According to Writer's Bloq, only 0.03% of manuscripts submitted to publishers are published, "it is extremely difficult for writers to get discovered and publish successfully without the substantial backing of money, celebrity status, or luck.".
There is no denying that in traditional form of publishing, getting noticed is a monumental task. Writer's would agree that actually penning down a novel is a huge task in itself, but getting published takes struggle and determination to a whole new level.
Nayia Moysidus, founder of Writer's Bloq is Creative Writing graduate from Columbia University. She herself struggled to get publishers to notice her writing, but all in vain. She sent 93 individualized query letters to publishers, agents and editors, out of which she received 34 responses; 30 of them were rejections.
Frustrated with the way the publishing industry works, she decided to take matters in her own hands and start a website where aspiring authors can find a platform to market their work to writers, publishers and like-minded people.
"When I spoke to my professors – many of whom are my mentors – all of whom are phenomenal, known writers now, they reassured me. They said that it took them many years to break into the industry and that's just the way publishing goes. I didn't take that well. I spoke with hundreds of writers, went to work for a publishing house, researched the industry, and developed a solution."
When Moysidis didn't get publishers' attention she decided to intern with Simon & Schuster, and learnt a very important lesson that led her to create Writer's Bloq. She discovered in a place like Simon & Schuster, there was a huge pile of unread novels; it was practically impossible for a publisheing house to read all the manuscripts submitted to them.
But this is the digital era, so the word impossible is starting to lose its meaning.
She was determined to build a bridge between writers and authors, build a platform where writers can share and market their work and publishers on the other hand can discover them.
At Writer's Bloq, writers can submit snippets of their work, receive feedback from peers and hopefully catch publisher's attention sniffing around the site. Writer's Bloq is meant to be a community of talented writers of our generation.
Although some might argue, that who needs traditional form of writing when you can self-publish.
A very valid argument I would say, but according to Moysidis, writers tend to submit manuscripts to publishers for: serious feedback, editing, marketing and validation. "Writers can't get this by self-publishing' she says.
How it works:
Now as far as how social networking for writers work is concerned, there isn't anything new in it. Like any other social networking site, you create a profile for yourself, share your work with like-minded people. The site is divided into two sections: for writing and reading.
You can find other profiles based on genre, format, tags or status (published or unpublished). You can like, comment and share; you can also subscribe to a specific author.
Moysidis has also started a campaign on Kickstarter for Writer's Bloq, she aims to raise enough money to be able to conduct offline meetings that they like to call 'BloqParties".
"We're bringing Bloqparties to the rest of the East Coast! If our Kickstarter is successful, Writer's Bloq will hit the road and crash 10 cities. Each event will open with an Art Gallery exhibiting our unique art collection, created specifically for the Quarterly, and close with a reading of the top pieces on the Bloq. On November 2nd, we will launch our Bloqparty Tour" she shares on her Kickstarter page.
Although the idea of a social networking site for writers does sound promising, but only time will tell if these writers actually get noticed by publishers. Otherwise, you'll just end up having your profile in yet another website the you don't need. If it does work, then it is quite possible that traditional form of publishing might find its way back to current generation of authors. What do you say?