Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Independent Authors Guild

My enterprising friends from the Amazon Historical Novel Discussion group have formed a guild for self published authors and authors from independent presses. The touchstone for the group is a new Yahoo discussion board - IAG-members@yahoogroups.com.

The statement of purpose is produced here in whole, along with a list of the charter board members, which include (amazingly) one Barry D. Yelton...

A proposal to create the Independent Authors’ Guild (IAG)
As a project partner of Community Partners


In the past decade, electronic ‘print on demand’ (POD) publishing has revolutionized the printing industry, just as independent music production did to the music industry in the last decade of the twentieth century. Distribution and inventory control problems, ‘ship backs’ and production costs have been dramatically reduced or eliminated, and Internet book sellers such as Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and others give every author at least theoretical access to the market.

With this new publishing structure came new pricing structures as well. Print on demand authors are required to participate in initial production costs. These up-front costs are offset by royalties from book sales, of course, and in almost every case are less than agent fees charged in ‘traditional’ publishing ventures. But the very fact that authors can now by-pass the ‘platinum nozzle’ of an ever-shrinking number of literary agents and mass-market publishers makes some believe that quality-control issues are being skirted. The Authors’ Guild, which is looking more and more like a room full of generals making plans to fight the last war, refuses membership to any independently-published author, for example.

Some independently published books are god-awful; some are brilliant. But the authors of each of these books merit the respect and fostering that their months, often years, of artistic endeavor engenders.

They deserve the Independent Authors’ Guild.

The Independent Authors’ Guild

The Independent Authors’ Guild, whose initial board of authors is in formation (see attached), will be an Internet-based educational institution open to any independently-published author.

The IAG’s initial programs will include a web-based and print periodical called ‘Declaration of Independents’; guides to best marketing and promotion practices; recognition of outstanding independent books through contests, ‘best seller’ lists, etc.; and the general promotion of the field. The IAG will also work with the burgeoning number of independent book publishers, such as Book Surge, Bookstar, ExLibris, iUniverse and others to create standards in pricing, production values and marketing.

The establishment of the Independent Authors’ Guild as a tax-exempt nonprofit organization under Community Partners is essential to the Guild’s ability to serve its membership, secure grants where appropriate, and maintain proper administrative and reporting functions.

We look forwards to becoming a project partner of Community Partners

Independent Authors’ Guild Board of Governors 2007-2008

Jack Shakely, chair
Rancho Mirage, California

Nan Hawthorn, executive director
Bothell, Washington

Julia Hayden
San Antonio, Texas

Michael S. Katz
Ardsley, Pennsylvania

Stuart W. Mirsky
Belle Harbor, New York

Dianne K. Salerni
Lincoln University, Pennsylvania

Barry Yelton
Mooresboro, North Carolina

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Pict

My internet friend, Jack Dixon, author of The Pict, was kind enough to write a review of Scarecrow in Gray, which I found to be very perceptive (as well as very generous).

He has a great blog at http://www.thepict.blogspot.com/ where the review can be found along with information about his fine writing.

Thanks, Jack!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Epitaph of the Miscreant Scribe

To write he liked a lot
but couldn’t develop a plot
so he stole from others
who had other druthers
and look at what he has got!

Monday, October 8, 2007

A fine book about a 19th century wagon train journey


To Truckee's Trail, by Celia Hayes is a partially fictional account of pioneers making a journey by wagon train across the western American plains and mountains in search of a better life. Drawing on the journal of an energetic and multi-talented doctor and from interviews with some of the participants done in later years, Ms. Hayes paints a portrait of the extremely difficult struggles pioneers of the early 1800's experienced.

Her prose is measured and the characterizations are true to life. Her descriptions are often colorful and at times poetic such as when she describes a night sky: "The sky had entirely darkened now, pricked by a brilliant spangle of stars."

Her attention to detail and her obviously thorough research of the era make this book a solid, believable account, richly textured and with wonderful historical detail. As I got further into the book, I became increasingly engrossed, wanting to know what was around the next bend, or over the next mountain.

Ms. Hayes brings the characters vividly to life and and in so doing illuminates for us something of the 19th century mindset. I recommend To Truckee's Trail because it is entertaining and educational. A fine work and a worthy read. The book is available at Amazon.com and other booksellers.

Friday, October 5, 2007

A Writer's Site Posts Review of Scarecrow in Gray

Brian Catherman, a friend of my friend, Marva Dasef, has posted her review of Scarecrow on his web site. Please check it out:


Thursday, October 4, 2007

Still Another Review of Scarecrow in Gray

A fine writer of historical fiction and non-fiction, Ms. Marva Dasef, has written a review of Scarecrow in Gray and posted it on her blog at http://mgddasef.blogspot.com/2007/10/review-scarecrow-in-gray.html.

Please check out her book, Tales of a Texas Boy on Amazon.com. Fascinating stories of a young boy growing up on a farm in Texas. Good reading for anyone interested in true-to-life stories of real people. Here is the URL - http://www.amazon.com/Tales-Texas-Boy-Marva-Dasef/dp/0615148964/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/103-2104435-4120630?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1191540381&sr=8-1

I want to thank Marva again here for going to all the trouble of reading the book, writing the extensive review, and posting it in a number of places. She went above and beyond the call of duty. Thank you, Marva!