-known, best-selling authors, but there are thousands of authors out there, and any one of them could be your next favorite author. The only way you’ll discover them is by going beyond your usual preferences.

3. Friendship

You will meet many like-minded individuals who love books just as much as you do. Like you, they probably horde books, have an ever-growing TBR list, one-click eBooks on Amazon all the time, and maybe even post #bookstagram pictures on Instagram.

Friends who read together stay together! Having friends that you can share book recommendations with, gush over your favorite characters with, vent about endings with, and discuss whether the book or film was better with is amazing.

You can discuss things more openly with your online book club friends than you may feel comfortable saying in person. I know I find it easier to have conversations in online settings than face-to-face, when my introvertness and shyness may make me clam up.

How to Connect with Members:
·         First, participate in the discussions. Post your thoughts about the book and invite anyone to discuss with you points you liked or disliked about it. You can also post questions for anyone and everyone to answer, especially if there’s something you’d be interested in hearing other readers’ takes on.

·         Reply to other members’ posts. This is how you create a conversation and can start a friendship, but make sure that you respect their opinions. No two readers interpret the same book in the same way. Don’t say their views of a book is wrong. Instead, expression your interest in discussing their take. Be openminded.

·         Send members you have conversations with friend requests. You can do this on Goodreads, Facebook, and Litsy easily if the book club is located in one of those places.

4. Knowledge

As a writer, reading books outside the genres you write (or usually enjoy reading) can heighten your writing skills. If you need to learn pacing for a thriller, read a romantic-suspense book, not just all thrillers. Romances, even sub-genres of romance, get a lot of flak, but romance authors run most of the industry, they know how to market in clever ways, and romance books are often about so much more than love (and sex).

And for people who only read romances because that’s what you write, it’s time to expand, too. If you want to learn how to add some mystery to your romance, read cozy mysteries. If you want to learn how to add suspense, read thrillers or adventure stories.

Don’t forget to read YA, MG, and children’s books, too. Trust me, you can learn a lot by reading books written for audiences of all age groups.

Through reading, it’s not just about improving your writing, though. You can learn about other cultures, history, important topics like racism and #metoo and LGBTQ+, and so much more.
5. Challenge

Being a member of a book club is a nice challenge, which encourages you to read more. Sometimes, our lives can get in the way, making it difficult to find time to read. Needing to finish a book by a specific deadline, whether that’s in one month or two, can be a nice challenge if you want to read more books.

Also, being active in an online community can be a challenge as well, be it due to time constraints or finding it difficult to open up to strangers.

Not only that, but a specific book may be a personal challenge for you. Maybe your book club will be reading a book in a genre you’ve never had the desire to read before, or the book contains topics that make you uncomfortable. Challenging yourself in this way can lead to growth, which brings me to…

6. Grow

If you are shy or introverted, being a part of a book club and discussing a book will help you to break out of your shell. Whenever we do things outside our comfort zones, we grow. Every time.

Chrys Fey is the author of Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication. She is also the author of the Disaster Crimes series. Visit her blog, Write with Fey, for more tips on how to reverse writer’s burnout.

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Chrys!

I'm hosting a giveaway for Chrys. I will be giving away an Amazon ebook of Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication or Keep Writing With Fey: Sparks to Defeat Writer's Block, Depression, and Burnout--winner's choice. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower  of my blog and leave a comment telling me which book you want by July 18th. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter the contest. Please be sure I have your email address.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog and/or follow me on Twitter, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry for each. You must be 13 years old or older to enter. This giveaway is international.

Here's what's coming up:

Monday, July 6th I have an interview with debut author Ash Van Otterloo and a giveaway of her contemporary/fantasy CATTYWAMPUS FYI I read an ARC & loved it!

Monday, July 13th, I have ab interview with debut author Karin Biggs and giveaway of her YA fantasy THE KING'S 100

Monday, July 20th, I have an interview with Jess Redman and a giveaway of her MG contemporary Quintessence

Wednesday, July 22nd, Angela Ackerman of Writers Helping Writers will be here to celebrate the release of THE OCCUPATION THESAURUS written by Becca Puglisi and her with a big giveaway  

Monday, July 27th I have an interview with Olivia Wildenstein and a giveaway of her YA romance Not Another Love Song 

Hope to see you on Monday!


nashvillecats2 said...

