That’s all you get tonight, and that’s a good thing. Anything I really want to write about will easily take you over half an hour to read and – well, who knows if we’ll grow a degree or two closer or not for the sharing? I feel rather purpose-free these days, which often happens in between writing projects. I have to remind myself to keep writing and never stop, the advice I give those lovely people whom I mentor. And I’ve had some really terrific mentorees lately. Being able to share my experience, hope and joy about the writing life is one of my deepest pleasures. Now, if I can only get my granddaughter to become pen pals with me . . . .
Today I attended a local area writers group for the first time. Demographics: Mostly mature women, probably no one under 50, almost all newbies. These are people who’ve poured untold buckets of toil into writing and are now confronted with the fact that unless they learn how to market and publicize, no one outside their small circle of friends and perhaps family will ever read their book. They’ve been seasoned by all the froshmore lessons and workshops in how to write; then the sophomore classes where they learn the need to hire professionals for cover art, editing, proofreading, interior design, etc.; the junior-more how to build a marketing platform (social media, blogging, etc); the senior seminars in print, eBook, audio formats; and finally grad school – how to get their book on Amazon or Ingram, BookBaby or (shudder) iUniverse.
The most beautiful thing about this writer’s group is these writers bonding in the shared determination to learn what they need to know in order to succeed in their publishing endeavors. Not six degrees of separation; in my estimation, just three. We are like the common folk of 18th-century France, rising up against the monarchy.
Indie publishing is kicking New York publishing’s butt. The copy editor you’re about to hire was, like as not, a Brooklyn literary agent last week. We writers are all working really hard to do everything we once expected from a publisher – but probably didn’t get anyway, but back then it was simply the time to sit on our hands and commiserate – but now we’re learning it all for ourselves. We’re making New York publishing irrelevant, not without a lot of hard work, but with a lot more in earned royalties for our efforts. The age of DIY publishing is here to stay.
This post didn’t take 15 minutes to put together; it took almost an hour. Take a break with me next week for the Hoppy Holly-Daze hump day. Be of good cheer, mes amis. See you in two weeks.