Author Topic: Indie Romance Authors Private Mastermind Group  (Read 6277 times)  

Offline sela

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Indie Romance Authors Private Mastermind Group
« on: September 30, 2017, 11:05:41 am »
Hello fellow indie romance authors!

I'm a mid-list indie romance author who has had some level of success so far but who is hoping to make it to the next level. What worked in the past might not / is not working today and so I'm looking for a small group of romance authors who are like me with some success who want to form a mutual mastermind group.

I envision that the group will discuss what it takes to succeed today and who are willing to discuss all aspects of indie publishing -- brainstorming plots and tropes, what it takes to be a bestseller, writing to market, marketing, branding, etc. All of it above-board and within TOS of course! No black hat techniques or scamming.

I'd want the group to be totally private, sworn to secrecy re: identities, pen names, etc. Potential for collaboration, mailing list swaps, joint marketing, and other approaches as well as a place to simply discuss indie publishing, craft, the romance genre, and all aspects of the business.

If you are interested in discussing a possible mastermind group, please PM me and we can discuss.
The Author Formerly Known As Sela

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    Offline Evenstar

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    Re: Indie Romance Authors Private Mastermind Group
    « Reply #1 on: September 30, 2017, 01:40:00 pm »
    I'd be interested (and I'm sure others are too) in knowing how such a group would communicate.

    Private forum? Facebook? Google hangout? Group emails?

    I only ask because some work better for me than others, and I can't be the only one  :)


    Offline josielitton

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    Re: Indie Romance Authors Private Mastermind Group
    « Reply #2 on: September 30, 2017, 02:03:51 pm »
    I'd be interested (and I'm sure others are too) in knowing how such a group would communicate.

    Private forum? Facebook? Google hangout? Group emails?

    I only ask because some work better for me than others, and I can't be the only one  :)


    You're not the only one. :) I'm curious, too. A private Facebook group would work best for me. I hate to say it, but I'm on there way more than I want to be these days. Email I'm lucky to get to once a day.

    Offline sela

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    Re: Indie Romance Authors Private Mastermind Group
    « Reply #3 on: September 30, 2017, 02:31:49 pm »
    I think a private Facebook group can be good but I am open to other ideas. Alternately we could use a private forum as well. I like the functionality of Facebook (easy to post images) but I like the way forums can thread topics. On Facebook, I think we can now join groups as our pen names or as our real selves now (correct me if I'm wrong, which is not out of the ordinary) so those who spend most of their time on Facebook don't have to go far. However, Facebook can also get unwieldy at times with threads being hard to find.

    I'm open to discussion.  8)
    The Author Formerly Known As Sela

    Offline going going gone

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    Re: Indie Romance Authors Private Mastermind Group
    « Reply #4 on: September 30, 2017, 02:36:10 pm »
    I'm not a romance writer, but I'm butting in to say:

    Sela knows a LOT about a LOT of things. If she's willing to share, you should be interested!
    Love of money is the root of all evil.

    Offline sela

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    Re: Indie Romance Authors Private Mastermind Group
    « Reply #5 on: September 30, 2017, 02:46:14 pm »
    I want to add that this is a totally selfish thing on my part -- I have been feeling a craving for a small group of indie romance authors who are facing the same issues as I am -- the struggle to remain / get visible in this new world of indie publishing.

    I'm interested in discussing the different approaches and strategies that have worked or failed. People who are already huge successes don't need a group like this. This is for people who have some success, but not at the level they want and feel a need to bounce ideas and strategies off each other, share what has worked and what has failed. This is for serious authors who consider themselves business people as well as artists / craftspeople.

    No drama, because that's not what I'm looking for -- just honest discussion and mutual support. The market for romance is huge but very competitive.

    Let's face it together. :)
    The Author Formerly Known As Sela

    Offline Jenny Schwartz

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    Re: Indie Romance Authors Private Mastermind Group
    « Reply #6 on: September 30, 2017, 03:50:55 pm »
    This sounds awesomely good to me - but I'm small potatoes and my newsletter subscribers are few - so fair warning, if you're limiting numbers for the mastermind group, go for someone who has engaged with their readers more effectively than me!

