I’d like to declare my candidacy for the FWG Presidency. There’s a few potential areas I’d like to work on.
First, since the FWG is primarily organized through the Internet, getting the technical house in order is important.
[ul]While AnthroAquatic has made a great home for the FWG Forum, I know it was more of a stopgap that became permanent. I’d like to coordinate moving it to a new home.
I’d like to investigate tying the furrywritersguild.com domain name and any hosting costs to the FWG PayPal account and email account, if possible. Since the FWG isn’t incorporated, we’ll still need one or more real persons as contacts, but things that belong to the FWG should be associated as closely with the FWG as an entity as feasible.
[*]I might investigate different forum software, although that’s low priority. (I have some concerns about Simple Machine Forums, but it turns out finding a better-supported replacement that supports a “shoutbox” is surprisingly difficult.)[/ul]
Second, and I admit more nebulously, I’d like to figure out what else the FWG can be doing in terms of its mission statement: “Supporting, informing, elevating, and promoting quality anthropomorphic fiction and its creators.” While the FWG was inspired by the SFWA, the SFWA is more of a writers’ union, and frankly we don’t need one of those yet. What we need to do is figure out how to expand the reach of furry literature, to grow our audience and our publishers’ markets.
“So, how do you do that, coyote?” Good question, and honestly I don’t have a great answer yet. The FWG web site is a good resource for both writers and readers, provided they know about it–but that’s a heck of an “if,” and we could probably be doing more for readers than we do. Promoting specific titles? Landing pages for specific genres? More of a presence at both furry and non-furry conventions? Maybe all or none of those. But the bottom line is that if we’d like to get furry publishing pay rates higher, publishers need to sell in quantities that let them pay higher rates without losing money.
Lastly, I’d like to revisit the topic of self-published authors. I understand that finding a way to fit them into the membership structure is difficult, but there are books being self-published that are selling in equal or greater amounts than books published by the canonical furry publishers. Some of those books are clearly furry, too! Between those authors and their readers, and the huge audience on archive sites like SoFurry, Fur Affinity and even non-furry sites like DeviantArt and Wattpad, it’s worth finding a way to make the FWG more welcoming to this segment. (Or just letting that segment know about the FWG in the first place!)