I’ve just registered two new domain names for my latest blogging brainchild, Authors Avant Garde. One is a dot-com and one is a dot-org. I’m not posting the links, because there’s nothing there yet, but Go Daddy assures me that courtesy of my Visa Gold card, I now own the domains for two years. I’m amazed the name hasn’t been taken already. So what am I going to do with it? You’ll just have to wait and see.

For over three months now, I’ve been planning to start a new blog titled Authors Avant Garde. I even registered the name with WordPress back in December, but till now, that’s all I’ve done. The idea came to me after an ill-fated trip to New York City wherein I missed the Mystery Writers of America’s holiday party due to acute intestinal distress, followed by a memo from MWA banishing Harlequin from their list of approved publishers because they’ve started a POD and self-publishing division, and that’s strictly verboten.

This confluence of MWA events ratcheted up my rage over the many snippy comments I’d been reading online about self-publishing and quality concerns. I was growing increasingly angry about industry snobbism and old-fashioned gate-keepers. Rather than conjure up the winter’s foul mood by writing more on this issue, I invite you to read my post from December 4th, titled “Was Jane Austen a professional writer? Not according to the Mystery Writers of America.”

I’m hoping the new blog will be a communal effort. Back in December, I even toyed with the notion of forming a not-for-profit corporation, an association of nontraditionally published writers, but I quickly realized that was a terrible idea, at least for me – I don’t always play well with others, and at this stage of my life, I have no need to subject myself to daunting bureaucratic games. So I’ll keep the ultimate control, thank you very much.

So what will I (or we) blog about? I envision Authors Avant Garde (AAG for short) as addressing aspects of writing, publishing and marketing especially from the perspective of self-published writers. I may sell memberships or (gasp!) paid ads, and I’ll offer others the chance to sell their books as well. Traditionally published writers will be welcome too, but they’ll be considered affiliate members.

AAG is very much a work in progress. Till now, it’s existed primarily in my head, but now my brainchild has survived the first trimester of the long dark winter, and I’m going public with the announcement of its impending birth. I don’t have a launch date yet, but if I commit to periodic progress reports on this blog, perhaps that will kick my motivation up a few notches. Never fear, though – it won’t take a full nine months.

I’d love your reactions and ideas. And no matter how this new venture evolves, those of you who’ve helped inspire me with your ongoing comments and support, especially the folks from Blog Book Tours, will always have pride of place.


  1. Julie,

    I commend you for your ambition and hard work! You are a role model of energy and vision.

    By “authors” do you mean authors of all kinds of genres and hybrid genres, poets included (like me)?

    Just a few thoughts, offered not in contrariness but in order to generate some interesting discussion —

    1) The publishing world is changing so rapidly that “traditional publishing” may not have a fixed meaning or profile. That is, sometimes what’s “avant garde” for a while becomes entrenched, becomes the convention, and then a new avant garde emerges which resembles the tradition of previous generations. Cycles of oscillating history.

    2) Some publishers offer both traditional and avant garde, or a combination of aspects of each. For ex, I think of a recently-established online journal that eventually decided to offer print copies as an additional option to online content. That journal might be considered to be both avant garde and traditional in their choice of publication.

    3) “Tradition” depends on how far back in history you go. Perhaps traditional publishing (making public) is actually making public an oral performance — akin to today’s audio files or podcasts; perhaps traditional publishing is self-publishing before the printing press was invented. Sometimes, I feel like the blog I use to self-publish poems is already old-fashioned because so many newer innovations — Twitter, Facebook, texting, etc. — are now being used to publish micro-poems.

    4) Avant-garde as a literary style or movement or school isn’t the same as cutting-edge technology. It’s possible for one author to be avant-garde in literary style, but traditional in the choice of a publisher.

    I look forward to reading replies!

    Good luck with your venture!

    • Hi Therese – I assume this is you. Thanks for all the thoughtful input. I’m not worrying about the definition of what’s avant garde and what isn’t – I just love the name, and the connotation of being in the forefront.

      As for “traditional,” I’m using that in the context of the old publishing model, with editors and agents as gatekeepers. I’m not using either term to describe the style or genre of the work itself – it’s more about the process of getting it before the public.

  2. Julie, what an absolutely fabulous idea. I haven’t run across any blogs like that. Man, wouldn’t this country be something if all the folks our age who participated in the 60’s movements got together to make things happen again? You go, girl. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.

    • Hi Karen,
      You’ve been helping already by being faithful in your comments and modeling self-disclosure on your own blog! Thanks for your positive feedback – I need it, because it’s kind of scary putting myself out there like this.

  3. Julie,

    I just happened upon your blog and noticed this post. We create web sites and blogs as well as graphic and logo design. I would like to discuss how we might be able to assist you in this new endeavor.

    John Hawkins

    Speak to the Geek Ltd.

    P.S. Normally I would communicate directly via email, but I was unable to find a mail link on your blog.

  4. Hi Morgan and Enid, thanks for the positive reinforcement (as B.F. Skinner would call it.) As always, it’s most welcome!

    John, thanks for the heads-up about the lack of an e-mail link. I believe this is the first time someone has pointed it out. I just inserted live links on two of my pages -“Message from Julie” and “Buy My Books.” I’ll put one on my sidebar when I get around to it.

    I once attended a workshop where the instructor gave out little cardboard circles inscribed “tuit” and said she wished she had a dime for every time someone used the cop-out line, “when I get around to it.” Now you have a round tuit, she said – no more excuses.

    I’ll check out your website – I’d love to be able to utilize your services or those of other professionals, but economics don’t permit it at present!

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