Friday, June 19, 2009

LGBT Bookshelf Wiki

Well, I haven't been doing much writing over the last few days, but I have a chunk of a wiki now. (And I know a lot more HTML than I did a week ago.)

In response to April's Amazonfail, Mel Keegan started the GLBT Bookshelf, a community for writers, publishers, artists, editors, reviewers and readers of GLBT fiction based on a wiki. It's a communal project, and as soon as it's a bit more fleshed out, we'll start advertising to draw more traffic. Members are encourage to post buy-links to their fiction, and the idea is to be a central location where readers can come to find and buy GLBT books. You know, in case Amazon or anyone else eventually comes up with a way of actually getting away with turning us all invisible to the readers and customers.

It's a pretty cool project. The home page is here and my main author's page is here. I have a page for each of my stories, with summaries, good-size excerpts, buy-links, and links to my free stories. I'm on the writer's list and my stories are on the alphabetical book list and on my publisher's page. I still need to link each story up to the relevant category (genre, theme, etc.) pages, but my brain started frying in code about six hours ago so I'll finish up later.

This is a neat idea and it's something any group of writers could do. If you're a writer I urge you to come over and poke around, even if you don't write GLBT. One of the primary benefits of this project, even assuming none of the major retailers ever tries to erase us again, is that we can do group marketing; with even one or two hundred people you can do a lot of high-quality advertising for just a buck or two per person. With more people you can start looking at advertising that's usually available only to the medium to large publishers. Any group of writers from any genre or non-fiction subject area could benefit from this sort of set-up.



writtenwyrdd said...

That's a great idea!

On a disappointing note, the campaing to overturn same-sex marriages in Maine, my home state, has now signed on the publicity firm that ran Prop 8 in California. Boo and hiss. :(

Charles Gramlich said...

A wiki. I know some friends who did this for a character we love. Must be a lot of work.

Angie said...

WW -- thanks. :) I was sort of iffy at first, but then I poked around and read the explanatory info and a light went on. Other groups have done collective marketing before, but I've only ever seen the resulting ads. Having a major web site as well with info on the writers, the stories and the publishers, even the artists and reviewers and all, to go along with it and for the ads to specifically point at is a brilliant idea IMO.

the campaing to overturn same-sex marriages in Maine, my home state, has now signed on the publicity firm that ran Prop 8 in California

Yuck. :( I'll bet the Mormon church will be pouring funding into it too, like they did over here. Best of luck keeping the haters down. [hugs/crossed fingers]

Charles -- it can be, yes. [nod] Having everyone do their own pages helps a lot, although of course people have different levels of experience and comfort with building the pages. Mel came up with A Newbie Guide based on using the Rich Text Editor rather than straight HTML. Figure, any group that decides to start a wiki will probably have at least a couple of code-savvy people, and coming up with this kind of guide for the folks who are more hesitant would be a huge help.

I've known writers who've put together wikis based on their own fiction, their worlds and character or whatever, and with just one or two people working on it, it can definitely be a lot of work. They thought it was worth it, though, to have a complete, hyperlinked reference they could pop onto whenever they were in the middle of writing and needed to look something up.

And yes, I can very easily imagine some fans doing it as a sort of online encyclopedia for whatever it is they're fans of. [nod]


Caryn Caldwell said...

What a good idea! I hope it works well. And congrats on learning html. It's a pain to learn, but once you learn it it's amazing how applicable it can be.

Angie said...

Caryn -- thanks. :D I've used bits and pieces of HTML for years, but I've never actually built a web page before. I agree that it's not hard per se, there's just a lot of it. Although it's one area where my being pretty anal actually helps, LOL!


Anonymous said...

I've added it to my blog roll; hope that's okay - I think it's a great resource!

Angie said...

Aerin -- no problem, link away. :) I agree that it's an idea that should be spread around.


laughingwolf said...

very nicely done, angie... huzzah!

Angie said...

LW -- thanks, hon! It was a bit stressful at times [cough] but I'm happy with how it's come out. :D