THE STORY OF THE MEGAPHONE SOCIETY
It began a cold fall night. I had made a contact and scheduled a call to a well-known author seeking advice and guidance on self-publishing my novel. I settled in, ready to talk and get some concrete counsel.
An hour later I hung up deflated, overwhelmed and without much hope. My conversation was sobering, laced with sharp reality that publishing today is nothing like it was 15 years ago when he started. Today, the means of publishing on your own are a lot more accessible, so everyone is doing it – which is the problem.
The market is flooded with everyone’s little voice screaming “Hey look what I did”, “Buy my book”, “Check this out”. It gets to be a deep–sea of people struggling to be heard, one over the next. It’s an overwhelming thought and a daunting reality. His words were compassionate, but brutal. They hinted at a message that was true and one that I had already known, but it annoyed me:
“Don’t give up, but also don’t expect much.”
If you have read one of my most recent posts on my blog, Expectations and Dragon Slayers, then you know I have high expectations. So when I was told that I shouldn’t have them, I instantly put on my rose-colored glasses and thought, Bu!! $n@rky! I refuse to let your negative outlook taint my focus.
He did, however, tell me two great pieces of advice and these I pass on to you:
“The only way to make it big as an author is to:
1. Write something that makes people want to pass it on and share with someone else.
2. Be able to stand out from the crowd in some way. “
After I hung up the phone I sat curled up on my bed and stared at the ceiling for a while. There is something about the off-white speckles of a textured ceiling that is a perfect backboard to bounce ideas off of. The bumps form images, the images provoke ideas, the ideas grow and before long, KAPow there it is: the idea you need, spelled out in sheet rock texture. I started thinking, if I have a little voice and you have a little voice then together we will have a bigger voice. If you and I pal up with other fellow authors our voice will be that much louder. We can support each other, bounce ideas off each other, read each others stuff, promote each others stuff – BAM. Eminem’s lyrics to Not Afraid started playing in my head like a modern Rocky movie:
I’m gonna be what I set out to be
without a doubt undoubtedly.
And all those who look down on me
I’m tearing down your balcony.
I’m not going to fold and sit around wishing for something to happen while screaming along side everyone else. I’m going to make something happen! I came to work the next morning stoked with new determination. I told my good friend and co–worker Larissa about the idea and she was instantly on board.
Megaphone was born!
We have barely started but already have five members. Besides Larissa and myself, there is Barbara, Marjorie and Dave. All are SUPER TALENTED writers and authors, so the Megaphone Society already rocks.
That, my friends, is simply how it started. This is not where it ends.
WHAT WE OFFER
Larissa and I are in Marketing for the University of Missouri. I have an extensive background in design and marketing; Larissa is a social media guru and is possibly the most organized person I know. I have stumbled through every aspect of true self-publishing on my own. Now, I am offering to help others with all the things it took me three years to put together. What are we asking for in return? Just your support and devotion to the cause, to the Megaphone Society, to join hands with us for a bigger, louder, stronger voice.
WHAT WE ASK
You will find it all at the About Megaphone page. Check it out and if your ready to be a part of this collaborative movement, please join us! Cheers, Casey