6 Mar 2010
Writing can be a lonely business. If you're lucky - which I am - you have a creative partner who can act as a sounding board and critic. Even so, there are times when you want to get away from the computer screen and seek the company of other writers.
And when you've produced your book, there's also the small business of selling it. Even if you have a contract with a mainstream publisher, unless you're an A-list writer, you're likely to find that you're largely on your own when it comes to promoting the book. That's why so many writers have decided they might as well self-publish.
Many writers tackle this problem by getting out of the house, visiting libraries, bookshops and anywhere that might take a few copies of their book to sell. They participate in literary and cultural events. They network.
This is tougher if the language in which you write isn't that of the country in which you live.
That's how Grand Ouest Authors was born. The group was inspired by an article in The Author, the house journal of the Society of Authors, which told of a group of local authors joining forces to create a presence that one alone couldn't muster. They organised group book signings, took joint stands at events and generally co-operated to make themselves more visible.
That's the aim with Grand Ouest Authors. It's for English-language writers living in the Brittany, Normandy and Pays de la Loire regions of France.
We've already created a web presence. Each author gets a profile page. And there's a page for each book the author has in print. Each book is also included in the GOA shop. We have a group blog and a forum, too.
It's all free. The idea is co-operation, communication and community. The aim is to move from a virtual presence to a real-world one, participating in local events and acting as a group to promote and sell our books. That's why we've made it regionally based.
We're also exploring ways in which WebVivant Press might act as an imprint for the group, but perhaps on a collective, rather than publisher-author, model.
If you're an English-language author in the Grand Ouest, do get in touch »