1. Tweets
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    Tweets New Member

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    Feedback wanted for a charity book project

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Tweets, Mar 20, 2012.

    Hi! I'm after some feedback for a charity project I'm currently involved in. The general gist of it is that a team of anonymous writers are creating an anthology of short stories. The twist is that the ideas and plots for the short stories (around 4-5,000 words) are generated by members of the public, via twitter, facebook or email. Once complete, it will be sold as an ebook (roughly 125,000 words or so) and if enough interest is there a physical book, with all proceeds going to cancer research charities.

    I'm really just looking for feedback about the idea itself - whether you think it's worthwhile, if you have any criticisms or questions. Would you buy such a book, or recommend it to friends? If not, why not? Any ideas on marketing or exposure? We have the sites all up and running (which I won't link to, for fears of coming across as a random spammer), but we would like additional feedback from writers and readers before we really start the push for exposure (which will also happen when we have some stories written up to example, which is happening as we speak).

    Thanks in advance for any feedback you can give.

    Tweets
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i wouldn't buy a book written by a gaggle of unknown writers and wouldn't recommend anyone buy it... the reason being that i don't buy any books that aren't traditionally published since 99.9% of self-published books are so poorly written they're not even worth reading for free, much less paying for the privilege...

    how are you going to make sure the quality of the writing is at least up to minimum publishing standards?... who's going to edit the accepted selections and what is that person's level of expertise?... you say 'the plot and ideas are generated by members of the public'... do you mean someone else is going to do all the writing?... if so, how good a writer is that person?... does s/he have any paid writing credits?...
     
  3. Tweets
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    Tweets New Member

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    It's a team of writers (studying creative writing at university level), we each write the stories individually then workshop them as a group - I've secured the services of a professional editor to help us with the workshop (though they won't be writing themselves). We're going to be posting several of the short stories on the website so people can see the quality for themselves in advance and make up their minds. I totally see where you're coming from, though - I avoid self-published or unknown authors unless I can sample the work or if the blurb intrigues me enough to investigate, but even then they largely turn out to be of poor quality. That said, I had hoped the work being for charity rather than for profit would encourage people to lower their buying threshold (which isn't to say the book will be of low-quality - I firmly believe that it will be a good, solid work, but I appreciate that's just my own opinion).

    It's arguably going to be more of a success around our university than it is online to random people, but we would still like to attempt sending it to a wider audience - not for our own success, as the work will be published anonymously, but in the hopes of raising more for charity.

    Thanks for the feedback, though! It's helpful to know the concerns so we can attempt to work on them. :)
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    what charity is it meant to be helping?
     
  5. Tweets
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    Tweets New Member

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    Cancer Research Institute.
     
  6. Dubya
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    Dubya Member

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    Sounds like a worthwhile idea. It would give your writers some exposure, while benefiting your charity, but obviously it is important that you are fairly ruthless with your choice of stories. If not up to an acceptable standard, people simply will not put their hands in their pockets. It sounds like you are pretty clued up for using twitter etc for promotion, and that will be crucial for spreading the word. (The people who suggested ideas are surely guaranteed to buy one!) Make sure you get the formatting right for an ebook, messing about with fancy fonts or images can create an unpleasant reading experience. Best of luck, hope it does well.
     

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