Greetings from New Zealand to the Naked Readers.
To write is to change, and to effect change — as long as we’re following some necessity of our own in what we write. For me, the process has been one of serious at-home introversion (entering the imagination and spending long days alone writing it out) followed, then accompanied, by relentlessly evolving extroversion (being published; speaking about the process to ten, fifty, or 400 people; travelling; living with international writers; collaborating; working for a publisher . . .)
Then late last year, in keeping with the global financial scene and the state of crisis in the established publishing industry, I lost my two-day-a-week job and was forced to find another way to fund myself — one more in keeping with this new(ish) webbed-up world we inhabit — and to make another stretch out into the community. Besides that, my latest novel, born into the dark night of the abovementioned crisis, seemed to be drifting into obscurity.
I knew what I’d do. I’d woken one night 18 months earlier and the concept was slid deftly into my keeping, if you will. Now it was time to start seriously incubating it. Digital publishing is not a wildly pioneering idea. It’s been around for a while, piecemeal, but I seemed to be alone here in NZ, with the plan to do what conventional publishers always wanted to do (but got sidetracked from by financial necessity): publish work I love. Beautifully written books whose content is dynamic, truth-telling, and heartening. Work that lights me up no matter how many times I work through it with the author, assessing, discussing structure, close editing, proof-reading, having a cover designed, signaling its glories . . .
Rosa Mira Books goes live later this month. The first novel, The Glass Harmonica: A Sensualist’s Tale, by Utah author Dorothee Kocks, will be out in November, followed by an anthology of Slightly Peculiar Love Stories, by New Zealand and international writers.
What an age we live in, where a woman can start a publishing business at her kitchen table. She can roam about the world in her bedroom slippers, finding colleagues and allies and answers to her myriad questions. She can find designers and marketers, writers and readers, a deeply satisfying job, and sometimes even joy.
I came upon the Naked Reader by the usual ‘you need to check out this’ from a friend. It’s great to find others running parallel along the writing-publishing track, and I’ve admired the energy and generosity of the writers on the Mad Genius Club blog, which seems to be mysteriously linked with this one.
I wish us all the best, we who are having so much fun doing exactly what we want and are best fitted for.
(Edit: I've fixed the links - I'm not sure why they went wrong)