Steemhouse Publishing Offers the Best of Both Worlds

in writing •  9 months ago

by: @geke

Serious fiction writers like me never had a legitimate chance to be published before the advent of the internet. Back then, our only option was to send manuscripts to large corporate publishing houses and wait for a rejection letter in the mail.

Only a tiny percentage of writers ever got through the industry's guarded gate, and fiction consumers (readers) suffered for this. Our reading choices were limited not by us, but for us. How many great stories were never told because of that old centralized, top-down, cronyist publishing system? It's impossible to say.

But in the early 1990s, the internet democratized the world of publishing. You still couldn't get a book bound by any of the Big 5, but many unheard-of writers were able to reach around them and connect with the outside world. And this new publishing democracy was great for a while. Until we realized that every single writer in the world was doing this. After a short time, it became impossible (again) to get noticed, not because of a top-down, centralized system not allowing anyone in, but by an opened floodgate allowing everyone in.

Nobody published or everyone published: what's the solution to this conundrum? A level playing field in a decentralized market.

Free markets regulate behavior. It's what they do. Incentives, bound by the constraints of limited resources, cause humans to act in ways that satisfy their needs most efficiently. Markets have a way of matching sellers with their buyers, writers with their readers.

And if we think of corporate publishing as a centralized regulating valve over the publishing industry, and the internet as a decentralized anarchy allowing anyone in, markets are a combination of the two: a regulating force that's decentralized.

But if decentralized markets are such great regulators and can allocate the best writing to its largest audience, why isn't Steemit solving this conundrum? Why aren't the best writers on Steemit enjoying the highest rewards?

Because Steemit is a market for content that can be judged on several criteria, of which quality writing is only one. The other big criterion: high curation rewards. And this is a criterion even the best minnow writer can't really offer.

When looking at possible posts to upvote for curation rewards, a whale's post is very low risk. To another whale, a fellow whale post is practically guaranteed to provide high curation rewards. Minnow posts, on the other hand, are a much higher risk. A minnow post is never a good “bet” on Steemit, financially speaking. It might snag the upvote of a whale occasionally, but the odds are against this. And without high paying upvotes (ie, without a whale following), those seeking curation rewards have a disincentive to curate minnows, even the ones who write well.

It does make financial sense, though, for Steemhouse to curate good writing on Steemit, whether written by whales or minnows. Why? Because Steemhouse is less concerned with curation rewards and more concerned with attracting talented, commercially viable writers to the Steemhouse organization.

Our publishing group offers a wide-open gate through which any and all writers on Steemit can enter: a community called The Writers' Block. Here, writers can workshop and improve their prose with the help of expert and professional volunteer editors. And the writers not immediately rising to the top aren't rejected. As long as they're game and motivated to improve, they're workshopped further.

Steemhouse will be honored and financially incentivized to publish the best work that comes through The Writers' Block community. And in this way, Steemhouse will function as both a decentralized democracy, allowing all writers in, and a regulating valve pushing the best writing to the top.

Welcome to a brave, new, best-of-both publishing worlds!





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Because Steemhouse is less concerned with curation rewards and more concerned with attracting talented, commercially viable writers to the Steemhouse organization. - now that's what we call a good argument.

You might have not heard of me, however for the past few months I've tried to provide a group of writers the opportunity to improve their skills through a sequence of writing tasks. I never had a thought that I'm missing curation rewards from voting. If the content was worth reading an upvote would usually follow.

I'm curious to see how you guys will develop your plan.

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Oh, we've heard of you. Some of our members are regular participants in your writing challenge. I like the idea, personally, but I don't have the time to make your deadlines. Stop by the Block anytime. ;-)

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Oh, that's awesome! How can I join the Block?

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Yup. Your challenge was on our contest list also. Put it there myself to make sure people knew it was coming. Like Tiny, I just don't have the ability to commit to your deadlines.

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I see.. We had a discussion and the second edition expanded the deadline a bit. But I guess it was still tough for people with your schedule. Due to my responsibilities with the the writing challenge I wasn't aware what's happening in the outside world and I didn't know it was on your list. Thanks a lot @bex-dk!

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Personally I have some health issues and stress worsens them. So trying to meet a lot of deadlines in a short time frame would stress me out and be counter productive. But for a lot of people a deadline is the best way to get in the habit of writing. Sometimes I manage to get an idea and can whip something up quickly, but feeling I'd committed to something would be counterproductive.. if that makes sense. For others like Tiny it has to do with work requiring a lot of time. Perhaps in between challenges you could consider some contests with longer time frames? One offs where you don't have to commit to a whole series.

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I see. I'm sorry to hear about the health issues and I would be happy to learn that you've overcame everything soon. Thank you so much for the feedback. Longer deadlines... You are right - short deadlines are helpful for a certain type of skills and yes, I would focus on one offs with a longer deadline for each task.

Haha at first I thought the picture you chose was telling other writers to "keep out" of the writers block.

After clicking on the post, I understand why you chose the picture.

I'm pretty excited for all those writers here on steemit and the writers block.

The future is promising wonderful things. I know it, and I know you can see it too. ;-)

I've been writing fiction on Steemit for nearly a year and have never benefited from joining anything... everything I've accomplished (which probably isn't much) I've done on my own. I find that these "guilds" tend to enhance the people running them than anyone else.

