Imagine you are an amateur author. You have finally penned your first novel. You have proofread the novel forwards, backwards, and sideways, and you are finally ready to get the ball rolling on publishing it.
There’s only one hitch: you have no idea how to do it.
You weren’t a business major in college, so all of the business aspects are fuzzy to you. You’re not really trying to get a degree on the subject, but you want the knowledge that a degree would give you. You want a distribution list to make sure that you can spread knowledge about your book from the beginning, and access to professionals that can guide you through the publishing process. Basically, you want all of the perks a seasoned author would have, just without the part where you have to be a seasoned author.
Luckily, there is a solution to this problem. Publishers Weekly announced that the Authors Guild has recently released a new membership package: the Emerging Writer Membership. With this membership, authors receive six primary benefits. These benefits, as reported by Writers Digest, are as follows:
1. The member receives invites to nationwide in-person seminars, workshops, and events that focus on the business and legal aspects of writing.
2. The member can earn access to the Writer’s Resource Library, complete with databases filled with valuable author-centric articles on topics as varied as help self-publishing to tips for pitching a book.
3. Gain a discount on Media Library Insurance that can help protect the author against claims of libel, plagiarism, invasion of privacy and more.
4. Obtain a subscription to the Authors Guild Bulletin, a quarterly publication that covers the latest news in publishing.
5. Have the ability to add your writing-related events—readings, book signings and beyond—to a public Events Calendar visible to all members.
6. Learn how to build and boost your online platform with Marketing and Social Media Advice on resources and strategies provided by experts.
The Emerging Writer Membership is Intro to Publishing for all aspiring authors that are new to the business and plan on doing it right. For an annual fee of $100, authors have access to each of these benefits without having to meet the income requirements of a full Authors Guild Membership. The new membership should be open to the public January 2017.
There are quite a few pros and cons to this new membership being released. The pros are that new authors are not left “lost in the sauce” when it comes to the politics of publishing. Having all of these resources readily available at the click of a button ensures that the author has all the tools necessary for successful publishing. However, with the new membership having essentially the same perks as the full fledged membership, the incentive for joining the full membership diminishes in value. Unless there is some escape clause that eliminates the eligibility of the author after they successfully publish a novel, the full memberships will eventually dwindle for the cheaper alternative.
All in all, the newbie author officially has a get-out-of-jail-not-exactly-free card for all things publishing knowledge. For more information on the Emerging Publishers Membership, visit: https://www.authorsguild.org/join/emergingwriter/