I have been a follower of Chrys for quite a while, I wish her well with her books. Thanks for sharing.


Jennifer Hawes said...

I love your third point. More collaboration between the publisher and the author for future books. Yes, please! Good to see Chrys featured today!

Patsy said...

It's taking time, but there does seem to gradually be more diversity among authors. I totally agree we need this.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

There are some databases, but no one place that has everything. It takes so much time to build one though. I know, as I've had to build those lists for 50+ books.

In this time of disconnect, connecting with other readers on Goodreads is really important.

Thanks for featuring Chrys and her book.

Jennifer Lane said...

Congratulations to Chrys!

Those are awesome ideas for the future of publishing. Communication from the publisher can be hit or miss, I've found. Dancing Lemur Press was awesome with communication. My other publisher, not so much.

Nancy Gideon said...

LOVE your list, Natalie, and totally agree! Thanks for sharing Chrys's books! Must shares!

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Congratulations to Chrys on her new book. I'm looking forward to reading it. Always need advice. Great post, Natalie. You're so right about everything. No matter how long I've been in the business, there's always something new to learn. Have a super day.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm fortunate my publisher works with me on my books.

Congratulations to Chrys. She does a fine job with the Goodreads club.

C.D. Gallant-King said...

Easier marketing sounds like a good idea, but other people are already so much better than me that it feels like they would just do even better and get farther ahead. 🤨

Cathrina Constantine said...

I dislike marketing! Making it easier works for me. Good answers to this months question, Natalie!

Chrys is amazing!

Debra Renée Byrd said...

Those are all great ideas. Thanks for co-hosting! Congrats to Chrys!

Computer Tutor said...

Your timing is perfect, Chrys. I've been thinking about joining an online book club. I'll check out your recommendations.

Natalie--I definitely like your ideas for changes in publishing/writing. If we could vote, I'd give you a thumbs up.

Liesbet said...

Hi Natalie!

I like your ideas for industry changes, especially a "data base of libraries, bookstores, conferences, and book bloggers who organize blog tours for authors." Writers are alone in so many ways that anything helps! As far as better collaboration between authors and publishers, we'd need to find a publisher first! :-)

Thank you for featuring Chrys here. She is full of helpful ideas and tips and does a fantastic job running the IWSG book club on GoodReads!!

Have a great hump day, girls!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Natalie - I love your ideas for industry changes! I think we all really need a good database. The IWSG has a partial one, but we all could use an even bigger base for all the ways we could reach out with marketing and "socializing" with our books - thinking of Chrys Fey's book clubs here, too.
Chrys - your book is awesome! I have a copy and I'm thankful for all of your ideas and tips. I wish I would remember to participate in the Goodreads Club. I often read the books slowly, and then forget to join the discussion. I guess I might need to add it to my calendar. :)

Pat Garcia said...

I so agree with point 3 that there need to be more collaboration between publishers and authors.
All the best.

Shalom aleichem,
Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

cleemckenzie said...

I love the honesty on Goodreads. I go there for my reviews and to see what readers as well a writers have to say about books. I do like the idea of more collaboration between authors and publishers. I wonder what a publisher's take would be on that? Congrats to Chrys on her latest book and thanks for giving her a shout out here, Natalie.

Chrys Fey said...

YES, YES, YES to the three things you'd like to see change.

And thank you so much for having me on your blog today!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Yvonne!

Chrys Fey said...

Hi, Jennifer!

Chrys Fey said...

I truly love and appreciate Goodreads.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Jennifer!

Chrys Fey said...

Hi, Nancy! :D

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you so much, Beverly!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Alex. I appreciate that.

Chrys Fey said...

Aw. Thank you, Cathrina!

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

I like your three points for improving the publishing world! Also Chrys' thoughts on book clubs. I am not as good as I should be about participating every time with the ones I'm part of, and should try harder!

I've pre-ordered Chrys' new book. I think I could use some of what she's offering!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Debra!

Chrys Fey said...

I'm glad my post was timely for you, Jacqui!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you so much, Liesbet! :D

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you so much for your comment, Tyrean! I hope my book offers you even more ideas and tips. :) And no worries about not always being able to participate in the book club. We do a lot of polls that makes participation easier. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, C Lee!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you so much for pre-ordering my book! I hope it offers you a lot of ideas and inspiration.

Jemi Fraser said...

Chrys always has great and practical advice!!!

