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When we invented this website in February, 1999, we wanted to serve writers who felt frustrated because their writing career fell short of their expectations. For example, we recognized the plight of many potential authors who...
... achieved success in a fiction writing class in college or high school, but never continued their initial work. (Does this differ much from brilliant musical performers who, after high school band and a few successful gigs, simply put their trumpet or French horn into the case--forever?)
...have submitted their works to several publishers and have learned the bitterness of rejection.
...without special recognition or training, have developed manuscripts on the yellow pads of the world, and who now seek an agent or publisher who will bring their work to fruition.
...are descendants or relatives of writers and have been given a manuscript and
asked to have it published somewhere.
...now participate in writing courses or writer's clubs, but who want to expand
their interaction with writers to a global arena.
We want to address this community and provide a place where they can publish serious work without rejection and a loss of initiative.
Not surprisingly, we started author-me.com because we ourselves have experienced the writer's frustrations mentioned above. One of us served as a literary agent for a time, and this gave new insight into these problems. For example, he learned that the publisher doesn't always reject the author. Sometimes it's the other way around Occasionally a talented but immature author, when confronted with a publisher's interest, simply clamps down and asserts that the work is written in stone and cannot be revised. And sometimes a writer, when asked to "revise the work to make it attractive for publishers," simply refuses, saying he or she will not write like the writers who are currently popular in that field. Oh well.
It's a standoff between the publishers and authors, you see. The publishers demand proof that our works will justify a hefty investment. Meanwhile, on the other side, we writers have our works, and too often we sit on them and protect them and never let them see the light of day. We do not receive criticism of these writings. And yet we feel that the same publishers who rejected our works will steal them and publish them without giving us credit if we allow the work out into the marketplace. Does this make sense?
It is the iceberg's proverbial tip. In fact, as long as we remain out of touch with the publishing community, we begin forming all manner of unjustifiable opinions about it. Furthermore, as long as we receive zero feedback on our writings, it becomes more and more difficult to revise our work with a strategic view to the marketplace.
Emerging Writers become isolated, and soon lose the initiative they once enjoyed. They read how-to-write articles and books, and find no solutions. Somewhere they read the words, "Don't be a piker--submit your manuscripts!" They smile and nod in agreement, but too often the works remain where they are. On the shelf. In the manuscripts box.
Joining a writer's club will remove this isolation. We need to share manuscripts with others, knowing that we can trust them to not rip us off. We need to hear new ideas on marketing these manuscripts to publishers. We need critiques about our writing style and even (God forbid) our grammar.
It is our experience that a writer's club creates the motivation to succeed. In the club we share our work, open ourselves to criticism, and enjoy a chance to critique the works of those criticizing us. We are open to positive and negative comment. And we don't have to pay big money to register for a college course, to pay for a big-name agent, to enrich a subsidy publisher, or to buy how-to products from publishers who very falsely intimate there is a lack of people who want to write fiction for children.
Author-me, The Club
Unfortunately, most of us have no club to join. Author-me.com seeks to fill this void.
Author-me.com is a place for you to become a member of a writer's club. Thanks to Yahoo, Altavista, Google and many others, the members are coming and joining. (We didn't make the feast and find that no visitors attended!)
A club is just a club. When we belong to a real club in our community, we sometimes bring coffee. More likely, just before the monthly meeting, we visit Kinko's or another sinkhole for copier cash, and we bring copies of the 25th draft of our Great American Novel. For better or worse, we are happy. Now we have someone to complain to if our writing fails. We have someone to shout to when we are published. And, for the other days, we have a circle of people who care.
When you register for Author-me, your name and address are held confidential. We have never sold a "list" or even tried to "spam" one! Also, the "comments" link to your manuscript can be made into a forwarding address, so nobody knows your e-mail address when they see your manuscript on the web.
Youth: this website cannot afford the cost of properly serving youth under 13 years old, so membership is denied to these young people. If any youth encounter problems here, please contact the address below. Communication with parents is also welcome.
Author-me.com has a global reach, so we can't sit down around a coffee table. Therefore we share our stories and poetry via computer. And, like the neighborhood club, we are honor bound to avoid stealing each other's ideas or words. Instead, we are encouraged to discuss the ideas and words with their originators. In that way, we may converse with each other privately via e-mail and broaden our own ideas in a legitimate way.
We are a support group, after all. A support group for people addicted to the premise that we, too, can be published and have our moment in the lights.
Now bring your coffee (or actually, tea would be better now, wouldn't it?) Take advantage of our unique worldwide duplicating system and put your work into the marketplace of caring fellow writers. If you fear theft of your work, copyright it. Although, if you read over the U.S. copyright law, American writers seem better protected than ever before. I believe we enjoy a degree of copyright protection right from the moment of creation.)
And, since this is a club, there's a real need for two-way communication. (So far we're the ones who made all the tea. Now it's your turn!)
If we are to meet our members' needs, we need to know what needs are most important. We have a few ideas, and these are listed below. But before we try to develop these ideas, we need to know which of these are important to you. We also need to know the ideas you'd like to add to the list. We look forward to hearing from you.
Bruce L. Cook, 1999 (Updated November, 2010)
6086 Dunes Drive, Sanford, NC 27332
For Bio, click Here
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Click on the link below, and tell us what resources we need now. For example...
Articles on how to write
Articles on how to market your work
Commentary (like this page)
Links to writer resources you can order
A list of writers' clubs, by city
An address where you can send the tea
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