A) LitSisters is, at its most basic, a support and networking resource. We want to be available to help other writers, novice or experienced. We blog about our interests and areas of expertise, both on the craft side and the business side of writing. We are also available to answer questions, should someone need information that isn’t already on the site.
As we continue to grow we look forward to possibly having local networking get-togethers as well as other types of events, both virtual and physical.
Q) How was it initiated? What were its goals?
A) LitSisters is the collaborative brain child of Christine K. Bailey, CL Coons, Terri Weeding and Audrey RL Wyatt, born out of our relationship as members of the same critique group. We take a new approach to our work, viewing ourselves as writerpreneurs™, both writers and entrepreneurs. We work together, using the skills we bring from our non-writing lives, to publish and market our work.
Q) Does LitSisters help other authors?
A) We certainly hope so! We are growing and evolving but our goal is to relate our experiences in writing and publishing so that other writers can learn from our successes and our missteps. No one should have to re-invent the wheel. We should all write our own destiny.
Q) Tell us about how important it is to be a "writerpreneur™."
A) It is absolutely essential. Whether you’re independently published, going with a small press or a major publishing house, there is likely no marketing budget available for you. It is crucial that you learn everything you can about the state of publishing today and how to get your books into the hands of readers. There are many books available on the subject and you can find our favorites at LitSisters.
Q) What are some things you've done—that writers should do—to promote their work?
A) One of the biggest things that we’ve all done is to utilize our personal networks. There’s a popular game called “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” where people try to determine how far removed they are from this or that person (Audrey is two degrees from Kevin Bacon, by the way). While it’s a funny passtime, it’s also a salient point. We are all connected to lots of people – family, friends, business associates – and they in-turn are connected to loads of other people. We each send out newsie info packets to everyone we know and ask them to pass the info on. These newsie notes have gotten us everything from sales to book club appearances and other events.
Q) And, as you've said there is a fine line between social promoting and being a pain in the arse. Where do you think that line is drawn?
A) Yes, it is a tightrope that every marketer walks. We advise against sending out the same info again and again. Everytime you send something out to people it needs to be new information. After that it’s okay to remind them of still-relevant stuff but the point of the note must be new. Also, if someone asks you to take their name off your mailing list, do it – immediately.
Lastly, make sure to thank people. And it never hurts to offer a gesture of appreciation – kind of a “what’s in it for me” type thing. People love to help those they care about. They love it even more if they feel appreciated.
Q) LitSisters have talked about e-books. What do you think about authors publishing e-books, and do you think going "spine-less" is a wise publishing decision?
A) We are taking the approach that it’s wise to diversify. E-book sales have seen a triple digit rise each year and the potential is phenomenal. But many people are resisting so, at least for now, a paper book is also a wise move.
Q) As four sisters, do you think the literary industry is more geared toward helping men, women or, do you see equality?
A) As women writers, we embrace the creative power of cooperation and collaboration. We aim to develop a community that supports the mutual success of women fiction writers, and to build a platform from which to launch that success.
Q) What is coming up for LitSisters?
A) One of the things that we are all experiencing is the frustration of failing to find enough hours in the day. We are all marketing our current publications, actively writing, working on LitSisters, and trying to have personal lives. It’s really difficult but we are determined.
As it evolves, LitSisters looks forward to becoming a resource for all authors who are determined to take their destinies into their own hands.
Meet The LitSisters
Whether the “story” is a Web site for a commercial printer or an article about a must-see trail in the desert Southwest, Bailey has the ability to clearly depict the subject, engage the reader and encourage them to take the next step.
Believing whole-heartedly in the power of collaboration and the success of partnering with other strong, successful writers, she is one of three travel writers who comprise Arizona Authors & Adventurers — a group that gives Travel Talks about Arizona and writes the blog Arizona Travel And Adventure. She’s also the director of marketing for LitSisters Publishing and the LitSisters Community — a boutique publishing house and online writers community, respectively that specialize in supporting, promoting and encouraging women writers.
The 2nd edition of Bailey’s travel book: Phoenix, Scottsdale, Sedona & Central Arizona, An Explorer's Guide: is due out December 2010 and her series of iPhone travel apps about Greater Phoenix are due out mid-year 2010. Her Sedona iPhone app launched in May. Find Christine here.
When she wasn’t writing, CL took an interest in web and graphic arts, work ing as Creative Director at Red Seven Computer Company, as well as an online producer and marketing consultant for various small businesses in and around Arizona.
CL Coons currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona. She is married to a wonderful boy and gets to lis ten to the most adorable pup in the world snore all day as she writes her novels. Find CL here.
Always one to foster aspiring artists, Audrey founded Southeast Valley Fiction Writers near Phoenix, Arizona, and Bay State Writers in Southeast Massachusetts. She is a founding member of LitSisters. She also teaches Creative Writing in continuing education and Memoir Writing to Seniors.
Audrey’s award-winning novel, Poles Apart, is garnering much praise. You can find it online and at booksellers everywhere. For information on Audrey and her work, go here.