This week I have been thinking about writing communities. There is the small community of writers that you meet with regularly, then the larger community of writers that you know of in your genre that you see occasionally at events. The engage-with-only-online community and the global community of writers. There is a wealth of online information for writers but make sure you meet up with other writers for face to face interaction. It is an important part of feeling that you belong in the community.
Jane Friedman posted an interesting article on her website on the importance of community to an author. You cannot promote into a vacuum.
The UK publishing community got together recently for their association AGM and heard some straight talking from their guest panel on changing publisher perceptions. Publishing Perspectives reports on the speeches that must have made uncomfortable hearing while any author in the room would have been silently cheering.
Claude Nougat has a blog post saying that Newbies should not be self publishing. The game has changed so much it is a waste of time. It is an interesting point of view and she makes some good points. All communities need robust voices.
Zetta Elliott has an article in the School Library Journal that makes the call to change the publishing community from the 89% white to a more diverse lineup because surely this would result in more diverse publishing. She has to self publish to get important black stories out there for children. It is an amazing article and echoes indigenous issues in publishing here in NZ.
An interesting comparison was recently examined in the Huffington Post on book launches.
A self published author and a traditional published author compared notes. It is an eye opening read. I keep thinking that authors grouping together to tackle this would be the way to go.
Over on Twitter there is a Twitter Fiction festival contest happening. A J Walkley talks about how to participate and how Twitter helps writers. #TwitterFiction
In the Craft Section,
Seven secret weapons that will make you a better novelist – Larry Brooks
What to do with a chapter that is too short- Janice Hardy
Joanna Penn talks screenwriting with Lucy Hay and how it can help authors.
In the Marketing Section,
Do you have a publishing plan- Jami Gold (Bookmark)
Have you failed – awesome (bookmark)
Website of the Week
If you haven’t checked out Alli (Alliance of independent authors) you should. There is a ton of information on their website and blog including this gem for how to make pre orders available on CreateSpace books... and how you need a good writers retreat. A great example of a writing community.
Chuck Wendig (warnings on language) is master of the descriptive sentence that explains a writing truism. Here he explains the writing journey for experienced writers to a newbie writer in his Chuck style... a nice example of community. (choking with laughter warnings)
As I have been writing this my region has been undergoing flooding and roads have been cut off all around. People have been opening up homes to stranded commuters all across the city. Half of my family are sleeping in a strangers home tonight. A great community celebrates its members and also reaches out and supports its members in times of crisis.
Thank you Wellington.