Two Drops of Ink: The Literary Home for Collaborative Writing
One of the most common phrases in the writing community next to published author is freelance fill in the blank. Social media is clogged with posts, tweets, blogs, websites, portfolios on LinkedIn, etc., etc., from freelance writers, editors, copyeditors and so on. This is not necessarily a criticism, or to say that it’s a bad thing, it’s a segue to discuss the new opportunities, both good and bad, regarding online exposure, branding, and publication. All writers hope to attract followers, find publication opportunities, build their brand, gain exposure, or make money. This post will point you in some good directions for your journey.
First, I will preface this by saying that I’m going to share my humble opinions, but they come from experience, not guesswork.
Like many new writers, when I began my career in 2008, I started a blog. That blog–which shall remain unnamed here (laughing)–garnered some traffic because of its genre, but it also taught me some hard lessons about readers, trolls, grammar Nazis, and all the pains of exposure while making very little money. I learned that finding a way to leverage yourself as a writer and find a bigger audience is tough and requires hard work.
Next, I decided that I wanted to focus almost entirely on increasing my income. I had no clue that I was in no position to rush down this cumbersome path. So, I started with all the various pay-per-click sites from The Hubpages, Yahoo Voices (which is now gone), The Examiner.com (which has since become quite credible for its citizen news reporting), and a few others, to some very low paying freelance editing jobs.
The decision to try a freelance career led me to some ventures with copy-mills (high volume-low-pay-copyediting). I started to do some copywriting and editing with sites like TextBroker and WriterAccess. I made the most money with WriterAccess, which paid pretty well once you earned a 4-5-star rating as a writer. I also developed a loyal, repeat list of clientele. However, soon, clients learned how to ask for 5-star writing at a 3-star pay scale, and I left the company because it just wasn’t paying enough. The other shoe dropped.
I soon learned that if I was going to make any money as a writer, I was going to have to develop a brand, a decent product (in my case it was a blog). I would have to freelance as an editor, but find better-paying work on my own, because that is my strongest skill set.
Now that we’ve looked at some of my personal history in this field let’s talk about a new site that I think deserves your attention, and I hope you’ll check it out. I think this site offers great potential for building your brand, gaining exposure, finding publication opportunities, and making some money. The internet is making it much easier for writers who work hard and smart to achieve the success they dream of attaining.
I had recently been approached by a few administrators and editors from some large sites that promote books, copyediting, copywriting, or are pay-per-click sites, asking me if Two Drops of Ink would be interested in a co-op of some sort. While I have found a few of these sites to be unworthy of promotion, a couple, in my opinion, turned out to be what I would deem to be a legit opportunity for writers to move their careers in a positive direction.
The site I’d like to introduce in this post is Theprose.com. Now, as I did some research on this site, it wasn’t as clear to me as some others about how a writer gets published or makes money; however, when I spoke to one of the staff members, H.B. Augustine, he went into further detail about contests, book selling opportunities, possible exposure to agents, and publishers, and other significant prospects for writers.
As I explored the site further, I could see a lot of writers flocking to this site, writing on the site, and selling their book(s) on the site. That said, I liked the site, and I read some excellent poetry and prose during my research of the site. I suppose the best description I can think of is that the site reminds me of a much classier version of Wattpad.com.
Now, if you’re a Wattpad writer, please don’t take offense, it’s just that Wattpad is known for its more youthful audience. That said, there have been some huge book and movie deals offered to writers atWattpad who went from virtual obscurity to fame on that site.
The site I chose to promote:
I decided to take H.B. up on the idea to cross-promote our sites. I have nothing but the highest respect for our audience here on Two Drops of Ink, and I feel that this site, TheProse.com, is very worthy of your time and attention. While we are grateful and excited about our guest contributors, I want to also give you an opportunity to write, get published, or possibly make money elsewhere. However, I cannot guarantee anything beyond that.
I also found the administrators at this site to be pleasant to work with, and I saw a genuine desire to collaborate with our site. So, without further delay, here is a post, in part, and a link the site:
A “Literary Burning Man” May Have Just Ignited
Seattle, WA; London, UK: Today, a social reading and writing venue has challenged social media and literary publishing.
Prose describes itself as a social reading and writing venue that harnesses the power of writing to promote authenticity, self-expression, and human connection.
Prose, headquartered in Seattle and London, was founded to provide respite from the increasingly shallow, inauthentic leviathan of popular social media. By marrying the best traditions of social media with a streamlined writing platform, Prose empowers its authors to share their truth in poems, essays, short stories, books, and everything in between. Prose is a home for writers and readers alike, a literary crackhouse of sorts, for those who believe what we believe – that authenticity is paramount, and that literature will never die.
In pursuit of its mission to empower writers, Prose has just released its newest tool, “Juice.” Named in allusion to pulp fiction (when early-1900s writers would earn a cent per word), juice allows authors to receive cash donations from the readers they inspire. Prose co-founders, pseudonyms A and Z, contend, “Juice is the easiest way for writers to monetize their work, and adds a layer of palpable authenticity to the traditional suite of social networking interactions.”
A remarks, “It isn’t about the money. It’s about the energy and the intention behind the act of freely giving that money. It’s a profound act of validation and support. Imagine a street performer receiving an unexpected tip. Imagine growing a gift economy centered on words – a literary Burning Man of sorts.”
Prose is inspiring thousands of people around the world every day, from Random House bestsellers to UK inmates to college students. If you rank among those who have grown bored in the shallow end of social media, perhaps you’ll find inspiration in the linguistic ocean of Prose at http://theprose.com/.