In October, 2015, I attended my first IPAL meeting at the Gold Conference. I didn’t know what to expect, and I was delighted to find that there were a healthy number of my fellow writers, all of whom had amazing ideas on how to further IPAL to work for us both as a group within RMFW, and individually. I made some great friends that day.
What also happened was that Sean Curley, our first IPAL Chair, said that after starting up IPAL he thought it was time for someone new to take over. I immediately raised my hand. Sometimes, my immediate joiner response is not a good thing, but in this case, it was.
And like that, I was the IPAL Chair. Like anyone taking over a position within a group they love, I have my own thoughts on the vision for our group. But the most important idea of what I wanted for IPAL came from the 2015 Conference.
I was all excited to be a part of IPAL, and I was meeting people in person, and talking and sharing ideas with those I’d only met online before, and I happened to be chatting with another attendee. She was an indie author, and we were talking about RMFW and how it helped us. I asked her if she was in IPAL. (I’m also an enthusiastic member – if I join something, it’s like #forlife with me in regards to that organization.)
The other woman looked at me, and asked, “What could I ever get out of IPAL?”
As a new member, I didn’t know.
That question has stuck with me. Why would she want to join IPAL if she couldn’t see an iota of benefit from it? So with that attendee in mind, here is what IPAL has done over the past year.
- Established a Facebook group that is an active place for discussion.
- Held a winter signing event in December 2015 at Book Bar for 12 authors
- Held quarterly Facebook Takeover events online to promote bringing together readers with IPAL authors – we’ve had 4 of them so far.
- Scheduled two more Takeovers before the end of 2016.
- Established a Facebook Takeover group to better facilitate the Takeover events
- Held a meeting in May 2016 to discuss plans for the rest of the year.
- Held the NovelRama writing event in July/August. 37 people participated. Even those who didn’t meet the 25k in 4 Days goal stated that it helped them to break personal barriers with writing and the response was favorable.
- Held IWOTY nominations and nominated three amazing finalists for the first ever IWOTY Award.
- Awarded our first IWOTY.
- Held a Summer Signing in July at the Fiction Beer Company for 12 authors
- Met in the Annual Meeting at Conference.
- Made plans for marketing IPAL members for 2017
- Committed to at least quarterly Takeover events online with one member dedicated to the management of the events.
- Began planning for two NovelRama events for 2017 so that there is more time for advertising and spreading the word to members. This is based on the IPAL participation and enthusiasm for a weekend of writing.
- Decided that we wanted to open rmfw.net to non-members for the NovelRama events – kind of like our Monthly Programs.
- Are instituting some online classes via FB for the members of IPAL to answer marketing and craft questions.
- Have begun building a How-To library of files in the Facebook group.
- Have grown the membership from 48 in October 2015 to 72 in October 2016. (I have added more members since then, but this was based on a calendar year – from October 2015 to October 2016.
- Worked with the PAL Chair to bring IPAL authors into the RMFW event for the Mountains and Plains booksellers’ event earlier this week.
- Secured a table for RMFW IPAL for Denver Comic Con 2017
This is only a part of what the members of IPAL have been up to this year. If, like the woman I met last year, you’re wondering what it might do for you to be a member, get in touch with me. firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s a great group of people. Are we going to solve all your authoring woes?
- Let me say that again – NO.
But we will be a supportive group that you can turn to with questions, and we are always looking for ways to improve our craft, our marketing, and all the other things that go into being an author.
The greatest thing about the author community, in my opinion, is other authors. I love working with my fellow members of IPAL. I hope that this post gives you an idea of the sort of things we do, and where we’re headed.
Most of all, I hope it answers that question of “What could I ever get out of IPAL?”
Lisa Manifold is a Colorado based author living outside of Denver with her husband, two children, two dogs, and one offended cat. When not writing, she loves to hunt for “treasures” at local thrift stores, ski, and costume within her favorite fandoms.
Lisa is the author of the Sisters Of The Curse series, Three Wishes, and The Realm Trilogy. The second book in The Realm Trilogy, To Wed The Goblin King, released November 5, 2016. She is humbled and honored to be the 2016 Independent Writer Of The Year.
You can reach her at www.lisamanifold.com