As many of you know, 2019 is the year I debut as a published author! My nonfiction picture book I CAMPAIGNED FOR ICE CREAM will be rolling into booksellers the end of April! But what many of you may not know, is that being a published author involves more than writing a book and going through the publishing process—it means PROMOTING, MARKETING, and SELLING! Fortunately, there are a myriad of resources available to guide authors through the marketing process, but there is a lot to navigate, especially on your own. That is why debut groups have become a popular avenue for authors. The advantages of joining a group you can brainstorm with, bounce ideas off of, and synergize with are immeasurable.
Unfortunately, when I applied to join the existing 2019 debut author groups, they were either already closed or I was ineligible. Disappointment #1!
Not known for my ability to let things go, I decided to start my own group. I sent private messages to a few leaders of other social media writing groups to see if they were interested in joining me. The responses were either a polite no, or no response at all. Disappointment #2!
I was debating putting a post on the highly esteemed, 7,500+ member strong, KIDLIT411 Facebook group, but was leery about putting myself out there so publicly. I let my insecurities get the best of me and when the new year arrived, I realized I was starting 2019 without a debut group. Disappointment #3 was in myself! I had dropped the ball…
…until serendipity! On January 6, I saw a post on KIDLIT411 from another debut author in the same boat as me. Also resigning herself to starting the year without a debut group, she was looking for advice about book promotion. I took a leap of faith and commented on her post; letting her know that I was willing to organize a new debut author group. Within minutes, she and three other authors responded. One week later and five authors strong, ON THE SCENE IN ‘19 was born! The five of us designed a logo, opened a Twitter account, started a private Facebook group, and had a website in the works. On January 14, I took another leap of faith and posted this on KIDLIT411:
On the Scene in “19 is here! We are a creative group of picture book, chapter book, and middle grade authors debuting in 2019. If you are interested in joining us please private message me. #onthescenein19
The response was quick and steady. On January 25, we officially hit our cap of 20 authors. To those authors that were on our waiting list, I extend my apologies and leave you with this message: “Let 2019 be the year you don’t allow the “no’s” to stop you–JUST DO IT!
For more information about On the Scene in ’19 please go to:
And finally, a few moments of gratitude.
- Thank you to Vanessa Formica Keel, the co-founder of our group, for your initial post on KIDLIT411 and for the long hours and hard work you put into making our amazing website!
- Many thanks to all the talented authors who took a chance on me and joined On the Scene in ’19. I look forward to getting to know each one of you, experiencing this incredible year as a team, and of course, reading your books!
- Thank you to Slyvia Liu, Elaine Kiely Kearns, and KIDLIT411 for creating a space where authors can get information, share resources, and find their people!
- And a final thank you to Nike for creating the motto “Just Do It” !