Most writers crave their fair share of alone time. But if we are honest with ourselves, we might lean a bit too far in the direction of solitude. And let’s face it: too much alone time can be—well, lonely. When the going gets tough, it can be challenging to remain accountable and engaged if there is no one else to bounce ideas against or answer to. That’s where writing groups and online communities come in.
If you don’t have a local in-person writers’ group—and even if you do—online writing communities are one of the best ways to find your tribe and connect with other indie authors who share your interests. You can critique each other’s work, share self-publishing tips, and even find co-authors for your next book.
Without any further ado, here’s our list of the top writing communities for indie authors.
#1: The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi)
The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) is one of the best membership associations for indie authors. As a non-profit, they’re dedicated to both excellence and ethics in self-publishing. ALLi puts out tons of great educational content every year, and they fight tirelessly for our rights as indie authors. Want to protect your business and your IP? ALLi is the group to join.
#2: Novelists, Inc. (NINC)
NINC is a thriving community of published novelists. They host an annual conference where their 1000+ members can network, post a monthly newsletter, and offer lots of freebies and discounts. To join, you will need to have published at least two works totaling 30,000 words and demonstrate qualifying net earnings. Learn more here.
#3: 20Booksto50K (Facebook only)
Spearheaded by Michael Anderle and Craig Martelle, 20Books has taken on a life of its own. Michael and Craig host an annual conference in Las Vegas that serves as an in-person extension of the support, education, and connection they offer in the 20Booksto50K Facebook group for the rest of the year. 20Books is a place to discuss how to make money (ethically) as indie authors and has helped hundreds or even thousands of people do just that.
#4: Wide for the Win (Facebook only)
The Wide for the Win Facebook group was started by romance author Erin Wright. In the years since, it has become the largest gathering of indie authors who publish wide. We may be biased, but we think publishing wide is the absolute best way to reach as many readers as possible. Wide for the Win is an excellent place to swap tips and tricks on marketing, distribution, income tracking, and other questions common to authors who publish wide.
#5: Camp NaNoWriMo
NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. That event takes place each November, but did you know the organization hosts writing “camps” every April and July, too? These events are a great way to stay accountable to a daily word count for writing projects. They’re also a fun place to connect with like-minded writers, especially if you aren’t able to attend a retreat or conference in person.
#6: Critique Circle
Everyone needs a little feedback now and then, and that’s the core purpose of Critique Circle. The site is for members only, but you can sign up for free. Post stories in exchange for providing feedback on other authors’ work, or use their storyboarding tools, writing prompts, or workshops if you just need some inspiration.
Scribophile describes itself as “the writing group to join if you want to find beta readers, get the best feedback around, learn how to get published, and be a part of the friendliest and most successful writing workshop online.” That’s a big claim, but Scribophile has the numbers to back it up; it’s one of the largest online writing communities in the world. They offer workshops, tutorials, and critiques across nearly every genre you can think of.
Did we miss your favorite writing community? Let us know in the comments below!