Last month at the Surrey International Writers' Conference (SiWC) I had the pleasure of hearing Jane Espenson, one of the screenwriters (and co-executive producers) for Battlestar Galactica (she also wrote for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Gilmore Girls, Caprica, Torchwood and is currently with ABC's Once Upon a Time ), talk about her experiences on the set. One story in particular has stayed with me.
Edward James Olmos, the actor who played Admiral William Adama, is charismatic. Even off screen Jane said he seemed larger than life and everyone was a little--or a lot!--in awe of him.
Edward Olmos used to give the cast and crew inspirational pep-talks which he would end with, "So say we all!" and then the cast and crew would echo it back to him three times, ending with a rousing "So say we all!".
Jane ended her Keynote speech at SiWC that way. It was fun, even inspirational, and it got me thinking about the value of togetherness.
How Writing Has Changed
Over the past months and years I've talked about how publishing has changed, about the rise of independent publishing and self-publishing portals such as Amazon, Smashwords and Kobo. I've debated the advantages and disadvantages of programs like Amazon KDP Select and the drawbacks of exclusivity.
But one thing I haven't said much about is how great it is to be a part of this growing vibrant community of independent writers. The amount of sharing, of generosity, is amazing. The way folks have shared their sales numbers in the hope it would help their fellow writers (Joe Konrath, David Gaughran and Robert J. Crane, to name only a few), the way writers have shared not only their sales strategies but have given a detailed analysis of whatever success or failure they met with (for instance, Edward Robertson over at Failure Ahoy!). And reading Kris Rusch's Business blog has been an education (Dean Wesley Smith's blog is great too).
You guys and gals are amazing! I'm proud to be an independent writer.
How Publishing As Changed
As Kris Rusch points out in her latest blog post, it wasn't always like this. She writes:
What’s different is the ease with which a writer can connect with her audience. Less than a decade ago, writers had to struggle through an expensive and cumbersome system to get a book to readers. Now, there’s another system that goes direct. From various e-book platforms like Amazon’s Kindle or Apple’s iBookstore to paper book platforms like Createspace and Lightning Source, writers can now upload their books directly into the book distribution system and get readers worldwide.Also,
[N]ow, a writer can write whatever idea that strikes her fancy, whatever ignites her passion enough to make her spend months on the same topic, whatever excites her. And since so much of what we read and enjoy isn’t about the topic or the size of the idea but about the writer’s voice and her passion, we’ll probably see many more successful books on topics that surprise us old pros because we were taught that such things don’t sell. (The Business Rusch: Thanks-giving)
I hope you're having a great, relaxing, thanksgiving with lots of turkey and pumpkin pie, shared with family and friends.
This coming year will bring even more opportunities, even more challenges. But we're up for it.
So say we all?
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NaNoWriMo Update: My manuscript is at 41,120 words. Now that my word count is in the 40,000 range I feel as though I can see the finish line. (Big cheer!) I want to have 43k words by tomorrow. Wish me luck! And good luck to everyone as we sprint toward the end of our NaNoWriMo 2012 journey. We can do this!
Other articles you might like:
- Creating Memorable Supporting Characters
- Using Permanently Free Books To Increase Sales: Part 2
- Rejection Enhances Creativity
Photo credit: "Pumpkin Pie Slice" by TheCulinaryGeek under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.