Comments on: PATRICK NESS – Should freedom of speech ever have limits? The website for the 2012-13 Edinburgh World Writers' Conference Wed, 28 Aug 2013 04:32:00 +0000 hourly 1 By: Cally Phillips Cally Phillips Tue, 21 Aug 2012 13:48:00 +0000 Yes, it would be nice for anyone other than him to get a decent say on this matter. And I feel It’s too important to reduce to twitter length.

By: Anna Burkey Anna Burkey Mon, 20 Aug 2012 16:01:00 +0000 Sorry we didn’t get time to ask this – I’m sure @MrEwanMorrison would be among the writers contributing on Twitter who would be up for tackling this.

By: oliver pablo oliver pablo Mon, 20 Aug 2012 15:48:00 +0000 On the topic of self-censorship, no UK writer (as far as I know) has made public comment on the fact that Amazon in the UK has not paid any corporation tax, although lots of writers have come out in support of libraries in the UK. Would any writer here like to comment on that and if not, why not? Thanks

By: Cally Phillips Cally Phillips Sun, 19 Aug 2012 16:33:00 +0000 [apologies for missing word 'delegates' in line 10 - cut/paste error] CP should read ‘only one of your delegates’ you’ll note that paras etc have all been squashed – again this is due to technology rather than writer incompetence!

By: Cally Phillips Cally Phillips Sun, 19 Aug 2012 15:55:00 +0000 Censorship of visibility – an open letter to the Conference

I have listened with interest to the first two days of the
Conference. Several of the delegates have mentioned the role of the market and
it would seem that the Censorship debate is the place to raise the issue of the
censorship of the market.

Many writers are currently censored by the market where, as several
of your delegates have pointed out, a quantitative version of success is
promoted. While there has been a bit of
coy dancing round the subject of digital publishing and ebooks – some vague
references to ‘the internet’ in relation to publishing – only one of your has
addressed the topic and this in the loaded term of a ‘class struggle.’ This invective is both immature and
unhelpful. We resist, reject and ridicule this attitude.

We do not consider it appropriate to engage in the epublishing debate using references to ‘the
cultural elite’, or as we have been dismissed by this delegate ‘the digital masses.’ We are
not the Babylonian hordes he would have you believe. We are not coming to eat
your babies.

We are, in most respects, writers just like you – with
established ‘professional’ track records, winners of awards and with mainstream
publishing credits – who have chosen to seek to develop a less market mediated
approach to publishing our work. We are
all subject to (victims of?) market forces but we would rather that the reader
has the power in this regard. To that end we strive for unmediated visibility and
to develop a readership who can make personal informed choices about what they
want to read and how they want to read it.

We no more threaten or challenge the ‘establishment’ than
the Paralympics do the Olympics. As Ali Smith pointed out, it’s a big world and
there’s room for all of us.

We are not whining or complaining about our position. We are
not at war with anyone. We simply resist the current marketing model. We have a
common goal with you : communicative interaction with readers.

We believe the censorship imposed by the market is ‘visibility.’
We are happy to note that the Conference adopts the mature recognition that
‘talent will out’ and ‘success is quantitative’ are myths delivered by a profit
driven market model. We hope that
despite being in many cases locked into this censoring market, your delegates
will be able to look to the wider world and realise that the new ‘indie’
writers as publishers do not have any argument with them, and are not either at
war or in competition with them. Many of those now ‘indie’ publishing have been
where you are now. Many of you may be
where we are now in the future. We are all writers. We all seek to find readers
for our work. The emergence of
epublishing does not mean that any or all of us are turkeys voting for
Christmas if we engage with it.

We have set up our own parallel festival (a virtual online
ebook festival) to run concurrently with the International Book Festival. This
has been achieved in 8 weeks with zero budget and in the first week has received
6,500 views employing only grass roots
promotion (which suggests there is clearly something of a market for
independent writers). Our festival offers over 100 featured ‘events’ and
showcases the work of nearly 50 writers. We offer short stories, poetry, writers
polemic, focus pieces, and commentary and discussion of issues related to
publishing . We aim to inform and
entertain in equal measure. We hope to redress the mistaken belief that all
self/indie publishing is low quality rubbish through the work that we
showcase. Included amongst authors at
our festival are Bafta nominated writers, winners of established writing
awards, several writers with over 40 mainstream and traditionally published
titles, and many with professional track records over 20 years. One of our
featured authors has been in publishing for 50 years this month. We also
welcome emerging writers who are finding readers through their own hard work
using social media.

Why have these writers chosen to engage in an independent
model of digital publishing? There are many reasons. Bringing back out of print work is one of
them. Publishing non mass market writing
that does not fit comfortably into market fashionable genres is another. But the primary motive of the indie writers we
showcase is the desire to connect with readers, to throw off the cloak of
invisibility which is the censorship of the market. To open the debate.

We are not demanding to be heard. But we respectfully ask
you to acknowledge that far from being a battle between the ‘masses’ and the
‘elite’, the role of many independent writers as publishers in our current
publishing revolution is that of opening the market and working against the
censorship of ‘invisibility.’

These writers are not your adversaries. We hope, like us, you will see beyond the
myth of competition between writers and open yourselves to the possibilities of
new co-operative methods of engaging with the reader. Mostly, we hope that you, like us, will
acknowledge that if writers are subject to a market driven economy, those with
the power in that economy should be an informed readership not the profit
driven publishing conglomerates.

Cally Phillips
Festival Director of the Edinburgh eBook Festival

and Editor of Indie eBook Review.

Moderation doesn’t like me putting links in but you can find
us on facebook.

By: Cally Phillips Cally Phillips Sun, 19 Aug 2012 15:53:00 +0000 Censorship of visibility – an open letter to the conference
I don’t appear to be able to get this comment through moderation – maybe because it’s sunday, maybe because of links but please contact me on FB if there is a problem)

By: Anna Burkey Anna Burkey Sun, 19 Aug 2012 09:24:00 +0000 Hi Cally – you can leave a comment here in this discussion thread, and I will also try to bring it up in the live event.

By: Cally Phillips Cally Phillips Sun, 19 Aug 2012 08:14:00 +0000 How do I put forward a substantive comment on this issue – one not limited to tweet length?