Tell us about the social impact of your innovation. Please include both numbers and stories as evidence of this impact
In 2008 Women Who Write, a 501c3 nonprofit wanted to publish its 16th annual anthology, Calliope. Because they lacked funding, it was feared they would be unable to publish the anthology, leaving six poetry and prose winners, and thirteen members of Women Who Write without publication. I decided, as a new member of the group, that I could impact in a positive way, their publication by implementing a low cost solution to publishing their book. I used existing vendors, cheap software, and readily available technologies from many sources to edit,and develop a profession layout with a great cover, front and back matter, a Table of Contents, and using POD technology, make the book accessible for sale on Amazon.com.
When I told our members and the published winners of our 15th annual Short Prose and Poetry Contest that the anthology was for sale on Amazon.com and that they are listed on Amazon’s site a contributing author, they were thrilled. For most of these women, it was their first entry into the cloistered and elite world of publication. Many of them have since gone on to enter writing contests, write columns and work with zeal on novels, memoirs, and works of creative fiction,non fiction and poetry. Through this unique training and methodology, women writers who b limit because of limiting circumstance or lack of opportunity could not see themselves as published authors, can now join the ranks of movie stars,politicians, and celebrities, as published authors.
What will be the social impact of greatly increasing access to the world of publication? I think the impact is two-fold: 1. A new awareness of the lives and aspirations of women all over the world will now be accessible to other women from all walks of life via the written word. 2. The empowering impact of accomplishment. The knowledge that their stories will not die with them, or be forgotten, but instead shared, immortalized within the pages of the written word.
Problem: Describe the primary problem(s) that your innovation is addressing
Approximately 250 words left (1200 characters).My innovation addresses the lack of access. For too long publishing houses have shut out the average, even the extraordinary writer who did not come with a “platform”. A stable of would-be book purchasers that the publishing house could bank on for a ready-made profit. Now, with this training, and by putting together an array of time and cost saving technologies in an effective way, the competent, and gifted writer can become a published author. With access no longer denied, the weaver in a small mountain town in Eastern Kentucky can publish a book about her creations, or the poet who has written page after page of finely crafted lines, can at last, assemble her creation into a beautifully bound book which can be read by hundreds or thousands or even tens of thousands.
Actions: Describe the steps that you are taking to make your innovation a success. What might prevent that success?
Approximately 250 words left (1200 characters).I am writing a book that gives a step by step process, using common software applications and little known POD (publish on demand) software and publish on demand technology to create synergy within the publishing realm. This methodology promises to revolutionize the publishing industry. Not only will this solution make publishing accessible to millions of writers, it will change the way we read. Why? Because self-publishing does something that could never have been accomplished, even two years ago…it makes writing for a targeted, even tiny, selective market potentially profitable. For the first time in history, the writer can be the master of her fate. She can publish her book, specifically to appeal to her niche market, and still be profitable.
Results: Describe the expected results of these actions over the next three years. Please address each year separately, if possible
Year One: Develop and refine the training method. Write a technical book, or how-to book on self-publishing. Develop a website, a workbook and power point presentation, as well as establish a support organization for help, tips, and white papers, available as free content, to female entrepreneurs, small associations, nonprofit charitable organizations. Develop videos and You Tube seminars and webinars to reach libraries, writer’s groups, and other interested parties.
Year Two: Develop on line strategies to reach a wider audience. Develop online web trainings using You Tube and other video technologies to give short lessons. Develop a workbook to companion the how-to book. Hold workshops in economically distressed areas, under-performing areas, and under-served communities, appealing to writers who wouldn’t ordinarily be able to get their projects to the marketplace.
Year Three; Take the fully developed teaching/training model to the world by internet. Incorporate a full blown training that is video-taped and made available via the internet. Make the package available at discounts to large groups of under served communities. Develop an outreach program that takes this training to the women of emerging economies.
If your innovation seeks to impact public policy, how?
While predicting the impact on public policy is conjecture at this point, I do think that bringing different perspectives and ideas to the market place by publishing books that could not be profitably produced prior to the development of this solution will certainly impact policy and culture. I believe that by giving a public voice to the voiceless, society will be changed for the better. Diversity of ideas in a free society, or a not so free one, is critical and necessary. When I think of Galileo and how his little “self-published” book called "Bodies In Motion changed the world, I know that somewhere out there is a Joyce Carol Oates, Margaret Mead or Gloria Steinem, or JD Robb is waiting to be heard. With my process and training, perhaps she can!