Forming an Advisory Group

Every author must seek fresh eyes and fresh opinions. Along the journey of creating literary pieces, I have leaned on the knowledge and kindness of those who traversed the route to writing and publishing success. See the blog post about people I call “My J-Crew”.

I am seeking to hear voices other than mine. After all, authors do not buy (or should not buy) their own novels and nonfiction books. Readership is diverse, so should this group, which will “make recommendations and provide key information.” Calling it an advisory board takes away the familiarity factor, makes it too formal, and takes out the community.

Picture from Performink

The Why

The group is a forum to connect and share thoughts about my forthcoming novels, nonfiction books, their titles, covers, plots, and characters analysis. The books the group will discuss have not been released yet, but they are sliding toward publication. Whereas I am not Oprah Winfrey and cannot insist that members sign waivers and comply with exclusivity, I seek to protect my intellectual creations under the Copyright Law.  

The When

After years of critiquing the works of other writers and having them do likewise to mine, I need to add another dimension to the groups I belong. I need an advisory group made up of trusted people who possess diverse and unique skills and background. I am at the juncture in my writing life when it has become clear that mine can no longer be the solitary voice in choosing the best title for my works among the ones I brainstorm. I do not intend to ask the group to invent wheels. I might need to capitalize on their knowledge of emerging issues and challenges, unique perspectives, and other bookish (serious) maters that I alone can handle no longer.

The How (Structures/Policies)

The advisory group will be standing/continuous, but postings will be sporadic. It will comprise of people of different nationality/national origin, diverse values, cultures, educational background, career, life states, who come together and provide critical anchor (a light house of a sort) that guide during my brain freeze so that I must arrive at rapid changes. More specifically, it will consist of a community of readers, writers, teachers, artists, health care practitioners, attorneys, financial planners, students, and people in other walks of life.

I am the self-appointed chair/administrator. However, the point of the group is that I recognize that I need help. Therefore, there will be co-administrators and moderators. The duties of these will be open to discussion. Not all members are expected to post all the time, but members are needed to post most of the time to provide the much-desired feedback so that decisions are not based on insufficient data.

My Hope

I am thrilled at this prospect, which is a huge leap! It is my first administered Facebook group. I hope to choose those who care for my well-being as I care for theirs. Since I do not have the financial reward to pay back, I offer reward in kind (same type of deal as I receive) and/or reward in token (my published book[s]). The group receives the satisfaction of being on the ground level of the release of different genres.

I imagine that different opinions might not blend. My hope is that we agree to disagree, and we disagree while holding on to our self-respect and respect for each other. I hope I do not lose anyone due to strife or disagreement.

Some information was obtained from Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC.