On Safari to Find THE READER – Elizabeth Ann West Is Armed And Dangerous

Fear not. Despite the title, this isn’t another foray into my private life here in sunny West Africa. It’s about the all important issue of finding readers.

This is a subject over which I find myself in constant e-conversation with fellow authors, and since we’ve moved into publishing other writers as well as ourselves, it’s  a matter that is constantly on our minds.

Of course there are no end of ways we can find readers, and there’s no right or wrong way. But some are most definitely better than others. Today’s guest, Elizabeth Ann West, has identified one really simple and rather elegant approach to marketing: Be genuine.

I’ll leave her to explain, but for the new author trying to establish a brand and be seen in the ocean of anonymity it’s a great idea, and it’s working well for her. In fact, let’s bring Elizabeth Ann West in now:

Sssssssh! I’m hunting for those elusive creatures everyone insists exists called READERS. If I can find some, I’m going to quickly flash them my brand, spankin’ new ebook before they disappear again. As a newly published author, it’s rather difficult to find readers. The advice to find them in their natural habitat varies.

Okay, it contradicts.

Recently, the web buzzed about Wendy Lawton’s “What’s Not Working?” As a new author, I read it voraciously, but quickly became confused. According to Wendy, blogging doesn’t work. Blog tours don’t work. Twitter doesn’t work. Facebook doesn’t work. Print ads do not work.

Mark Coker

Also published this weekend was Mark Coker’s informal poll on Mobileread of what readers identify as the #1 influence for them to buy an ebook. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Mark is the founder of Smashwords.com. Guess what his poll of 206 responses found? Almost 30% of readers identified “Recommendations from fellow readers on online forums, blogs, and message boards.” Huh?

So I will find readers in the swamp AND the desert? That’s what the advice seems to say. However, I think the survey’s pie graph shows how little pockets of readers find ebooks in a variety of ways, and that’s why everyone’s marketing experiences are different.

So what is a new author to do? Be genuine. Yep, that simple. Pick a few ways to put yourself out there and be genuine in the interaction.

Networking with other authors. One of the biggest frustrated cries from people who claim blogs/social media don’t work is that we’re all just marketing to other authors. Yes, yes we are. And you know what? If you do that correctly, it’s NOT a bad thing. By building close relationships with other authors, you make friends that are willing to retweet your links without batting an eye. Friends who ask you to join their launch party of their new book with other authors in the Kindle Top 100 of their genre (yeah, happened to me without even asking!).

* * *

My little book with twenty copies sold in twelve days is going to rub elbows with titles by Terri Long, Karen Baney, and Tonya Kappes. All because I made a genuine friendship with Melissa Foster, who is releasing her third title, Come Back to Me, November 1st! I help everyone I can, and that’s how Melissa and I met online. My technical background for blogs and websites allowed me to help her on a new project: the WoMen’s Literary Cafe. I was excited to help because it’s a new site aimed at helping authors and bloggers to promote each other to readers, for free. I never expected anything in return, but when you help good people, they generally bring you along with them. It’s the only way we’re all going to make it!

Approaching reader blogs. Being genuine in your interactions with book bloggers is also important. As soon as a book blogger is put on a list as an indie book reviewer, the submissions pour in. Most of them are spammy, cold, form emails of an author flogging a book. I took the time to read sites, read the blogger’s About Me section and sent an email just thanking them for reviewing indie books and relating to some personal detail of the blogger. One had a toddler like I do. Another has a background in technical writing, and I used to volunteer for the Fedora documentation team.

Out of ten blogs I spent the time to get to know and write a personal email, three got right back to me. Two asked to review my book, and one told me she would let me know when her submissions open back up. That’s two more reviews than I had before I started!

Oh remember that networking with other authors? When I put out the call to make a book blog tour, author Melissa Foster also asked her book reviewers to give my book a look. And another four book bloggers were asking for review copies.

This posting here is because I asked for help and Mark Williams knew me from my regular visits to The Writer’s Guide to E-Publishing.

You really never know who’s watching you, so you should always be yourself and treat others with kindness.

Be consistent. Gone are the days where a self-published author is a novelty for readers. More and more readers know to look for the ebook bargains. My mother-in-law, who hates technology with a passion and doesn’t even email, wants an ereader. It’s no secret in marketing that it takes a number of exposures to a brand or product for a customer to buy. For ebooks, this is even more true. Our customers don’t HAVE to buy us right away, we’re always available. One book blog can spark a reader to download a sample and that’s as far as the purchase goes until ANOTHER ad or author interview reminds the reader about the book. Oh yeah, I was going to finish that!

My own reader habits with my Nook are that way. I prune my samples on a weekly basis and buy what I like and delete what didn’t grab me. As a writer, I bet if you examined your own book buying behavior, you’d be a lot closer to those well-camouflaged readers!

So what about you, Mark Williams International readers? What are YOUR marketing best practices? And better yet, what part of marketing your book is fun for you? (I love responding to reader comments! After my free promotion with my first author interview one of the downloaders tweeted she was up until 1 AM reading my book. That makes my day!)

And rightly so!

Elizabeth Ann West describes herself as a Jane-of-all-trades, mistress to none. A military wife and Mom, she has previously published non-fiction articles. This year, she published her debut novel, CANCELLED. It’s available on amazon.com, amazon.co.uk and in all other major ebook formats. You can check her out at http://eawestwriting.com, where just this past week she was talking about Sibel Hodge’s faction novel Trafficked, and how being an indie writer opens up hitherto closed opportunities as a writer.

As Elizabeth says, she and I e-met over on WG2E, and since then she has joined us at MWiDP in the hope we can bring her book some extra exposure this side of the Atlantic. Time will tell. I suspect she’ll gain far more traction in the immediate future with the WoMen’s Literary Cafe, which sounds just wonderful. I’m hoping Melissa Foster will come and tell us more here at MWi in due course.

But what really comes from reading Elizabeth’s essay above is the need for writers to network on a genuine and friendly basis.

Which is part of the idea behind the cloud that is (or will be – early days yet) MWiDP.

What we’re beginning to see happen is MWiDP authors joining together and share the burden – not just marketing (retweeting, exchanging blog posts, recommending, offering reviews and all importantly reading the books and telling others you enjoyed them), but also in the pre-publication stages. Joining with other authors, proofreading for one another, offering critiques to one another, offering help and advice. Exchanging links and info about format and cover designers. Even joining up and co-writing!

This sort of team work is something pretty unique to indie writers. Can you imagine Big Six authors linking up with fellow writers in this way? It just ain’t gonna happen. You might like to think that by having a Big Six publisher you have the support of a team of  experts who will do their best for you. But that’s not always true. The only people who get involved will be on the payroll. They have a vested interest in maintaining things how they want them. If you have other ideas for your book you’re going to be sorely disappointed.

The corporate gatekeepers have strict control over what goes in and who gets involved. Which is fair enough if they’re footing the bill, I guess. But dont assume that means they know what they’re doing.

Here just to remind ourselves ninety per cent of corporate published books fail. Ninety per cent never sell a thousand copies, despite all that expertise, all those professionals, and all that money and muscle.

And maybe that’s because readers don’t really care for ninety per cent of what the trad guys publish. Because most of it is dull, unimaginative and predictable.

I’m over at WG2E today today discussing just this.

If you’re one of those the-glass-is-half-empty types worried that the trad publishers are going to bully, bribe and bluster their way back to a  monopoly on what people read, be sure to pop over to WG2E and see why that’s not going to happen. As ever, MWi and WG2E are here to inspire, not depress. If you want depressing, read an agent’s blog…

Stay positive!

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  1. Great Post, Elizabeth! You are so spot on with the whole ‘be genuine’ approach. That’s what I love about this blog and WG2E, everyone is so genuine and helpful.

    Also, authors read books too. I have downloaded a few books from different authors I have met through networking. I haven’t got round to reading them all yet as I am a slow reader but because of meeting these new authors and getting to know them, I would prefer to try their work out before going to look for authors that are unknown to me. Yet another way of paying it forward, I think.

    Good luck with your book!

    • It’s very true, authors do read books. Authors generally have friends who read books and/or review them. I also have the problem of trying to read everyone. When I need to just turn off the writer job, I read Pride and Prejudice fan fiction. 🙂

  2. Great to see you back in circulation, Alison!

    Over at WG2E I’ve just posted about how I nowadays only look for indie authors to read. And this seems to be a growing trend.

  3. Alison, I agree with your comments on Elisabeth’s great post. I AM a reader and was a reader way before I was a writer. Therefore, I’m always going to be looking for books and like you, I’d much prefer to read something by someone I’ve come to know as a genuine and nice person and whose book comes with recommendations from other respected writers.

    And for you Mark, and others reading this, I went to a mainstream book-launch today: a friend of mine has written a biography and was published the ‘old’ way. He is pedalling madly under the water organising his own PR with no support at all, the publisher (one we all know and which out of deference to him, I won’t name) doesn’t do any business by email and worse, returns phone-calls days, even weeks later. As I listened to the tale of his experience, I thank the stars for independence and as I said to my husband later, I was so grateful for the support, friendship and professionalism of the indie crowd!

    Cheers Elisabeth, Alison, Mark and all.

    • Too right, Prue. The support and friendship alone makes it all worth while.

      if the right offer comes along we’ll probably end up with a trad pubbed option – with the best will and fancy POD in the world we cannot compete in print as indies. But it would be for books we’ve already epublished and done our best with.

      The thought of handing over a debut book to the trad guys and getting aperformance like you describe is beyond terrifying!

    • I LOVE your book covers Prue! There are some days when I wonder if I should have sent my manuscript off, but I’ve never been a “color in the lines” kind of girl. 😉 If there’s a different way to do something, I’m usually leading the charge.

      I feel bad for your friend, but maybe he will self-publish his next book and try to get the best of both worlds.

  4. Great post Elizabeth and Mark. And congrats on the new book and sales, Elizabeth!

    You are spot on with this:

    “Networking with other authors. One of the biggest frustrated cries from people who claim blogs/social media don’t work is that we’re all just marketing to other authors. Yes, yes we are. And you know what? If you do that correctly, it’s NOT a bad thing. By building close relationships with other authors, you make friends that are willing to retweet your links without batting an eye. Friends who ask you to join their launch party of their new book with other authors in the Kindle Top 100 of their genre (yeah, happened to me without even asking!).”

    and this:

    “You really never know who’s watching you, so you should always be yourself and treat others with kindness.”

    I think this applies to life in general, not just publishing. If you’re a genuine person who is happy to help others out where you can, you will get it back. It’s all about Karma. When I first published there were some really wonderful authors who helped me out with advice etc, then I did the same for other authors as I gained knowledge and the ability to help them. I’m a big believer in paying it forward. And the exciting thing is you never know what opportunities will come your way because someone is watching you. For example, I’ve exchanged links and blurbs in books with other authors who write in a similar style to me like DD Scott, Karen Cantwell, Lisa Lim. And I met all of these authors online and have become great friends with them. I’ve managed to make so many lovely author friends who are willing to help each other out, and I have to say it’s remarkable to see the comradeship going on in the indie world.

    Elizabeth, also thanks so much for featuring Trafficked on your blog this week, you sweetie! 🙂

    • Sibel, your reputation precedes you.Your blog is a fine example of pay it forward thinking.

      And as you say, this applies to life in general, not just the indie movement.

    • Oh, Sibel, it was my pleasure. And I didn’t feature Trafficked for any gain, it was just like a lightning strike. I had read about the book here, and then BAM! there was that AP headline. And it linked with a problem I’m having with my second book. Oh. My. Goodness. This second book is being a right-out brat. But I’m slowly and surely getting the plot under control.

      And about the you never know who’s watching? I had a very embarrassing encounter early on when I announced I had published, had a very big name say he bought the book, and then I realized I uploaded the WRONG file. The one BEFORE I ran that one last spell check that found 10 more typos. Yes, I’m a file packrat. I’ve had files corrupt on me so many times, I keep like 6 versions at all times. Now, I have a “MASTER FILE FOLDER” for the latest version only. So, that was a big case of a silly little comment I left on a blog got me a sale from someone who if he or his wife liked it, could have been a massive push for me. Instead, I probably fell into the “she’s not quite there yet” bin.

      BTW, if you’d ever like to guest post on my two sites, you are always more than welcome! 🙂 I don’t have huge traffic yet, but I’m growing. 🙂

      • Of course, Elizabeth, I know that for sure!

        Oops, don’t worry, we’ve all been there before, but the beauty of ebooks is you can correct any mistakes quickly and upload a new version.

        And I’d love to be a guest on your blog. Thanks so much! 🙂

  5. Woody Allen said that life was 95% just showing up. So, if you are present—whether thru twitter, FB, a blog, networking with other writers—you’re putting yourself in a position to be blindsided by opportunity.

    Your post is an excellent example of why being yourself is so crucial. Thanks, Elizabeth!

    • Spot on, Ruth!

      Btw Ruth is on Anne R Allen’s blog today with a great post about hope and reality when it comes to Big Six deals. Be sure to check it out!

      http://annerallen.blogspot.com/2011/10/6-prescriptions-to-cure-heartbreak-of.html

    • That mantra of 90-95% of life is showing up got me through a Constitutional Law class in college that was at the ungodly hour of 8 AM. 😉 That was also the one and only semester I made Dean’s List.

      Freelancing for the last three years, one of the toughest aspects of this writing gig is being your own boss. It is so easy to blow off interviews, blow off a friend’s manuscript that you said you would read, blow off tweeting links you said you would, etc. because you are the boss. But, I don’t know a single opportunity that landed in someone’s lap because they chose to ignore work.

      And while I didn’t mention it, that being yourself aspect comes with a slight caveat. Be the best version of yourself! LOL. Ugh, this virtual world, nothing is anonymous, and only a month in I’ve had some disappointment from people who DIDN’T ascribe to the showing up principle, but I just moved on and didn’t dwell. And they probably have 0 idea I was even fussed about it. All because I didn’t flame or blame or air my dirty laundry. 😉

    • Miriam Joy
    • October 23rd, 2011

    I will actually be able to contribute intelligently soon – my Kindle should be arriving tomorrow, or Tuesday at the latest! *grin*

    Anyhooo……

    It’s very obvious who’s genuine online, just by looking at the other blogs they comment on. If someone sends you a message saying they love your blog and it’s brilliant, you’re flattered – until you find that they sent it to about 20 other people. And the more friends with blogs in a similar genre that you’ve got, the easier it will be to notice when that happens, because they’ll tell you about it.

    • Party time at Captain Mim’s when the Kindle finally arrives!

    • That’s true. It’s marketing 101 to reach out to people, but you can’t spam. And hollow compliments don’t get you very far. However, I have approached blogs and reviewers because they were connected, and I take the time to be specific about the blog. Yes, this absolutely takes more time and I can’t do but 3 or 4 at a time when I sit down to reach out (About once or twice a week). But I think it’s getting me a much better return than if I just spammed 30-40 at a time with a BCC (blind carbon copy, sending out to multiple email addresses without letting them see the other addresses). Once your name is Mudd, you can’t wash it off! 🙂

      One fact I read SO many times as an unpublished author was how many thousands and thousands of people are publishing everyday, you’ll just get lost in the din. Yeah. Not exactly. In any given genre, it’s like a game of 2 or 3 degrees of separation between anyone serious about their book and the mover and shakers in that genre.

      • Miriam Joy
      • October 24th, 2011

      I HAVE MY KINDLE! *dances around insanely*

    • Jim Bronyaur
    • October 23rd, 2011

    That’s right! You have to be real… human… here. And as an author, there’s nothing cooler than hearing from a reader and interacting with them.

    And I will say that some of the best contacts I’ve made via social networking have been other writers. Writers helping writers, whether it’s big or small, in the end, help everyone.

    Great post.

    • Thanks, Jim.

      I’d hate to become so big that we couldn;t interact with readers and fellow writers on a one-to-one basis. It’s such a key part of the experience.

    • Absolutely. One area I’m struggling with is trying to keep up with the full time writers. I am a full-time Mom and wife. Funnily enough, I have a bit of a checkered past with my in-laws. And this week, my sister-in-law wrote on my Facebook that she had read the book and she was proud of me, Sister. It made me cry. The response from my family and friends has been positive, and then to have complete strangers on top of that tell me I made their weekend or they loved my book? Or even better, they HATE my genre but liked my book? Awesome. Better than any royalty.

      Now if only the electric company would agree to be paid in compliments. 🙂

  6. Great post and wise comments. As Alison says, “authors read, too.” In fact, we may read more than anybody else. People who ignore us as a market are idiots. I agree with Mark Coker’s assessment. In fact, I’d say it’s getting to be more like 50% for me. And I don’t even have a Kindle yet. (Lobbying the family to get one for Christmas, though.)

    I’m having such fun on my blog tour, meeting other writers on so many different kinds of sites–mystery, sci-fi, romance. Most readers of one genre also read others. The sci-fi people are buying my chick lit mysteries because they like funny.

    As Ruth says, it’s 95% showing up. And the more places you show up, the more likely it is you’ll connect with the readers who will like your stuff.

    Best of luck to you Elizabeth. I look forward to reading Cancelled as soon as I get that Kindle. I’ve seen it mentioned on so many blogs that the title is front and center in my memory. You’re doing it right!

    • Cancelled is a great read, Anne. You’re going to have no time to write once you get that Kindle!

    • Anne, tell me when you get the Kindle and I’ll gift you a copy! (You realize, right, that you can read with Kindle on the Cloud on your computer? In fact, I can gift you one now, shoot me an email at eawestwrites on Gmail’s free email)

      It feels a little like Chicken Little the real game around the publishing world lately. One of the biggest reasons I went indie is because all of the agent blogs and publishing articles were about what can’t happen. What you can’t do as a writer. What you can’t expect. And then there were these indie writers saying “Go Do! Put babies on spikes, it’s the American Dream!” (Okay, they weren’t ripping off Eddie Izzard, but similar sentiments).

      The sky has been falling on paper for YEARS. My government sends me forms to fill out online, exactly how long are people really expecting paper formats to stay King? (I don’t think they will go away entirely, that’s why I played with a few things to be able to offer my POD for $6.99 to stay at a consumer conscience price point). I’m going to hitch my wagon right now to the people building space ships to explore beyond the sky that’s falling, not the people with stock in umbrellas saying it will all be okay. And when traditional publishing is back to building rocket ships, I’ll be the first to give my name for a ticket!

      • Thanks, Elizabeth! That’s really kind. I’m going to take you up on it when I get the Kindle. Unfortunately, reading on my computer feels like work, so I’ve never been able to enjoy reading a novel on it.

        Also, with five books and an anthology coming out in the space of less than three months, with major revisions on two, I’m overloaded to the breaking point. Don’t have time to sleep, much less read. Just threw out four months worth of magazines and newspapers unread. The book I started last June is covered in dust. Probably threw out some bills too. I’ll know when they turn off the power. But I hope things will calm down a little by January. They’d better 🙂

  7. Really enjoyed this post, Elizabeth! You’re right – it’s all about being genuine. I got on Twitter originally to chat with fellow fans of NCIS, and for several months, I kept that on a separate account from my writing tweets. (We get a little wacky sometimes, especially on Tuesdays.) A few weeks ago, I finally moved all of that over to my main account because it felt like an artificial barrier. Now everything’s in one big mix – writing, knitting, NCIS McGeekery, regular geekiness, yoga, tea… The more we can just be ourselves — in whatever social media formats we choose to use — the more authentic we are and the more connection points we find with people.

    • Welcome to MWi, Jennie!

      For us poor soles living in the wilderness, what the hell is NCIS?

      • Sorry – U.S. TV show — stands for Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Been the No. 1 scripted drama for the past three years. It’s pretty popular worldwide, so I wasn’t thinking about the fact you wouldn’t have it in Africa. Oops. 🙂

    • I think it is VERY helpful to Tweet and talk about things NOT writing at least 40% of the time, if not more. (totally made up that number, but definitely writers should do it more) It’s how you build a more varied following, and really reach out beyond the sometimes incestuous writer Twitter rings.

      I’m a big NCIS fan myself, though we have been spoiled by DVR and streaming, we JUST subscribed to cable again after a 2 year hiatus. I LOVE the character of Abby and I’m floored that the woman who plays her IS a forensic scientist! Talk about being genuine! Though I have to say, I’ve met real NCIS agents (my husband is in the Navy) and they unfortunately are not nearly as cool as the TV show. And generally when you’re around the real NCIS agents, it’s not a good situation. LOL.

    • Okay, I replied and it ate it. Guess it’s not just Blogger that does that. 😉

      I agree, commenting on things NOT writing is vital. It’s how you move outside of the sometimes incestuous writer rings on Twitter and Facebook. Most people who read…do other things too! I love to read, play video games, a few shows like NCIS etc.

      Talk about genuine, Abby IS a forensic scientist in real life! 🙂 But just so you know, real NCIS agents (my husband is in the Navy) are not nearly as cool in real life. In fact, it’s rarely a good situation if you have them around. LOL.

