This was the view from our 600-level seats at last night’s Drum Corps Int’l championships in Indianapolis during the award ceremony. You can see how each corps is assembled decoratively across ten yards of the field… my favorites are Phantom Regiment (left 0-10 yard line) because they re-created their insignia in uniformed bodies; The Cadets (left 10-20 yard line) because they designed crosses that mimic the theme of their show (and according to my son, look like a giant Lord Farquaad from Shrek); and Cavaliers (left 20-30 yard line) because they arranged their tubas in the shape of the male “Mars” symbol ♂ which is central to their “Men are from Mars” show.
My big take-away, though, from our family journey to uber-band-geekness came from Music City’s 2017 theme – “Tribe.”
If you want to go fast… go alone.
But if you want to go far… go with your tribe.
I’ve seen the truth of this wisdom played out in the book world. Many self-published authors are now finding their voice (and paying their mortgages) by writing and publishing fast. Some even release 5-6 books or more each year.
Other authors, both self- and trad-published, take a more leisurely approach at just 1-2 titles per year. But regardless of the speed, their true success doesn’t arrive until they begin building a tribe… those raving fans who gladly pre-order the newest book and shout about it from the social media rooftops.
But there’s also another way authors are building tribes to reach success… and that’s together. From local writers groups to national conferences, from free online courses to paid membership sites, from multi-author book signings to giant gatherings like York Book Expo, authors are now banding together to promote each other’s work. Some are even co-releasing Boxed Sets of multi-author works to cross-promote and reach new readers.
This week I encourage you to think about your own Author Tribe. Who can you invite to join you on the path to uber-book-geekness? Or perhaps there’s an existing tribe you’re finally ready to step up and join. (You don’t always have to invent something new!)
Remember that as writers we’re not in competition. Chances are, your readers love the works of many authors… and will happily buy more than one book at a time. So today would be a great day for you to team up with some like-minded writers.
I can’t wait to see how far and how fast you can go as you begin building your tribe today!
PS. My personal favorite drum corps came in 2nd this year – Santa Clara Vanguard. Thanks to somebody with waaay closer seats, you can watch their show below. When we first saw their giant circular props roll out, my son said he thought they looked like gerbil wheels. And oh, how right he was. You’ll have to watch to see how many different ways they had players and color guard rolling around the stadium!