The following is a story written by Shermeeka Mason, a member based in Rochester, NY. She is a self-published author of the novel “The One Taken from the Sea of Stars,” the first of a political Science Fiction series under her pen name, Octavia Davis. Apart from being a writer, Shermeeka is also an activist, blogger, and radio host.
I found out about Simbi while scrolling down my Facebook newsfeed about a week or so ago. As usual, I was scanning through the mess of information my friends posted, hoping a political article would somehow catch my interest. Suddenly, my eyes stopped on a sponsored advertisement about a site that promotes bartering for services.
I clicked on the link to investigate, thinking that Simbi was too good to be true, that I would eventually run into some fine print asking for my credit card information. But after reading the comments, I realized that Simbi would be an awesome solution to not only establish connections with others in my area and nationwide, but provide services such as Skype sessions or PowerPoint presentation designing (which I thoroughly enjoy).
But most importantly, I appreciate this site as a self-published author! At the beginning of the year, I published a political science fiction novel entitled The One Taken from the Sea of Stars under the pen name Octavia Davis. Though I sold a few copies and had readers give me positive feedback, I was not able to receive written reviews for my novel. I was at a loss on what to do to generate sales because reviews are paramount to the success of independent authors.
One day, while cruising the Simbi site, I suddenly caught the idea to request book reviews in exchange for various services. Within an hour, I began getting messages from members wanting to review The One Taken from the Sea of Stars. I would send members a free copy via email or Simbi in hopes of getting reviews while also enjoying the work I’ve produced. Meanwhile, I had the opportunity to edit someone else’s novel, giving the member feedback about character development. He appreciated my assessment so much that he sent me his entire manuscript to edit. It was then that I realized I earned a superpower I thought I never had—developmental editing!
In regards to my own writing, I’ve been receiving positive reviews so far! Members who offered to write reviews posted how much they enjoyed the book. In fact, they are anticipating the second installment, which excites me immensely. The positive feedback encourages me to keep going with this series—to the point of advertising my novel on my social media pages even more. Now my friends are asking to read it (one of those friends writes for one of the local publications in my area and she wants to write a review!).
Because of Simbi, I am slowly but surely getting my name out there.
Because I have no money to pay professional reviewers, I wondered how I was going to do considering that I actually don’t trust any company that would charge $300+ for reviews. But this site is helping my writing career, so between the members of Simbi, my consistent marketing, and networking, I can see myself becoming a bestselling novelist by the time the second book drops.
Thank you so much, Simbi, for existing.
Simbiotic Stories are real anecdotes told by you and other Simbi community members. Tell us about your Simbi deals and experiences with other members. If your story is published, we’ll credit your account with 150 simbi. Submit your entries by starting a conversation with us via this link.