    And yes, everything seems to change so fast! (plods along in 2014)

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    Offline ThirdWish

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    Re: Indie Romance Authors Private Mastermind Group
    « Reply #7 on: September 30, 2017, 04:42:37 pm »
    Ditto on the awesomeness of this idea. I have a love/hate relationship with the genre that kind of reminds me of my previous life as an actor. It drove me nuts, so a friend of mine suggested walking away. If I couldn't give it up, I'd have to find a way to make it work. What I discovered was that yes, I could walk away from acting, and life was better for it. Writing? Writing romance? ((sigh)) Apparently, I'm here for long haul.  8)

    Offline sela

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    Re: Indie Romance Authors Private Mastermind Group
    « Reply #8 on: September 30, 2017, 04:49:42 pm »
    Lots of interest and thanks to everyone who has replied so far. I'm collecting feedback on Facebook or private forum and will make a decision based on majority rule (sorry oppressed minority!) and will let ppl know.

    The rules that members will have to agree to:

    Fight Club Rules

    Vegas Rules

    Mutual respect -- no personal attacks or judging other members for different approaches.

    Participation -- some level of participation has to happen or why else would we want you in the group? We're all here to learn from each other and share what we already know, think, have experienced.

    I'm firmly of the belief that a rising tide lifts all boats so if you agree with that, then feel free to PM me. I think we're getting close to a size limit so I may just have to say no if there are too many ppl but I can probably accept more at first. I imagine that some people will find the group is not for them and drop out so the group may end up at a manageable level.

    Right now, I'm seriously behind getting in my words today so I have to ensconce myself into the bat cave writing cave but rest assured that I will reply to any PMs as soon as I have them done which may not be until late tonight.  8)
    « Last Edit: September 30, 2017, 04:53:41 pm by sela »
    The Author Formerly Known As Sela

    Offline CLStone

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    Re: Indie Romance Authors Private Mastermind Group
    « Reply #9 on: September 30, 2017, 05:56:10 pm »
    Just a suggestion for your group: Try out Slack. It's free and you get a great chat room with a phone app as well. You can share files within the group. It's worked really well for me.

    New covers and second book release: Coming soon!
    Ask me for a freebie!

    Offline BellaJames

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    Re: Indie Romance Authors Private Mastermind Group
    « Reply #10 on: September 30, 2017, 07:03:58 pm »
    I think is a great idea Sela but I do not think this should be a private Facebook group as not every author is on Facebook or likes using Facebook. I vote for a private forum. I know I might be in the minority here.
    « Last Edit: September 30, 2017, 07:08:30 pm by BellaJames »

    Offline sela

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    Re: Indie Romance Authors Private Mastermind Group
    « Reply #11 on: September 30, 2017, 07:05:55 pm »
    Is it open to any sub-genre of romance, or is it contemporary only?

    Any sub-genre/category. We'll talk in general terms about romance but ppl can talk separately about the travails of sub-categories and niches if they would like. I want to try different subcategories and would be happy to learn from others who have written in them and vice versa.
    The Author Formerly Known As Sela

    Offline sela

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    Re: Indie Romance Authors Private Mastermind Group
    « Reply #12 on: September 30, 2017, 10:04:26 pm »
    I appreciate all the expressions of interest from people.

    One thing I did want to clarify and I'm sorry if I wasn't clear enough at the start:

    This group is not for new authors.

    As I said in my intro post, this is for mid-list or close to mid-list authors who are either earning a living or who are on their way to doing so and / or have published several (3+) books but have not found the kind of success they want. The trad publishing industry defines the mid-list as authors who sell but not in the kinds of numbers that make them bestsellers and household names.

    That means a prospective member should have to have several books published already (3+), and know their way around indie publishing, and that their books have sold but not necessarily bestseller status. I think midlist is often described as an author who has sold between 10,000 and 50,000 copies.

