I think I'm safe from accusations of self-interest as even I can see that this blog is really more of a scrapbook in which I can keep ideas, quotes, websites that interest me rather than a potential bestseller, but I'm really interested in the concept behind the Friday Project. For any of us who blog, or spend any time on the internet, surely there's no argument that much of what we read online is just as good, if not better, in terms of humour/honesty/information than to be found in books. So this publishing company is the first I've seen which is focused on capturing the raw talent on the internet. OK, I will admit some self-interest here, because it was through a short story on East of the Web that I was discovered. About two weeks after it was first published on the site, I received emails from two agents and a publisher asking about my work. It was as unexpected as it was beautiful. I hate the thought that people will start writing blogs or putting work up on the internet just to get a publishing deal, but I do like the fact that some of the absolute passion for writing and communication I see every day might just be rewarded.
Another site that facilitates publication through the internet is The Front List, which invites writers to submit work for peer critiquing. Nothing new in that, maybe, and there is a charge for receiving critiques, but at least one senior editor has committed to reading the best manuscripts which can't be bad.
By the way, one of those involved in the Friday Project is Scott Pack, former buyer at Waterstones and so often called 'the most powerful man in publishing', it must be true. Mustn't it? Anyway I've been following his blog with interest for some time, partly to find out what's going on in my industry, but also because I've discovered some fantastic new books and authors through him - and what's not to love about that? Childish too, I know, but his recent comment: 'Available from all good booksellers, and some crap ones too' made me laugh so much - it's what everyone tags on to that line, surely, but doesn't normally say out loud. Let's say more things out loud - make the world a more contentious place.
And my writing prompt for today is going to be a personal one: dressing up as a superhero to persuade someone not to leave (... eh? probably not what you think!)