How to share the love (helping #romanceclass and Filipino indie authors)
First of all, thank you for being interested enough to read this page. The #romanceclass community of authors is a group that came out of the free class I ran in 2013, meant to encourage Filipino readers of chick lit and contemporary romance to start writing and publishing their own stories. “romanceclass” was the hashtag used to informally discuss things with each other over Twitter, and it stuck. That time, 100 people signed up, and 16 authors completed a contemporary romance novella. They’ve since gone on to write more, publish, get publishing deals…and we continue to support each other on social media and everywhere else.
More authors have since joined us, through more classes, or just from interacting with us online. We’ve set up romanceclassbooks.com to showcase what the authors are writing and publishing. Most of us are indies, but even the traditionally-published authors need help getting the word out about their books. But we do this for each other because we read each others’ books anyway and it’s a natural thing, to share books you enjoy.
If you’re a reader in the Philippines or anywhere else in the world, and you want to help out too, here are some ways. (And please remember that no one ever has to do this. You are not required! Do only what feels right to you.)
1. Read the books
Most of us write romance, in English. Some with Filipino characters. Some with non-Filipino characters. Some are branching out into fantasy/crime/scifi, but most will be contemporary romance. There’s some steamy, some non-steamy adult, some YA. Check out the blurbs and start with what speaks to you the most. Please please don’t treat this as “required reading” — we wrote this for fun and feels. We’d love for readers to approach them that way too. If it helps, know that we don’t expect you to love every single book. But we hope you find one that really speaks to you and support that author and similar books.
2. When you find a book or author you love, talk about them! Post on social media. Blog about the author and book!
Because the best “marketing” is a happy reader, we’ve learned every single time. If you’re interested in blogging about the books, digital review copies are available from the author. If you just want to discuss things tag me @minavesguerra or use #romanceclass so we can find it!
3. Send the books as gifts!
All the published stories are available as ebooks. Those on Amazon can be sent as gifts to friends, and they won’t be more than $2.99 usually. Some authors have put in the time to get indie print editions done and those range in price from P180 to P300. prints.romanceclassbooks.com has a list of what’s in print. If you aren’t in the Philippines, some of us have our print books available worldwide through Amazon and Book Depository.
4. If you haven’t found an author to support yet, maybe support everyone?
Periodically tweeting, RTing, FB sharing of the main website romanceclassbooks.com or the different books featured, that’s helpful too.
5. Create or organize things that encourage reading and supporting the books.
Currently, we have people who
– sell our books in fairs
– organize blog tours for new releases
– assign the books for school reports or book clubs
– place orders so our books can be in school or neighborhood libraries
– produce podcasts and live readings so the books can be experienced in a different way by other audiences
– create graphic teasers and quote cards featuring lines from the books, for posting on Instagram and other social media
– make shirts and other merchandise for fans of the books
– invite us to school events and literary festivals so we can talk about writing and publishing and the books
You can join in on any of these, or volunteer to start your own, or suggest a totally new thing that we can help with, that matches your own interests and what you’d like to do.
6. Write and publish too
Yes please! We’re always looking for the next fun thing to read.