    Let's put it this way. You should be paying (or would have to pay if you were a subscriber) for Book Report.  8)

    Why restrict membership based on sales?

    While I believe in sharing and mutual support, I don't want this group to have to explain indie publishing to new authors. That's what this larger kBoards forum is good at and so if you are just starting out, please consider joining when you have some books published and have a sales record to show for it.

    This mastermind group is for serious authors who already have some level of success. Their books do sell, or have sold in the past, but they either may be struggling with the new reality or they want to move forward, reach the next level. That may mean moving to five figures, or from low five figures to high, from high five figures to six, or from low six to mid, etc. They want to take it to the next level and strategize and share insights and experience with others on how.

    A new author really doesn't have anything to offer these authors so it wouldn't be a mutual thing.

    I realize that this is probably just the kind of group a new author would love to belong to, but I want to ensure we all at least have some degree of success as indie authors that we can share with each other, rather than the sharing only going one way.

    So, given what I have said so far about the proposed Mastermind Romance group, please send me a screenshot of your Book Report month that is evidence of your sales (no need to identify yourself until we actually have the group set up) to my email: sela dot author at gmail dot com. Also, please send your preference: Facebook or private forum.

    ETA: Or if you are not a subscriber to Book Report and feel comfortable with sharing your pen name, you can do that. If you don't feel comfortable doing that either, I am not sure how to vet people. I'm open to suggestions on how to identify authors who qualify as near - or current mid-list.

    I know that this will exclude some of those who have messaged me and I'm sorry if these terms exclude you, but hopefully you will be able to once your publishing career is off the ground.
    « Last Edit: September 30, 2017, 10:57:31 pm by sela »
    The Author Formerly Known As Sela

    Offline nikkykaye

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    Re: Indie Romance Authors Private Mastermind Group
    « Reply #13 on: September 30, 2017, 11:10:48 pm »
    Sela, I've already talked to you on PM about this, and have just emailed you my "application" (but no bribes, as per the Integrity Clause). Regardless of how it works out, I really think this is a terrific--and incredibly generous--idea of yours.

    Despite the empowerment we might feel we have in self-publishing, the reality is that so many of us feel really, well... vulnerable. I can decide when and where and how to release a book, but that doesn't mean I don't still feel fragile--from an artistic perspective, business perspective, even an authorial voice perspective. I'm proud of what I've achieved in the last year, but I'm always striving for more knowledge, more insight, more positive relationships, more experience.

    Good luck with the group, though I doubt you'll need it!

    Offline 77071

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    Re: Indie Romance Authors Private Mastermind Group
    « Reply #14 on: September 30, 2017, 11:24:55 pm »
    I won't use Facebook.  Every time I think of trying to join I run across another horror story for why I personally would not do great there.


    What are Fight Club rules?  It sounds violent.  :(

    Offline sela

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    Re: Indie Romance Authors Private Mastermind Group
    « Reply #15 on: September 30, 2017, 11:47:51 pm »
    I won't use Facebook.  Every time I think of trying to join I run across another horror story for why I personally would not do great there.


    What are Fight Club rules?  It sounds violent.  :(

    The first rule of Fight Club is that you don't talk about Fight Club.

    The second rule of Fight Club is that you don't talk about Fight Club. ;)

    In other words, you don't talk to people outside the group about what goes on inside the group in any way that could possibly identify any members or what was said or posted.
    The Author Formerly Known As Sela

    Offline 77071

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    Re: Indie Romance Authors Private Mastermind Group
    « Reply #16 on: October 01, 2017, 12:06:57 am »
    Ah, thanks.  :)  I'm sure I knew the reference somewhere in here...although I haven't actually watched the movie or read the book.  The talk about a supportive group and then the mention of a fight club jarred me, I guess!

    Offline sela

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    Re: Indie Romance Authors Private Mastermind Group
    « Reply #17 on: October 01, 2017, 12:07:25 am »
    For those who qualify but who do not subscribe to Book Report, you could screen cap a sales or payment page from Amazon or other retailers or you could share your pen name -- with complete confidentiality of course. If none of that appeals to you, what about your bank account deposits from Amazon or iBooks etc?

