“Can The Authors Guild Become An Authors’ Guild?”
That’s the Eislerian wit at work, sync-ing up both challenge and hope in one canny phrase, with which he kindly tweeted my recap of Friday’s #FutureChat on the issue of author advocacy.
His phrasing captures the friction behind quickly but smoothly moving developments.
For background, here is my piece from Thursday: The Door Opens, So Quietly: Self-Publishers Now Can Join The Authors Guild. And as we got into Friday’s #FutureChat on the topic with The Bookseller’s FutureBook community, two major types of reactions from authors came quickly into view:
- There was from many writers a fairly disdainful response along the lines of “The Guild has always been there to serve the publishers, not authors — so forget it.”
- And then there was what we might term the cautiously interested reaction: “What benefits could the Authors Guild offer us?”
The first response is, in fact, emotional and impractical. Asserting an historical dislike of the Authors Guild (AG) as something unchangeable overlooks the fact that a powerful influx of new, independent professional membership could have a profound and permanent impact on the nature and focus of the organization.
Much more promising is the potential outcome of the second reaction.
A quiet exchange of messages continued moving back and forth following the #FutureChat session, and led to author Joe Konrath producing a “wish list” and updating it with some good observations from Eisler and with Hugh Howey’s confirmation — in this write: For the Authors Guild & Other Legacy Publishing Pundits.
This bit of teamwork came at the request of independent author and Guild council member C.J. Lyons. And in her comment following Konrath’s incisive, specific list, Lyons backed this 12-point rundown, writing:
I think this list is great–and it mirrors my own personal wish list, so good to know I’m not alone!…Change never happens overnight, but it never happens at all if you don’t take that first step and I think the AG is committed to that…it’s one of the reasons why I agreed to join their advisory council.
The emphasis is mine: “Change never happens overnight, but it never happens at all if you don’t take that first step.”
These community-leading independent authors are taking a first step here, just as much as the Guild has done.
By Porter Anderson | @Porter_Anderson
Writing on the Ether: The Authors’ Wish List Goes In: How Will The Guild Council Respond?
Originally published by Thought Catalog at www.ThoughtCatalog.com