Episode # 51 – The Benefits of Being in a Writing Group

In Uncategorized by Julius S4 Comments

Scott Bury cover

If you’ve been put off by either the complexities or the costs of self publishing then this is the episode for you. My guest this week, Scott Bury, is a prominent member of two writing group. One for the writing side of things, and the other for the marketing. These groups have helped Scott not only move his writing forward, but also his sales. You can see show notes for this episode here:

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Links:

Bones of the Earth

Amazon Profile

Website

Mentions:

Written WordScott’s other website.

JSTORE Awesome resource tool, but only if you are a student (or perhaps know one…)

Kobo – Sells the most ereaders in Canada.

Amazon.ca – Still a major player in Canada.

Army of Worn Soles – Scott’s latest books, released later this month (June 2014)

Best Selling Reads – All about cooperative promotion.

Independent Authors International – Author coming together to share the skills required for production.

Show notes:

Background

Scott started his writing life as a journalist and has some impressive credits to his name. He had been hankering to write fiction for sometimes and finally got to it in the mid-2000s. Bones of the Earth was his first full length novel, before this though he had decided to test out what publishing was like by writing some children’s fiction. Self-publishing wasn’t really as big of a deal when he was putting these books out and tried to get it to agents and publishers – that didn’t lead anywhere. Scott isn’t a marketer and was hoping that the publisher would help him with the marketing of the book, although he later realised that in reality they probably wouldn’t do much for him.

Scott found it a challenge to move from the shorter form stuff (both as a journalist and as a short story writer) to longer form works. He found that having an outline was very important.

Research

While Scott’s work is fiction it is based in historical reality. He wanted to write fantasy but didn’t want to make up maps and words that most fantasy authors do, he wanted it to be based in a quasi-reality. While this does mean there is less work in creating stuff from scratch, it means there is more work in historical research. The names are all drawn from history (except for one).

His major book is based in the Dark Ages, and this was a period where there was not a lot of recorded history, this made researching challenging. He spent two years doing the research for the book.

The internet as well as JStore was where Scott went to for his names.

Non-Fiction

Scott’s newest book “Army of Worn Soles” is non-fiction book about the Nazi invasion of the USSR. The book tells the story of his father in law who was drafted into the Red Army. The book was written over a long time and based on interviews with his father in law. Scott had to fill in certain details and blend in bits that were made up to make it a compelling story.

Co-operative Groups

Scott is involved with two groups that are working to bring self-publishers together to get synergy.

One of these is Independent Authors International, this group brings together a group of authors who have different skills to trade them with each other. For example some authors in the group are also editors (like Scott), others have skills in cover design, etc. They barter their skills to get a completed product for a low cost, but also at a high quality. This started with ten authors and they have recently brought on another five members. These people were brought on based on their skills and what they can bring to the group. Everyone in the group has hit a bestseller list at some point.

This is a group that is open, although there is an approval process. If you are interested you can apply on their website.

The second group is Best Selling Reads which is about promoting books and getting them into the hands of authors. Scott joined this group and when the current president stepped down he was asked to take on the position. There are currently 20 members. They have done many promotional things such as doing giveaways. They have a social media account for the group which they use to promote their books and giveaways. This is also an open group but there are a few criteria, including having at least two books out, and you have to have hit an Amazon bestseller list at some point.

Promotion/Marketing

Scott says that every author has to do some amount of promotion and he really believes that by joining together with other writers this can be made easier. Scott admits that he is not a particularly sales orientated guy so being a part of these groups has been seriously helpful.

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Leave a comment below or get in touch with Simon by email at simon@rockingselfpublishing.com

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Julius SEpisode # 51 – The Benefits of Being in a Writing Group
  • elizabethbarone

    I’ve been wanting to set up some kind of indie author co-op for about a year now, but didn’t really know where to start. Lately, I’ve started working on getting things going, but still didn’t know how to go about it. I emailed a couple of author friends, but that was about it. This episode came just in time! Thank you so much for sharing all of this information, Simon and Scott. I now know how to set up my own co-op and structure things. This episode was great!

    • SimonRSP

      Hi Elizabeth. Awesome, I’m glad it helped 🙂

  • R.M. Prioleau

    I’m in a few writing groups, but it’s mainly for critiques, advice, and getting those creative juices going. NaNoWriMo is a great place to start when looking for a writing group in your area. You may discover some of the writers in your group have other talents and advice that may be helpful for you to get published.

    • SimonRSP

      Great advice RM, thanks! 🙂