I didn’t expect to do another of these quite so soon however, I have engaged in a few conversations on Twitter this week that demonstrated a couple of things. The first one is that when everyone is polite and behaves like adults its perfectly possible to discuss emotive subjects without descending into trolling madness. Most importantly though, it highlighted that writers who do not fit the mainstream in their genre in terms of race, colour, geography for example, still feel and almost certainly are disenfranchised. I knew this, of course I don’t technically live under a rock, but sometimes you see several things in a single day and it really drives it home.
You all probably know by now my belief that since the only truly unique thing about a book is the person writing it, the more diversity we have in writers the more richness and variety we have in the writing. Still the market is what it is and many writers are unable to get traction or find suitable markets.
I said on twitter yesterday that as a small indie press in the UK it’s hard to gain traction, we are battling massive amounts of white noise on the internet. There is no shortage of good genre fiction so getting noticed is really hard. Part of how we are tackling that here is through the british league of independent presses. BLIP is an informal facebook group. In our case we chose to focus on small press rather than self pub, because there are certain elements of being a press specifically we wanted to be able to discuss with others in the same boat. It’s a private group so we can speak freely and plan to share launches and tables and information etc. A lot of us go to the same sorts of events and we all have limited budgets, working together just makes sense.
Here is the description of BLIP
‘BLIP is a group for small presses in the UK to share information, knowledge, resources and generally help each other out.
We are counting podcasts and ‘zines too. You all get stories out there.’
We don’t allow using it for direct selling or bypassing submissions.
(If you want to join please message with your click so we know the group is the right place for you).
As I said on twitter I would always encourage anyone to start something similar in their area or country or applicable to something specific to them, because while there are loads of writers out there, it’s by its nature an isolating thing and working together can benefit everyone. A group of non UK/US writers might between them actually have a good list of friendly US/UK markets for stories for instance. You can’t do everything alone, it’s too hard and too much and for most people doesn’t work. Find support, as the Prof always says a rising tide floats all boats. Together you can help change the tides in your favour.
There are so many incredible writers out there all over the world, but not everywhere has the level of publishing activity that the UK and US have, not everywhere are writing groups common and local, not everywhere has a massive list of events in different genres for industry and fans. Even here such things are often hard to find until you find the first one (we are bad at promoting the literary I find). Grouping together informally via social media can help you discover more connections, more events, more opportunities and it costs you nothing more than a little time.