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My very first book published three years ago this month. It was a really amazing milestone to pass, and I feel grateful every time I realize that I’m doing exactly what I wanted to do… I’m an author.

With each passing month, I feel like I’m learning so much more. Not only about myself as a writer, or about the way to manage my time so that I’m being productive (hint: I might seem like I have it all together, but I totally don’t), but also about things I should be doing to make sure I’m doing the ‘right things’ to make myself an accessible and engaging author.

And apparently one of the things that is really important is having a reader group. I’ll be honest, I was a little surprised when a colleague told me I was making a mistake by not having one.

It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but I just assumed nobody would want to be a part of it. I mean, so many other authors have these amazing groups with thousands of readers and tons of fun things going on. Who would want to be a part of whatever I put together when it’s in the beginning stages?

That was my first mistake. I assumed. I put shackles on myself based on what I think other people will think. And that is probably one of the worst things I can do as an artist and creative. I have to do what I want to do because it feels right to me. I have to stay true to the vision I have for myself and my career. Including the way I interact with readers.

I can’t do things because other people are doing it. Or because something is on trend or will sell more books. And I also can’t choose not to do something because I’m afraid. Because really, that’s what happened. That was my second mistake. I assumed nobody would want to be a part of a reader group that I created, and I was afraid it would be a failure. So I never took the steps I wanted to take to create one.

Well, this week, I told that fear to shove it and I moved forward with the concept that I’ve been imagining for over a year.

On November 14th, I announced the launch of The JillyBeans – Jillian Liota Reader Group on Facebook. It’s a small community where I’ll be sharing information about my writing process, chatting with readers about characters, hosting giveaways, posting silly stories, and just sharing about life as a writer, reader, and lover of romance.

If this sounds like a place you want to be, I’d love for you to join. I know I’m excited about it, and I hope you are, too.

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