I thought it was important that I stated for the record what our real mission and goals are. We have seen too many veteran writers getting ripped off by marketing schemes, shady publishers and not so ethical agents that we felt there needed to be someone to act on behalf of the real interests of the authors. It seems that everyone wants to make a buck, off the talent and hard work of those who have created a book. Most publishers are not in the business of selling books to the public but are focused on selling marketing and book services to each of their authors. POD Publishers make their money off the author instead of being a partner and making money for both.
We feel that the person who creates the work (the book) should get some compensation for their efforts and labor of love. There is a huge industry out there sucking the dreams and the money out of innocent writers who have little idea of what the market is all about. The authors want to believe that the publisher wants them to be successful and so they buy all kinds of dubious marketing programs. Most all of that money is as good as down the drain as far as selling a book. Books are sold only because of the direct efforts of the author – not the publisher (Most especially true of POD or self-published books).
If the author is going to sell any books they will have to take their books on the road. They will have to do book events, book signings, and public talks, give speeches, make appearances and drum up media coverage. The publisher is not going to do any of this for you.
Publisher’s website pages for your book do not sell books. If you personally direct someone there to buy your book that is the only way they will be found unless some one Goggles your book or your name. The bottom line is that they must know about you and your book to be found. Of course, the more places your book shows up the better chance that someone may see it and become interested.
Our goal with our society is to do something for our members without any strings attached. No fees, no dues or assessments – the only time our organization will ever ask for money is to cover actual costs incurred for some book events. (We have charged up to $25 for tables and booth space at book events – however, most are free.) We as an organization are not looking to make a profit off our authors and members. We are here to serve and promote and help market their books and creative products.
I personally have funded the entire cost of this organization for a number of years until my health became an issue this last year. Then we were blessed by the helping hand and assistance of our new Executive Vice President Maria Edwards who also handles our new website. She and her writer husband Jeff have helped to subsidize this past year’s efforts mostly out of their own pockets. For this we should all be grateful. I know I feel empowered and refreshed by their help. This organization is now in some good hands as we begin to grow and reach out to more members.
So what is it that we do for our members?
- Book reviews posted on the website for the author to use as a marketing tool
- Book awards and recognition
- Book events and signings
- Posting of author’s media and public events for their books
- We put our authors in direct contact with book distributors (i.e. Leatherneck Publishing).
- We help identify and push some of our books to main stream publishers for publication.
- We look for and pass along information about writing jobs for articles and such.
- We want to have a long list of resources for the writer available such as lists of agents, publishers, editors etc.
- We are here to advise writers about publishing and related subjects so that they have a source of information that looks after their interests.
- We provide a place for networking among writers to exchange ideas and information.
- We hope to educate our membership on marketing and publishing and on the use of the media.
- We provide a voice for our writers who have something to say to the veteran community through our web pages.
- We provide links to the members own websites or book sites.
- Radio interviews on K-Dade web radio (About 600,000 listeners world wide)
Here is what we hope to be providing in the future:
- A Speakers Bureau – where authors, writers, poets, artists and others can be listed and found for speakers for meetings, reunions, schools and conventions.
- A poetry section on the website where new poetry can be shared each month.
- Interviews and photos of our members posted on the MWSA website.
- Huge veteran events where authors, poets, authors and entertainers can come and celebrate the veteran experience. Kind of a Veteran Festival.
- The creation of local chapters like in California and Texas and other states or areas where there are enough members interested.
- A writer’s workshop and retreat.
- We have no real budget and so we are limited to some degree but we have a vast reservoir of creative energy from our membership. It is my prayer and hopes that other people step up and volunteer to take on some leadership roles so that we can grow and expand. This is no longer just my dream but the creative property of all military writers!
So come join me as we push forward to become a force of change!
For more information from our founder, please visit his new “Words from the Founder” page.