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Writers live in a different world today then even ten years ago. The internet and electronic publishing has altered the opportunities for writers. In some ways it has actually made writing more difficult.

Once the hurdle was that you had to find a publisher, who would help you disseminate your work. Today, the reality is that most publishers don't want to look at the work of someone who hasn't been published yet, and deal only with established writers.

Now of course, writers can epublish their work without a publisher. That can be an opportunity, but it means that now a writer can't only worry about their craft. To get their own work out their, there are a lot of things they need to know that will not be handled for them.

I would like to invite any writers on Daily Kos who would like to write professionally, or have written professionally, to join in or follow this group. Whether or not anyone else would like to contribute, I have a series of articles about what I've found out about promoting your creative projects in this digital age.

I myself am disabled and apparently unable to find any sort of work at all. I'm not able to live on my small payment alone so I want to make at least enough money to help out a little.

If you would like to bounce your ideas off of me about your own book, feel free to come talk with me. I am somewhat physically isolated, in a conservative town with bad public transprotation and no car. I'm willing to help others a bit with their projects. I find that talking with other people about ideas can frequently help develop those ideas better.

I plan on sharing with others what I've learned about publishing and different publishing methods, and I know how to write webpages. If others are interested, I can create a private forum so a small group of people can share parts fo what they've written and get it critiqued. Its necessary to keep it private, because if it can be read by a general search on the web, it becomes less valuable to a potential publisher.

Social networking is one of the main tools we have now to help us promote our books that we didn't have before, and it can help us beat the odds if we choose to use it. I've been looking into how to do that quite a bit, and I think this would be a good place to talk about it.

I have noticed that fiction in general has become increasingly escapist. This is true of both books and the movies. When I read forums elsewhere, people react negatively to the idea of including any meaning in what is written at all. The feeling seems to be that ever communicating any progressive idea is a bad thing.

For that reason, I think that a writers group which is specifically progressive is a good thing. One of the most powerful ways to effect the way people think is with works of fiction. You don't have to clearly tell someone to do something in a novel. You can do something better than that. You can put them in the place of a person who is experiencing a problem. Once people see the world through the eyes of your protagonist, that will effect how they react to things they see in the future.

In that way, writing is probably one of the most powerful ways to shape our culture that any single person has.

Whether you agree with that or not, you are welcome to join. Feel free to join and post something about what you are working on.

I didn't simply make this group to promote a book. I check my emails here every day, and I'm not leaving. I would be glad to hear about your work. My physical isolation bothers me, and it would be good to talk with other people about what they are doing.

The first book I'm working on is about a bunch of people who experience civilization falling apart. They pull themselves up out of the wreckage, and together try to rebuild their way of life as best they can. While they do this, a lot of progressive ideas about what works in a culture are put to the test, and they get as much civilization as they can back. It is quite dramatic, but I think it might get a few ideas out there as well. I have a number of sequels planned, and eventually pretty much every progressive idea you can think of will be referenced.

Originally posted to Martian Expatriate on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 04:58 PM PDT.

Also republished by Progressive Writers.

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Comment Preferences

  •  A wonderful gesture (5+ / 0-)

    and a great idea. You may just hear from me at some point soon, thank you :)

    This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

    by lunachickie on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 05:09:41 PM PDT

  •  Marketing is the single biggest problem new (6+ / 0-)

    writers face. I remember a tale from the 1980s about a new writer who took to the roads, bringing coffee and donuts to the guys who drive the distribution trucks: they then made sure that her books were amply displayed. She ended up on the bestseller lists.

    Obviously, not everyone has the resources to do that.

    Best wishes to you.