I'm so with you on the need for diversity in books! We need more and we need them quickly!

Jenni said...

I liked your idea of having authors and publishers work together, Natalie! Chris' post was great. I've really enjoyed the book clubs on Goodreads. I'm part of one for people reading the classics and one for people reading middle grade books. It's always fun to talk books online or in person!

Suzanne Furness said...

Some good points there, Natalie. Chrys' book sounds great with some very useful advice.

Erika Beebe said...

Good luck with your new release Chrys. And Natalie, I like your wish with relationships between publishers and authors. Happy IWSG day :)

Liza said...

Natalie, you are so helpful to other writers. Thank you for all you do. Chrys, congratulations on your new release!

Olga Godim said...

@Natalie - I like the idea of easier marketing. That's one area of publishing I find the hardest.
At Chrys - Good luck with your upcoming book release. Your post about online book clubs is very helpful.

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you much, Jemi! I try. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Jenni! And I'm glad you found book clubs you enjoy on Goodreads. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Suzanne!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Erika!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Liza!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Olga! And I'm glad my post was useful to you. :)

Fundy Blue said...

What a great post, Natalie! And it was fun to read your post, Chrys! I belong to the IWSG book club, and I've read a lot of the books they have featured. I fall down on the participation part, so your post is encouraging me to get into it more. I don't need to win a copy of your latest book, Chrys, because I have already preordered it. I still remember your "Flaming Crimes," which was awesome! I'm trying to read more books by IWSG authors, and I certainly plan to read more of yours. Good luck with your book!

Pat Hatt said...

3 great things to improve indeed. So hate marketing.

The connections sure are a big one.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

I love your ideas for the industry changes. They would all be sooo good.

Congrats on your new book, Chrys. Great tips.

Anonymous said...

I love your three points, Natalie. In a perfect world . . .

I'm really looking forward to Chrys' new book - already pre-ordered!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

You are so right about needing more diversity and I love your wish that marketing would get easier.
Chrys has some great ideas to share.

dolorah said...

Good luck with the tour Chrys.

Natalie, I like your point about communications between publishers and authors. Perhaps if there are more viable small presses that point could come true.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Natalie, I agree with all your points. Stay safe. Good luck to Chrys.

Angie Quantrell said...

Great ideas! So many facets to being a writer and author. Thanks for sharing your ideas. Best wishes to Chrys!

Rubal Goyal said...

I agree with all of your points & yes keep doing the good work chrys & best wishes to chrys

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you so much for such a lovely comment. You made my day, Fundy. Thank you so much for pre-ordering mt book and for reading IWSG Book Club reads.

Thank you!

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Lynda!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you so much for pre-ordering, Lee!

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Susan. I try. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, dolorah!

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Rachna!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you for commenting, Angie!

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Rubal! I will. :)

lkrichmanauthor said...

I would love a database like that! Congrats to Chrys on her new book, and I am going to look for her group on Goodreads. Thanks!

Sandra Cox said...

Congrats to Chrys.
Editors are so important, especially if you have one that has your vision. If not, it's like two horses in harness heading in opposite directions.
Great post.

Michelle Wallace said...

More diversity is long overdue.
From an educational perspective, I’d like to see more of a three-way collaboration with authors, libraries and schools.

mshatch said...

Great interview with Chrys and I like your ideas, Natalie :)

Samantha Bryant said...

Congrats to Chrys on the new release. I've enjoyed her blog writing about burnout and I'm glad to see she's collected all those thoughts in one place.

Yvette Carol said...

Natalie, great list of wishes, I especially like the idea of a database. Indies have to do everything themselves in every arena and it'd be really nice to have a helping hand with the marketing side of things.
Well done to Chrys on the release of her new book!! :-)

Lauri Meyers said...

I could use the Keep writing with Fey: Sparks. I need more sparks in my life right now!

Juneta key said...

Great post Chrys. I liked the list of wishes too. Enjoyed reading.

Max @ Completely Full Bookshelf said...

This is great advice! I'll pass on the giveaway, but thanks for the great post!

Denise Covey said...

Some good advice Natalie. Chrys is always on the ball.

Loni Townsend said...

Great guest post from Chrys. :)

I love your suggestions for thing that could be improved. I would love an easier time marketing books myself, though I fear any system that's built will likely end up flooded by those looking to work and monopolize the system, leaving all of us slow pokes in the dust. *sigh*