SheWrites, is a kind of on-line support group for and about women who write. And while I'm pretty hostile to the idea of dividing genders -- especially in things professional -- there is, I have to admit, some logic in reaching out to women who share, sadly, a set of challenges that reflect the pathology of our culture, and make it just that much more difficult to produce, to be taken seriously, or more to the point—to support ourselves by our wit, creativity and craft.
Today there was a piece by an enterprising Amy Tiemann, who gave an account of self-publishing. http://www.shewrites.com/profiles/blogs/the-writerentrepreneur-amy
. When she started, she knew no one and realized that she needed to build a bridge as a first step. Here are her own words:
"When I first pitched Mojo Mom to agents in 2002-2003, the response I got was "This is a good idea, but it's a crowded marketplace and you are not famous, so we'll pass."
That's a real chicken-and-egg dilemma. I knew for sure that I was not going to get famous sitting around waiting. I cared enough about the project enough to invest in publishing it myself. I didn't know anybody when I started out: no other writers, no agents, nobody in publishing. I "built my platform" with a ton of hard work."
She advocates building an audience by giving away (in her case, through downloads) content. I see it all around me. And I'm asked to contribute to blogs and magazines—all for free—in the name of spiriting my book around to a larger audience. But I have a book to sell. I am leading the people who care to follow (at least I hope I am), —to a place where they can get to know me in a deeper way, by actually buying my book. Something to warm the heart of my publishers, to be sure, but I'm not sure, in the effort of trying to "build an audience" that many writers aren't actually shooting themselves in the foot....
To read the rest of this post: http://dianemeier.com/index.php/style/she_writes_for_free/