Minutes of meeting held Monday 10th June 2013 at ‘Emerald Isle’
Present: Michael Barton, Margaret Hegarty, Nikki Dee, Drummond Marvin,
Gerry Wright, Jan Davies, Georgia Varjas, Janet Pogson, Kathy Rollinson, Lynda Kiss
Apologies: Joy Lennick, Evie Barton, Margaret Rowland, Peter Hayward
Michael welcomed everyone, thanked Lynda for recording the minutes of the May 13th meeting, and proposed that minutes be taken every meeting and then published on WordPlay website – unanimously agreed.
- Lynda Kiss to act as Minutes Secretary
- Margaret Hegarty to take minutes in Lynda’s absence on July 8th
- Minutes to be emailed to Michael (firstname.lastname@example.org) for website publication.
- If any member had items to be discussed at following meeting, these to be emailed to Michael at email@example.com by the first Monday in the month. Michael to then collate and send to Minutes Secretary.
2. The Big News
Michael re-affirmed the clear vision he and Ian had when founding WordPlay: “encouraging writers to write, and then getting them read”. They knew when they formed Wordplay Forum there was a lot of talent out there untapped and unseen and that one day one of us would become recognised and make it big. This has now happened for the Forum – the anthology ‘Shorts for Autumn’ has won the (UK’s) Writing Magazine’s Writers’ Circle Anthology Award for 2012. Michael received the news (which is formally announced in the July 2013 issue of Writing Magazine) by telephone from the magazine three weeks ago. Read about it here.
This success proves the Group’s mission is working, reinforcing our view that self-publishing is the way forward. The Editor of Costa Blanca News has confirmed the exciting news will be in this Friday’s issue.
On behalf of the Group Gerry gave a vote of thanks to Michael for all his motivational support in obtaining this success. Michael emphasised he saw it as the group’s achievement and not as an individual success. He also said he has offered a two page article to Writing Magazine about WordPlay and WordPlay Publishing (if and when to be confirmed).
He plans to prepare a two page spread for the Magazine about the Group and the Publishing Company – detailing all the books and possibly with a Group photo. This article will then be used for publicity, giving details of future publications of anthologies and the books of Forum writers.
- Michael to circulate a press release to all local English newspapers
- Group photo needed at next meeting
- Michael to liaise with Writing Magazine re article possibility
3. Anthologies on the go
Work continues, expected publication within 2 months
Kathy’s stories in process of publication in Kindle format
Drummond’s stories in process of publication in Kindle format (with profits donated to charity)
Ready to be ‘officially’ published later this year
Lifetime of Childhood
More stories needed. A story of a day (or two) in your life between the ages of 8 and 14. No comparisons between then and now, and no schoolday stuff. Pastimes, play, and puddings (!).
Max 5,000 words – minimum around 1,000.
Send to firstname.lastname@example.org
- All stories submitted to be submitted via email with the subject line as, for example, ‘Lifetime of Childhood’
- Michael to follow through on all three anthologies
4. Anthologies in the future
Need volunteers to take control of future quarterly anthologies (either flying solo or as a mini team) to administrate the following:
- Themes (if any)
- Collate all stories
- Self-editing process pre-publication process
- Ideas for book cover
- Back page blurb
- Pre-formatting (putting it all together)
- Separate email needed?
In this way, the anthology will then be passed to Michael with all editing completed and ready for publication work to begin.
- Members to go away, think about it, and if they want to become more involved and take on an anthology project then to email Michael at email@example.com
5. Michael’s Working Diary
Due to work commitments, Michael can only commit to WordPlay work on Mondays = this will become his ‘WordPlay Day’. Members can send emails etc through at any time, but may not get a response until the following Monday.
6. Book Reviews
Georgia reported that her contact at the Courier had resigned. Suggest we wait to see quality of paper with new editor.
Michael proposed that the writers who volunteered to write book reviews should still do so, and they will be added to the WordPlay website – reviews to be targeted at 300-400 words, no more.
Each month there should be a reviews of a WordPlay published book (by an unassociated writer).
Reviewers confirmed as:
- Joy Lennick
- Gerry Wright
- Janet Davies
- Rosemary Westwell
- Nikki Dee
- Michael Barton
- Drummond Marvin
- Reviewers to start posting reviews to Michael as firstname.lastname@example.org. Reviews as a word attachment to the email, with subject ‘Book Review’
- Michael to post on website with appropriate linking.
Bookworld have folded. A tragic occurrence, but perhaps not a surprise. View on future of bookshops around the world again reinforced.
8. Bargain Books
Michael and Gerry have met with Gaynor. The financial deal was discussed, with implications also.
Proposed that we test the potential by using the books returned to WordPlay from Bookworld, thus individual members will not be hit with financial risk. Then to review in September/ October.
- Michael to liaise with Gerry to arrange meeting with Gaynor of Bargain Books to confirm final details and set up sales arrangements
- Report of progress at next meeting
9. WordPlay Publishing
Michael outlined future plans, and discussed sales based awards.
The Ian Govan Award will be managed by the company.
10. Website Work
The website has been fully updated.
Details of members publications are now on site, with links through to WordPlay Publishing (www.wordplay-publishing.com) and to where books can be purchased.
Also have registered on Twitter and a new page on Facebook.
We are now paying someone to post a weekly blog on the WordPlay site, which will be increased to two blogs per week when that person is up to speed.
Blogs are automatically tweeted and Facebooked.
In first days of this project, hits on website increased tenfold.
- Members to share WordPlay Facebook notifications with friends (prompting them to share?)
- Members to retweet any tweets
- If you have any personal writing related news, please send through by email to email@example.com, with subject line ‘Writing News’
11. Publicity and Marketing
Kathy suggested we hire a marketing expert. Agreed we would investigate and come back with quotes and profiles. Nikki pointed out that it is possible we may be approached by such people in view of our recent success!
Next meeting will concentrate on Marketing.
All members to research marketing/ publicity opportunities – who are the people we could talk to, what do they offer and what cost? Bring findings to next meeting. Don’t approach these agents/ companies with the WordPlay name just yet.
12. View of the future
Michael expressed his opinion that in the future all books could be free – we’ve seen this move in music: as the internet has taken over record shops closed in favour of downloads, and downloads are becoming free. Albums and singles are now ‘business cards’ promoting the sale of merchandise and concert tickets.
Similar way forward in books, perhaps? Need to find other ways of making revenue from writing books – speaking spots, courses, advertising (eg the hero drinks a certain drink).
Reiterated his opinion that traditional publishers also have a limited shelf life, and agents, too. But then they are starting to change to the new world of self-publishing.
Something for us all to be aware of. Don’t see these changes as a problem, see them as an opportunity.
- Georgia gave update on publication of her book ‘Divine Damages’. Advertising posters were distributed; these have been given to friends and family. Has a couple of speaking engagements; at University of Murcia to a English language group and to a ladies birthday party. Contact with boutique shop fashion show, book used as raffle prizes. Interviewed on Radio Europe. Emphasised benefit of experience in public speaking as asset for marketing.
- Nikki reported she has a potential speaking engagement with a group of Spanish teachers. In view of the Anthology success, she suggested that she use this book and perhaps a couple of members would be happy to join her? All were positive, Nikki to arrange and then give date and details.
Please email your commitment to this at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject ‘Nikki’s Day Out’.
- Joy Lennick sent an exercise in writing a profile of a real or imaginary person. Michael to post on website.