My Own Private Impresario
By Ashley Parker Owens, Bluegrass Writers Studio
We’ve all seen it, from negative reviews on Amazon by consumers who haven’t read the book to blogs suggesting that JK Rowling should stop writing so others will have a chance to publish. Why do some writers think they can get ahead by tearing other authors down? It doesn’t work that way, at least not in my experience.
At Bluegrass Writers Studio, I am fortunate to be part of a network. The program and classes have helped me fine-tune my story ideas and made me a better writer. I have made it my mission to help my network whenever I can. It might be promoting a peer’s book or publishing their short story in a KYstory.net anthology. I’ve written reviews, and always offered a ‘like’ on Facebook for any new book notices. I promote my network any way I can, and when I lift up my network, it elevates my status as well. We should all build each other up and celebrate our successes.
In the larger web of authors, competition is common and encouragement can be rare. But we can all publish if we want to, because the publishing industry has changed over the last few years. After exhausting the traditional publishing route, we can self-publish if we have the drive and determination to do so.
Self-publishing is its own avenue, and it requires skilled, dedicated publishers. The development process requires just as much writing time, editing, proofreading, formatting and design, self-promotion, and marketing as traditional authorship and publishing. Plus, it has a stigma to overcome.
I’ve been lucky at Bluegrass Writers Studio. While most of my fellow participants will publish traditionally, my professors acknowledge that some may want to take another path. For that I am grateful – my MFA will truly be mine, different from anyone else’s.
Published on March 19, 2014