Thursday, November 7, 2013

The National Writers Union

People are writing more now than ever.  There are more open mic poetry readings than ever before.  MFA programs are popping up everywhere.  Some people believe the market is over-saturated   I disagree.  As our means of communication increase, there is a greater need for people to express themselves with greater clarity and precision.  Most conflicts arise through misunderstanding.  The better we communicate, the more benevolently and productively we may interact as a species.  

On a regular basis, people approach me and ask how they can start their writing career. The answer is easy: join the National Writers Union.  

The publishing industry is going through a radical transformation and the National Writer's Union is more important than ever.  

In the past, the exclusive means for a writer to address the public was through the main publishing houses.  With the establishment of Print On Demand (POD) companies and the marketing tools at the public's disposal, this is changing dramatically.  The stigma for self-publishing is vanishing.  

The industry’s transformation will impact human culture with an equivalence to the invention of the Gutenberg Press.  Just as the movable type press allowed the dissemination of literary works through the general population, our current communication networks are providing writers with direct means to reach the general public in unprecedented ways.  

This presents two major challenges: how writers will use the media for self-promotion and how writers can protect their work.  

This is how the National Writers Union is perfectly positioned.  The local branch in New York has a legal team that can advise members about the negotiation of contracts.  They provide counsel for copyright protection.  They also conduct numerous presentations focused on developing marketing platforms.  The Union also has a presence at literary festivals where members may display their books.  

Some people believe this transformation will spell the doom for the major publishing houses.  I disagree.  In a similar vein, the introduction of cable television did not end broadcast networks.  The major broadcasters remained, but the public is also able to access more channels that offered greater variety.  

Everyone can benefit in the new developments in the publishing world.  The public will gain more literature, the writers will have more control over their work, and the major publishing companies will have the opportunity to sign authors who have demonstrated public appeal.  This is also an excellent opportunity for the unions to strengthen through the transitions in this field by performing their designated tasks, that is protecting and promoting individual workers and artists.  

I am a firm believer in the free market, and the unions provide an invaluable service to preserve the free market by ensuring that workers and artists are not exploited.  

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