Saturday, February 16, 2013

Why Do We Need Yet Another Writers' Group?

Yesterday our new indie writers' group Suckers Guild opened its doors and began accepting applications for membership.

But with so many writers' groups already out there, why did we start another one? And why should you consider joining it?

Different groups have different missions, and while others may exist for purposes like meeting like-minded hobbyists, providing services for a fee or even boosting self-esteem (all of which I applaud), Sucker's Guild's mission is more exclusive. Sucker's Guild exists to fill two important needs that we don't see being met effectively elsewhere:

  1. An easy way for readers to sort the real authors from the dabblers. Indie doesn't have to mean low-quality, and certainly shouldn't mean you pay ten bucks for 90,000 words of rambling drivel. But there's plenty of that out there, and it's giving the rest of us a bad name. The Suckers Guild entrance exam is designed to weed out people who aren't serious about writing, and books will have to meet certain quality standards before they can be endorsed by the Guild.
  2. A way for authors to get the editing, proofreading, design, formatting and marketing services that are essential to success, without having to pay cash for them. My hat is off to the professionals in these fields, but the reality is that few writers can afford them. Suckers Guild offers a peer-to-peer barter system in which each member provides services in his or her area of expertise and receives services in other areas.
Here's co-founder M Joseph Murphy explaining it another way:

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