Always fascinating to get a bunch of writers together, especially when there’s lots of good food and the wine flows freely. I just attended the first MEWS (Montclair Editors & Writers) Potluck Supper and totally enjoyed myself. Not only did I eat well and catch up with friends, I also got a glimpse into the amazing worlds that writers plunge themselves into with gusto.
A few examples: I learned that Julia Roberts, the author of Motherhood to Otherhood and our potluck party host, teaches Artist’s Way seminars. I’m a huge fan of Julia Cameron, so this was exciting. I also learned that Adam Philips, who happens to be Julia R’s husband, is an avid Alfred Hitchcock fan. His blog, “Hitchcock and Me” has generated quite a bit of buzz and Adam may have a book ala Julie & Julia in the offing. Not a bad gig!
The centerpiece of the evening was an inspiring self-publishing success story: Phil Simon, author of The New Small — a book about how small businesses are harnessing new technology — described the incredibly innovative way in which he tackled the challenge of producing and promoting his guide. To help underwrite the venture, he turned to an online site called Kickstarter.com — a funding resource for creatives in a range of fields and put up a project page on the site. Ultimately, Phil raised about a third of his publishing costs via this vehicle.
Phil also worked closely with an on-demand publisher and designers to create a book cover and format that look mainstream. He talked a lot about social media and how authors can use it to generate buzz and build relationships in order to attract exposure and readers. It’s a brave new world out there and Phil is a pro at navigating it. For helpful tips on technology, social media and self-publishing, check out http://www.thenewsmall.com and http://www.philsimonsystems.com. And write on!