  8. Sorry to have been M.I.A. My toddler was kind enough to kick my netbook to the ground as it was upgrading. Yeah. Took 4 hours, but my husband recovered my files and I now have the brand-spanking new Ubuntu 11.10 Unity based operating system. Thank god they brought the right-click back (don’t ask, I was an early beta user of Unity when it was just for netbooks and for some reason, the develops though getting rid of right-click was a GOOD idea. Face:desk). But when I minimize a window it’s the same as closing it. So there are some GRRRS to work out. I will be sure to reply to everyone as soon as the Pack kicks some Viking butt 🙂 (Um, that’s an American football game that’s on at the moment and I grew up in a house where the living room looked like it threw up green and gold.).

    • “Ubuntu 11.10 Unity based operating system”

      Hey, none of that technical jargon here please! Bad eough with jennie talking about NCIS, and now you with American football.

      Sport and IT are my two worst nightmares!

  9. Awesome post, Elizabeth, but then again, I love all of your articles! So happy to see you preaching the importance of being genuine. Too many authors have one goal in mind–selling books. One must look far beyond their own sales in order to truly succeed. You put your heart into all that you do. There is no doubt that you’ll succeed!

    Mark, I’d love to share info on WLC with you. Drop me an email 🙂

    xo,

    Melissa

    • The actual Melissa herself!

      I’m hearing so much about this WLC and your books. Shall be in contact! Thanks for dropping by.

    • 😉 It’s very easy to fall into the mode of chicken with it’s head cut off right after you publish. I’m lucky I made friends with you early enough on that you could give me a great focus. One step at a time. No one gets stardom overnight, or at least not usually for the right reasons!

  10. Fantastic post Ms. West.

    You are right, friendliness and connectivity is crucial to both readers and bloggers. When I used to read Writer’s Guides and taking journalism classes in college, we were always told to be professional and NEVER personal when it came to queries/requests. Very by-the-book and formatted letters to whomever you wanted to deal business with.

    However, as I’ve started to read writer’s blogs, it seems that friendliness and acting personable is professionalism. And I also find that to be the truth when I review and get requests for reviews. Not to say that you shouldn’t have some formatting (grammar, syntax, etc.). But between a friendly, down-to-earth request or a cold but well written request, it’s usually the former that draws my attention.

    “I have no fans. You know what I got? Customers. And customers are your friends.”

    -Mickey Spillane

    • Thanks, Andrew.

      Love the Spillane quote!

    • I think professionalism doesn’t have to mean cold, like you point out Andrew. I wouldn’t be so frank as to start an email to a reviewer with “hey, heard u review books.” LOL. But in today’s digital world, an initial email has to be like a handshake. There needs to be a smile. There needs to be a reason to encourage further communication.

      But you have sparked an idea in me. I think I will reach out to some other author friends and maybe we can all write a post about HOW we query book reviewers. There is a different feel to it like you say from the way a query to an agent would go. Would love to hear from an indie reviewer his or her take on it, like you mention. 🙂

  11. Great Stuff here Mark! One issue brought up is networking with fellow writers. Some people might pish-posh that, but I became incredibly dear friends with a fellow author and that friendship has turned out to be one of the best things for my career. It wasn’t, in any way, a parasitic relationship…it was and is a genuine friendship that I will never let go of. But she has helped me, as writer, in so many ways. Not only does she go out of her way to pimp me (and I her), but she gives me advice, beta reads my work, and is an amazing inspiration for indie writers everywhere.

    I can’t impress upon other indie writers the value of networking and making friends. You just never know when someone is going to turn out to be a damn good friend, a huge help with your career, or both.

    Keep up the great work!

  12. Late to the party, as usual! Fantastic post, Elizabeth. Thanks so much for sharing.

    “Be genuine.” That’s been my mantra all along. I figure if I’m true to myself, then that’s going to come out in every thing I do. At least, I hope so! And I certainly think readers can spot “non-genuine” a mile off.

    And as to networking, I can’t stress the importance of this. Not just for the helping hand or the lasting friendships, but for the sheer sanity saving conversations with others who know what you’re going through!

    • The very woman I was referring to! If you find a trail of sock in your area, you can assume Shea MacLeod is around and has rocked all those socks off their owners feet!

      And your point is so dead on Shea — writers understand. We can be a broody bunch at times and it helps to know that your friends “get” it.

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