Dear Linda and Dorian,
Good afternoon ladies, I hope all is well. I am writing to offer a suggestion as well as a proposition. I will get to my point as quickly as I can and I ask for your patience as you read. In case my words lull you into a mindless stupor, I do offer a small pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I have an offer of a $1,000 donation to your organization that...eventually...will follow:
For many years, I was a member of SCBWI. I attended the Miami and the Orlando sessions and enjoyed them very much. I was also quite active in a critique group located in Tampa. Had I not joined your SCBWI, I would not have the skill and knowledge that I do today and for this I thank you. I will also add that for many years, I attended Rob Sanders groups and learned a great deal from his sessions. Rob is a wonderful man and continues to dedicate much time and energy finding the best professionals that he can to help us hone our craft.
My literary craft is not mainstream. At first, I took a great interest in Dr. Seuss and while I did not emulate his style, I learned early on to mention his name as a descriptor in my synopsis condemned my works to a literary death. Later, I began writing a novel ..."The Wizard of Oz" from Toto's point of view. After attending a few years of Miami-Orlando sessions, I came to understand that once I said "Wizard of Oz", Agents and publishers would literally run from me!
I am a businessman and understand that they are in the business of promoting works that the reader demands. I did not fault them for this nor did it upset me. What I did find upsetting and disappointing was that the sessions, the free, and paid critiques offered at the sessions did not offer criticism to improve the quality of my writing style. They critiqued its marketability. Suggestions bearing on the art of writing were scant at best.
As I continued writing from Toto's point of view, I understood that if I hoped to publish my "Wizard Was Odd Trilogy", I would have to be the one to publish it. During my last Miami or Orlando session - not sure which, I came to this reality and decided that my time would be best spent in understanding successful self publishing. However, one of my paid session remained and I selected the one on self-publishing. Thank my lucky stars it did as this class is responsible for getting me to where I am today.
When the class participants and instructors read my synopsis, I was praised for its literary merits. Comments were positive, suggestions dealt with style, structure, and ideas in which to enhance the story. Others critiques were also reviewed for their literary merits and the remainder of the class dealt briefly with the subject of self publishing...more than enough to catch my interest. My point is that this one session opened my eyes. It made a huge difference because it encouraged me to find out what kind of a writer I was.
Shortly thereafter, I paid Joyce Sweeney to critique manuscripts for "The Wizard Was Odd". I had to know if I was a writer that someone would read or if I was writing trash. Her suggestions were invaluable. Under her suggestions, the manuscript was in many ways modified and much good came from my investment in her services. For my own good, God Bless her, she too looked at the manuscript from a marketing perspective and confirmed what I already knew. However, she offered so many other suggestions which helped me in my writing, the narrative, and improving the readability. She also told me what I needed to know..."I certainly believe you have the lumber to write...."
Now - here is why I am reaching out to you. I am asking you to consider the many folks who write from their hearts, but will never be published.
Since most writers never get published, why doesn't SCBWI provide programs to assist them with sessions that give them an opportunity to improve their writing...if only for the love of it. In addition, why not sponsor sessions that will provide them with an education in the many phases of self-publishing?
The amount of work an author can put into this can be minimal or totally over the edge. This is where my proposal comes in but first, I need your attention a bit longer.
My "Wizard Was Odd" Trilogy has morphed into two manuscripts. The first is called Toto's Tale and the second, Trail of Tears. I have chosen to self-publish for the reasons disclosed above. However. my method is definitely over the top.
If you follow the link that I provide, I believe it will open your eyes to a broad spectrum in the self-managed venue that would allow SCBWI to easily double its membership and help the great number of folks who love to write, but can take it no further.
I am about to launch or present my two manuscripts. I am using an organization called Kickstarter. Artist and others can create their works and offer them on Kickstarter for financial contributions and in exchange, patrons are provided with rewards.
On Kickstarter, I will offer Toto's Tale and Trail of Tears "Rewards" that patrons will pretty much purchase if there is a demand. My rewards are:
A MOBI/ePUB of Toto's Tale and Trail of Tears
An extremely large digital file of a Map of Western Oz
Four color Paperbacks of both books
Hard back limited edtion prints of both books
A Commemorative Gold Limited Edition print of both books
Signed limited edition illustrations
I am attaching two of the illustrations to encourage you to follow the links
After reviewing this information, if you believe we have more to discuss, I would welcome your call and present the idea associated with the Donation.