    English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

    by Youffraita on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 05:29:25 PM PDT

  •  I'm in. While I'm a progressive, I'm not (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    martianexpatriate

    writing "progressive" books in the political sense. I have published five e-books. They are combination police procedural/fantasy stories, with an erotica component.
      While the Great Recession and racial issues are mentioned, I don't focus on them.
       More discussion on my website dallasdunlap.com

  •  I'm in, too, I guess (2+ / 0-)

    I actually had a professional writing career, but everything came to a complete stop years ago, due to caregiving responsibilities. That episode in my life is now over, and I'm trying to re-start my career.

    Damn, but all the agents I dealt with back then, most have left the business or are not accepting any new clients - they are coasting to retirement.

    Around 70% of the magazines I wrote for are gone.

    The book publishing world has seen a mighty wave of consolidation, as publishers ate other publishers, who in turn have been eaten up by media conglomerates.

    The bad news about ebook publishing, everyone's doing it, so you have to find your readership through a massive clutter of other writers.

    The good news, you can support yourself, but the odds are massively against you. It can be done.

    Good luck.

    Me, you can find links to a couple of my novels in my sig below.  I'm also giving away some short stories at smashwords.  Why smashwords and not amazon? You can't give stuff away at amazon...well, you can, but it's difficult and the process starts at smashwords anyway.  Here's the link to my smashwords profile:
    https://www.smashwords.com/...

    Join Essa in a revolt against the gods. Continue the fight, Causality.

    by rbird on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 07:18:30 PM PDT

    •  Its nice to meet you. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rbird, RiveroftheWest

      I will take a look at what you've written. A lot of my interests trend towards science fiction like yours. I hope that we can compare notes in the future.

      I've been considering Amazon or Smashwords. I've thought about trying to launch a serial, where people can buy the rights to a series, but each part is sent out every two weeks. Amazon does publish serials but I haven't looked at the requirements yet.

      I will look up your work tonight. Good luck with your work too.

      Ignorance more frequently begets confidence then knowledge. Charles Darwin

      by martianexpatriate on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 07:42:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nice idea, martianex; good luck with it! n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phoebe Loosinhouse
  •  Nice idea. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest

    I have a lot of fits and starts in my own writing. I have one complete screenplay and I'm working on a collection of short stories. I was just thinking that I would enroll myself in a Real World writing class just to have to meet deadlines, since I have almost no discipline.

    I was trying to adhere to Ray Bradbury's advice to write a short story a week - he said it is simply not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row and that by doing one would refine and enhance their skills.

    Strangely enough, just this morning I was about to make a compact with myself to restrict myself from diary writing and commenting here because it's too attractive a time sink that I should be putting towards my own writing for creative as opposed to political purposes, although I agree that one can accomplish both - The Grapes of Wrath, To Kill a Mockingbird, etc.

    In regards to your premise - I've often thought about how incredibly sad and funny it would be if a group of modern yuppies with yuppy careers were stranded and forced to start society all over and realized that among themselves they pretty much had almost NO physical skills or knowlege to survive in a physical world.

    The investment banker, the hedge fund manager, the insurance salesman, the customer service rep, the attorney, the software programmer, the marketing vice president, bring NOTHING to the survival table. Naturally, you would want to have someone along like a farmer, and a nurse, and a carpenter, and a cook, and an engineer, whose skills, formerly sniffed at now make them the most valued members of the society.

    I read a book a little while ago, about 2 different groups of survivors of two shipwrecks stranded on opposite sides of the same large island at the same time who were unaware of each others presence- one group tried to maintain their caste system of officers and crew and ultimately splintered and devolved into chaos and cannibalism while the other group adopted an "all for one and one for all" attitude and pretty much flourished Swiss Family Robinson-like.

    Of course, the second group greatly  benefitted by having a Belgian engineer among their group who was cobbling shoes and making a homemade forge by day 2. It was a non-fiction as opposed to fiction book! Sorry, can't recall the name, but it was a great read. It had Ocean in the title I think.

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:55:37 AM PDT

    •  Not to say that people in those occupations (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest

      named above couldn't have survival skills, but for the purpose of the story these particular ones wouldn't.

      “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

      by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 10:16:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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