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I've seen this elitism you speak of, @richq11, in other writing groups at other forums.
Even Steemit has a reputation for being a popularity contest.
But, hey, Tinder used to be known only as a hook-up app.
Exceptions to the rule -- see The Writers' Block.
As a contest judge, I confess I've awarded First Place to the same writers.
Because they honestly earned it.
I wanted to award other WB members who work hard, but if their prose wasn't as polished, if they let typos or mechanics interfere with the story, how can I declare them The Best when other writers have put in their time and polished their prose?
We have seen a lot of our best writers start out as novices who needed some coaching.
And some of them are Fast Learners.
Others say, "But I don't want to try Deep POV, and if I want to use dialogue tags other than said, or said with an adverb, I will" -- but good luck finding Big Five NYC publihers who'll accept things like
"Yes," she intoned darkly.
"No," he countered menacingly.
"We shall see," the third man smiled.

Check out the forum. Read the resources. Ask for help. And have fun!

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Oddly enough, Stephen King, one of America's most popular writers writes terrible dialogues. He never uses adverbs- it's always "he said," or "she said." He's such a fine storyteller that it took me maybe 10 books before I ever noticed it.

I'm publishing my own book this month (we'll have to see how that goes) along with the artist who does my cover art. I stopped entering writing contests for the reason cited before. Most of them seem like phony's anyway- just a means of gaining upvotes and resteems, or a way to rewarding their own friends.

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As someone who ran 2 creative writing challenge I have to say that organizing a contest was one of the most time consuming and tough activities I've performed this year. I would say that those upvotes and re-steems are very hardly earned.

To be more concrete, I've describe the costs and the sacrifice here:
https://steemit.com/writing/@steemfluencer/7-curious-facts-about-the-making-of-creative-writing-challenge

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Yes, but you're talking about a fair and legitimate contest... I'm talking about the other 95%

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I see. By the way, my last post was also written just because I wanted to publish something authentic from myself. I wasn't an entry for any kind of contest - probably at one moment that's the best approach that one can do.

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I'm new to writing fiction (less than a year) and am trying to have some fun developing a style. I always wrote academic pieces which are very structured and I'm trying to break away from that. This is just a social media platform. On here I write and post... for my book I'm editing everything twice plus I have an editor.artist/layout guy.

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Nice! Thanks for sharing! I think the academic style of writing is very good point to start from. Because fiction has structure too, not that obvious though. I think academic writing is something that helps you model the more complicated fiction stories.

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@richq11, The Writers' Block is not a "guild." It's a critique workshop. We don't exist to pander to the masses, and the only reward for the "people running them" is zero time for our own writing and posting. I don't remember seeing your name there at any point to investigate what we do, but seems like I do remember seeing something you wrote and thinking you sorely needed a competent editor. That service is offered for free and at a healthy degree of personal sacrifice by editors of the The Writers' Block. Those who chose to not take advantage of it, who think they will succeed in publishing with sloppy editing because the likes of Stephen King and John Grisham get away with it--well, those people will learn the hard way if they ever step into the real-world arena of mainstream publishing. I have a feeling you may be in for a nasty surprise.

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I kept getting messages from someone to go to discord so I did. After several tries and no replies, I gave up. Thanks for your criticism, by the way!

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I'm one of the folks who've benefitted from The Writers' Block critiques. These guys didn't know anything about me - I'm socially clumsy and hadn't written in years. But I showed up. I joined in. I had little to give but I gave that. And what they gave back was priceless.

My writing improved - and I don't mean by just a bit. The senior editors are professionals. Each workshop I go through teaches me even more about the art and mechanics of writing great fiction. This kind of education is priceless, and they offer it freely.

And it doesn't stop there. I've found the senior folks in the Poetry workshops are just as insightful, just as ready to offer their expertise with only one goal: help make the poem to be the best it can possibly be.

Everyone is welcome to offer suggestions on a submitted story. There are no power plays, no struggles for one-upmanship, no petty crap. There is instead respect for honest effort. There is trust among friends.

Naturally, in the various rooms there can be banter of all sorts. We do have some fun in there. We would love for you to stop by and check out the block. I've found friends there, and I think you would, too.

@geke,
I would like to find out more. I have joined The Writer's Block over on Discord, and followed @thewritersblock. I sent a message to @gmuxx on the discord channel back in early October, but didn't get a reply. I am an amateur, basically, but somehow Steemit pulls stories out of me. I really want to get more involved can you give me some incite as to what to do in Discord?
Thank you
@Lymmerik

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Ahh, Lymmerik.
Your latest contest entry is just sterling - but for one thing: mechanics. Punctuation.
You are so close to grasping the brass ring!!

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@carolkean,
Wow,
Thank you so much! I look forward to getting more involved. Is there a time that everyone congregates on Discord, or is it just random. I visited the website and downloaded a bunch of stuff.
Again, Thank you!
@Lymmerik

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Someone is there pretty much all the time. No one has intended to ignore you, of that I'm certain. I'm part of the "night shift" --meaning the time most quiet when the USers sleep. So if you're around then, feel free to poke me. I intend to get to your piece in the queue soon... I am struggling with jet lag.

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@bex-dk,
Thank you. I haven't felt ignored, I'm still learning all this stuff. I'm really good with computers, but discord is new to me.I'll hit you up sometime.
@Lymmerik

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Hi @lymmerik! I've bumped into you before a few times and see you are settling in nicely at the Writers' Block. As you can see, involvement tends to keep us pretty busy - so busy, for me, that I haven't been back to check these comments for two days! Hopefully things will settle down soon, but I'm glad you've found your way over! Involvement over there means submitting your work for critique and then critiquing other work, yourself - you learn a lot when you watch the process iterate, especially on others' work.

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@geke,
I just submitted a piece that @rhondak asked me to submit. I’ll get shredded! Yay! I am so hungry to learn more!
Thanks for your help.
@Lymmerik

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I saw your piece and did my part in shredding it. 😃 Nobody gives criticism if they don't care about the work and see potential there. It can be daunting; I've been on the receiving end. But you have the right attitude about it!

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