In more recent years, social media filled that void. I joined a couple groups to discuss motherhood and children. Because my son has special needs, I needed people to talk to who could actually understand and give real advice which I wasn't finding in my own physical community. It does wonders for your piece of mind, particularly the giving part. I love trying to help these other parents when I know how to.
What does this have to do with publishing books? Well, the very first thing sent to me before the contract even, was a bunch of info and in that info they asked me to join four social media groups on Facebook: one reader's group, one promo group, one for company wide authors, and one for just the teen branch of authors. Just like the special needs groups I joined, this community of authors help each other out. I've learned a lot about the writing community, like there's a huge trademark scandal going on; how to do certain things I didn't know about, like making book trailers and where to get good swag for book signings.
Not only am I learning a lot I hope to give back to other new authors later down the line, but there is this amazing sense of community. Although I don't see these people's faces or talk to them in person, there's a feel of acceptance and common understanding. I feel as though I'm on a sports team and we're working together to get more books published or sold. There's no competition, no arguments, no political nonsense. I actually go on every day to see what's new.
This is a consecutive, yet stand alone, entry. To catch up from the beginning see these entries (Acceptance, Contract, Cover, Editing 1 and 2 and Marketing). Stay tuned!