My Frantic World

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Writers' Guild of Great Britain's new Book Co-Op

I attended the launch of the The Writers' Guild of Great Britain's book co-op launch today. Although it's intended to be independent of the Guild, members of the Co-op must first be Guild members.

The founding directors of the Guild's Book Committee were all out in force, namely: the lawyer Robert Taylor, who is Chair of the Guild's Book Committee, the crime writer Robert Adams, proprietor of Bitterne Books, the Guild's General Secretary, Bernie Corbett and the writer Nicholas Yapp: his recently published book, The Write Stuff: A History of the Writers' Guild of Great Britain 1959-2009 was selling like hotcakes to the assembled loyal writers.

The panel said the book co-op's basic aim is to 'help promote members' self-published books, sharing experise and resources, providing links with specialists such as printers and designers, developing a Guild 'imprint' to publish members' work, helping members to publish and sell e-books.' All very useful, especially  if one is unable to get one's masterpeice traditionally published.

In other words, the writers will help each other. During the lunch afterwards, this co-op philosophy already seemed to be blossoming. I hooked up with an ArtZone Co-operative representative, who promptly offered to give me book designing lessons; and also the animator and writer Stan Hayward, the creator of Henry's Cat, who volunteered to show me how to to upload books onto the net, as well as advising me on how to have control over a book's layout as a whole. In exchange, I offered to give him on line book promotional tips. I know who got the better barter.

As long as the Guild's new Book Co-op doesn't go the same aborted route as the late lamented Citron co-op (which was supported by writers like Fay Weldon and Martin Amis), this new project should be a necessity for professional writers in today's tech publishing world.


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