Monday, 23 April 2012
Are Electronic Authors’ Co-operatives the New Force in Publishing?
Marketing books has always been a grand lottery. Millions of titles are hurled out into the market in the hope that enough will catch on to support the majority, which inevitably sink due to weight of numbers and the lack of reading hours in anyone’s lifetime, breaking the hearts of their authors as they go down.
Now publication is accessible to anyone with a computer and broadband connection, but there is still no magical solution to the great marketing dilemma – how do you get your book talked about and heard about when there is so much competitive din going on all around?
One growing trend is the rise of electronic author cooperatives, where groups of writers combine forces to get one another’s, (and of course their own), work in front of potential readers.
“Do Authors Dream of Electric Books?” (http://authorselectric.blogspot.co.uk/ ), for instance, is a group of twenty eight authors, all experienced in different genres. We each blog on an assigned day each month and a diligent core of this band also works tirelessly, and extraordinarily successfully, to promote the site and the books therein and to advise and support one another on the technicalities and tribulations of e-publishing. Guest bloggers fill the other days.
“Awesome Indies” (http://awesomeindies.wordpress.com/ ) is the brainchild of fantasy and magical realism author, Tahlia Newland, where she selflessly reviews and recommends other indie books and authors who she thinks will appeal to her followers. (Here I must declare another interest since Tahlia has given a glowing review to my own indie e-book “The Fabulous Dreams of Maggie de Beer”, which is the vehicle through which I have been discovering this magical world of mutually supportive authors).
At the beginning of June three authors who are involved with the hugely successful on-line writing magazine “Words with Jam”, (www.wordswithjam.co.uk), Gillian E. Harmer, JJ. Marsh and Liza Perrat, are launching Triskele Books with three of their own titles.
Is this not how many of the oldest and most venerable publishing names first started out, with groups of writers huddling together for warmth in a vast and chilly ocean? Is it not a hugely encouraging and inspiring model for the future?