    Here's a screen cap from my Amazon page and my bank account showing my Amazon payment but you could use your D2D payment or any retailer payment:





    If you don't know how to screen cap, here's a page:

    https://www.take-a-screenshot.org

    You don't have to post anything here unless you want to. You can send it to me in a PM or via email -- whatever works.

    I really hate to do this but we need to feel comfortable and be able to trust as a group. I'm sure all of us are aware of the kind of nastiness that can happen in the world of indie publishing. There have been lots of scams and frauds and horrible people attacking authors and trying to destroy careers, etc. Nobody has time for that. At least, I don't!
    The Author Formerly Known As Sela

    Offline Doglover

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    Re: Indie Romance Authors Private Mastermind Group
    « Reply #18 on: October 01, 2017, 12:50:12 am »
    I don't think that's for me. I've only ever paid book report once, and I usually make a few hundred pounds a month. I have a following of 2000 subscribers, which is obviously not enough.


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    Offline BellaJames

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    Re: Indie Romance Authors Private Mastermind Group
    « Reply #19 on: October 01, 2017, 01:43:39 am »


    One thing I did want to clarify and I'm sorry if I wasn't clear enough at the start:

    This group is not for new authors.



    I think that's fair. There are private groups with only authors selling a certain amount of books and it makes sense that these authors can support each other, share their experiences and brainstorm new ideas on how to improve their careers. When you have a forum or group open to everyone, you get many newbie questions which I believe requires some personal research.

    It's no different from a bunch of successful authors meeting up for a coffee, a cocktail, a beer to share and encourage each other. There are a bunch of successful NA authors who meet up often to talk and share their experiences.

    I still think this should be a private forum, not a facebook group.

    I won't use Facebook.  Every time I think of trying to join I run across another horror story for why I personally would not do great there.

    I feel the same way about Facebook. I will not be touching that site.



    « Last Edit: October 01, 2017, 01:48:46 am by BellaJames »

    Offline sela

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    Re: Indie Romance Authors Private Mastermind Group
    « Reply #20 on: October 01, 2017, 04:09:11 pm »
    Just want ppl to know that I will get back to everyone as soon as I have a spare hour. Showing the house (up for sale) plus my niece is in town from the coast AND we had to go out for lunch. :) Life in other words not to mention I have another 2800 words to write today EEK!

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    Offline unkownwriter

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    Re: Indie Romance Authors Private Mastermind Group
    « Reply #21 on: October 02, 2017, 07:40:33 am »
    Just wanted to drop in and say "ditto" to what Lou Cadle said. Sela is good people. People in the romance world who qualify should hop on this. I know I would, but wrong genre and not quite at this level anyway. Shucks. :(

    Offline PearlEarringLady

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    Re: Indie Romance Authors Private Mastermind Group
    « Reply #22 on: October 02, 2017, 07:55:59 am »
    ... AND we had to go out for lunch. :)

    Don't you just love it when you have to go out for lunch?  :D

    Just wanted to drop in and say "ditto" to what Lou Cadle said. Sela is good people. People in the romance world who qualify should hop on this. I know I would, but wrong genre and not quite at this level anyway. Shucks. :(

    Not sure that I'm at this level either, and I'm certainly not at Sela's level, but I've applied anyway. Hoping I'll be accepted. It's a wonderful opportunity.

    Offline suspensefulCJ

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    Re: Indie Romance Authors Private Mastermind Group
    « Reply #23 on: October 02, 2017, 08:38:55 am »
    I'm definitely interested, but am not certain my PMs are getting to you. I've had some spotty internet issues lately.

    Offline PearlEarringLady

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    Re: Indie Romance Authors Private Mastermind Group
    « Reply #24 on: October 02, 2017, 08:43:36 am »
    I'm definitely interested, but am not certain my PMs are getting to you. I've had some spotty internet issues lately.

    You can email sela direct at sela dot author at gmail dot com (she posted this upthread, along with the prerequisites for the group; reply #14).

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