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 - IAGfirstname.lastname@example.org.
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
San Antonio, Texas
Michael S. Katz
Stuart W. Mirsky
Belle Harbor, New York
Dianne K. Salerni
Lincoln University, Pennsylvania
Mooresboro, North Carolina