Ways to Help Your Indie Friends

You know exactly who I’m talking about, don’t you?  That one, the really weird one, who isn’t married, might not even be dating seriously, may have been in school forever, works odd jobs, and is absolutely hell bent on writing books or making music or taking pictures.  Yeah, I’m talking about that friend.  If you are not “that friend,” chances are, you have one or one of your friends does.  

Indies come in many forms.  Some of us are authors.  Some are musicians.  Some are artists, graphic designers, photographers, screenwriters, or filmmakers.  But see, we all have one thing in common.  We have found something that we love so much that we are striving to make a career out of it, even if that means going it alone.  Crazy?  Yes, perhaps we are.  But I think anyone who’s ever made an impact has been at least a little off their rocker, or else they wouldn’t stand out.  

If you have one of these charming and yet mildly insane people as a friend and you’ve been wondering just how you can help them make their dreams come true, well, here’s your lucky day!  Presenting…

Ways to Help Your Indie Friends!

1. Offer Encouragement!

As a friend embarks on his or her journey to indiedom, they are going to encounter a lot of helpful and positive attitudes, but they will also encounter a lot of negativity.  If I had a dollar for every time I heard,

“You’re getting a Masters in Humanities?  What are you going to do with that?”

“I get that you want to write, but what do you want to do for a job?”  

“You know you’re never going to make any money, right?”  

Well, let’s just say I wouldn’t have to do the indie thing because I’d be so rich, I wouldn’t need a job!  There are people out there who will have no problem telling the aspiring author or photographer or musician that their ambitions are a waste of time.  As their friend, one of the best things you can do for your indie friends is to support them, encourage them, and most importantly, accept them for who they are.  

2. Like and Follow Things!

On social media, that is.  Facebook pages, Amazon pages, GoodReads author pages, websites, fan pages, Twitters, Tumblrs, Pinterests, I don’t even know how many things there are to like and to follow, but there are a lot!  Numbers MATTER. 

3.  Buy the Book/CD/Craft

Okay, so this part costs a little money, but more often than not, it is a truly worthy investment.  Sometimes, since you’re a friend, you might even get a complimentary copy.  I’m proud to say that I have bought several indie books, my graphic designer is an indie, I’m getting ready to do a photoshoot with an indie photographer, and I even helped produce my friend’s second indie CD!  Okay, it was like, $20, but still!  Technically, I can say that I’m a producer.  The point is I have never once regretted supporting a fellow indie.  If they have the guts and the drive and the passion to put themselves out there and get the job done themselves, then you can bet I’m going to support them.  

4.  Review, Review, REVIEW!

I can not stress this enough.  REVIEWS ARE SO IMPORTANT, especially for an indie.  The more reviews an item has, the more likely potential readers or listeners or customers are to take it seriously and consider investing their time and money.  My book, Cemetery Tours, currently has 27 Reviews on Amazon.  I’m thrilled, but at the same time, I’m working every day to make that an even 30!  A review does not have to be a long, drawn out analysis or give a full plot description.  It can be as short and sweet as two or three sentences.  

“Hey, I enjoyed this book because A, B, C.  Author did a great job.  Highly recommended.”  

That, along with a nice rating, is simply invaluable.  

5.  Spread the Word!

You don’t have to spam your friends or send out mass texts, but if you’re talking to someone about books or music, you could mention, “Oh hey, my friend wrote a book” or “My friend is a singer.  You should check them out.”  Give a shout out on Facebook every now and then.  Recommend the book or whatever to a friend you think might enjoy it.  Retweet stuff.  Little acts like that can go a long way in the indie world.  Word of mouth is the single most important marketing tool an indie can ask for. 

Now, in the spirit of crafts, books, and photography, here are a few of my shots from a project in Grad School.  

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   Enjoy the day, folks! 

Squirrels, Turtles, and Lawn Mowers

As I may have mentioned on this blog before, I am a writer.  That means that I like words and writing, and I like to think I’m pretty good at that kind of stuff, but I have absolutely no sense when it comes to things like business, strategy, actually getting things accomplished, etc…  Fortunately, my dad is extremely business savvy and he’s been a great source of information and support in helping me get Wind Trail Publishing up and going.  He also helps keep me on track when, for instance, I decide in the middle of writing one book that I need to stop and write a whole other book.  His advice for me?

“You need to stay focused.  No squirrels, no turtles.”

The squirrels and turtles thing is sort of embarrassing.  My mom is sort of like Dug the dog from Up when it comes to squirrels and she sort of passed that on to my sister and me.  Okay, mostly just me, but I feel like throwing my sister in there too will at least make me feel a little more normal.

The turtle part comes from the time I was talking to him on my cell phone and I was crossing the street and I saw a squished baby turtle and I got really sad about it and completely forgot what we were talking about.  So, yeah.  No squirrels, no turtles.

I had planned to spend today road-tripping out to a wildlife reserve about an hour and a half away.  I love wildlife conservation and one of my ultimate dreams is to work to raise money and awareness for conservation efforts all around the world.  I’d also like to volunteer, especially with sea turtles and marine mammals.

Last night, however, the Cemetery Tours sequel took a new turn and I realized… I’ve got to finish this book.  I do want to go out and see the reserve, and I will soon, but I am so close to finishing this book that I just need to stay focused.  I don’t need to be taking on any new projects when I am this close.  So instead of taking the day to drive out to the reserve, I’ve been working on the sequel and learning how to work a lawn mower.

Look!

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Look out world, we’ve got a badass over here.

The original Cemetery Tours got another great review on Amazon!  I only need 4 more to reach 30!  Small goals, small steps.

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Thank you, Raul!

Okay, I’m gonna get back to writing now.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend, folks!