Every Writer Wednesday, we gather at the M3 Coffee Shoppe to see who is coming in for java and sweets. Today, Red has a large batch of cappuccino ready, a pitcher of dark and sweet and a platter fresh chocolate drizzled anisette biscotti. Pull up a stool to the coffee bar on the patio.
In M3’s first year, we got to know authors in 45 interviews. The genres were diverse, the jokes funny, the inspiration poignant and the advice good. We learned some things about publishing within the traditional industry and as an Indie.
The mystique behind the interviews is how I get the answers out of the authors. I have rightly been called a tough taskmaster. The interviews are long; I do not interpret the questions; and I expect the answers and deliverables on deadline.
It is grueling to have someone ask you to define yourself as an author under a flash fiction word limit; boil your book down to a trim blurb; look at your work and admit what makes it distinguishable; talk honestly about the industry and your colleagues; and show how much you have grown as an author by publishing a book.
From all the hard work, I have gotten some mighty compliments:
- I have never looked at my book this closely. Not even during editing.
- Now that I see what I did that worked, I know what I am going to do next time.
- That was hard work! 15 words is my new tweet line for my book!
When it is all over, most of the authors think the process was fun. The main reason is The M3 Readers.
You have probed for more answers. You read the books. You posted reviews. You shared the spotlights with your reading, tweeting, booking, pinning audiences. You networked on social media with the authors. You made friends.
You showered the authors with praise. In your sincerity, you let the authors know their hard work paid dividends which they never expected. By sharing their vulnerabilities, they stepped onto the playing field at levels we all recognize in our own WIP. You let them know they gave you confidence and inspired you.
In classic Red style, I was going somewhere with the interviews which was the garlic pod beneath the skins you peeled away.
One of the questions I ask all authors is not one I publish with each interview. It is the only question to which I require an answer. It is the question which lead to the launch of Redmund Productions.
What the majority of authors do not like about the traditional publishing industry is the lack of personality. Being reduced to an ISBN. Becoming a nameless item number on an order sheet, for which the publisher receives the bulk of the commission. Being nothing beyond a faceless bean to be counted.
My commitment to Redmund Productions is it will never devolve into the prototypical traditional publisher. This commitment takes a multi-pronged approach.
1. Redmund will be a community based cooperative. Authors will interact with other authors; the artists who create the cover art; the audio and video teams which produce the audio books and trailers; the beta readers who give books their first unbiased audience; the editors who will apply just enough Nazism to make the book a success without erasing the author’s style; and the marketing teams who will help spread the word.
2. Although Redmund will not accept every manuscript on its first submission, for all those to whom a rejection slip must issue, assistance will be on offer. The official corporate response of Redmund will be to uplift and encourage rather than demean with condescension, indifference or disregard.
3. Redmund will not take the lion’s share of the proceeds. (full stop)
The face of Redmund will be the authors. Not her. –>
When we were discussing the branding of Redmund Productions, there were many of you who suggested I be the face of Redmund. My issue with vanity was different than many expected. I have no issue putting my face on and in my books. I do not have one putting them in credits for others’ works where I have contributed. I do, however, have a large problem with my face being the face of Redmund.
I do not do the majority of the work. Since the ones who do the majority of the work are the authors, they are going to be the face (and hands) of RP. I am content to have my own author page and wave my baton at the audience from there, thank you very much.
That does not let you off the hook for submitting pictures of hands, IJS.
The Writer’s Spotlight squeaked by in the poll of which features will continue into year two at The M3 Blog. Redmund authors will enjoy the spotlight both here and on the RP blog. They will take two completely (utterly, disparately, amazingly) different formats.
I hope you like where the authors take both M3 and RP. Without them, it would be nothing more than me talking to myself, however entertaining that can be.
In the course of the next year, on what would you like to see the writer’s spotlight focus? Is there a part of the author’s experience which is of interest to you in addition to or instead of the answers I attempt to get? What do you find most helpful about the interviews? How can we get more recognition for the authors?
You really do not think you got off that lightly. Read the last paragraph again.