This is something of a crusade for us. We already do a lot of course. We regularly feature reviews of books and interviews with Welsh authors and promote them on this site and on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere. We feature competitions with books by Welsh authors as prizes .And this year we raised money ( with your help ) to bring authors to Portland for the Wordstock literary festival. Next year we hope to bring over a number of Welsh writers for our West Coast Eisteddfod in L.A.

BUT everything is so much easier if it's 'crowd sourced'. We have two ideas that we would like to invite your observations on. Also we are open to completely new ideas and suggestions as to how best to proceed.

1. In Portland you cannot donate books to the library in order to have them appear on the public shelves. if you do this they sell them in their used book stores. You can, however, 'suggest a title' on the library website. If enough people do so , and the book is relatively easy to procure, they will buy a copy for the main library or in some cases several copies for their satellite branches as well. What is the situation in other cities/states? Can we perhaps form a library 'hit squad' on the site and suggest perhaps, one title a month to our local libraries? This could result in dozens or even hundreds of extra sales for Welsh authors and publishers.

2. We have added the 'Books WeRead' app to the site. It can be found at the 'Book Club' tab on the main navbar menu. The 'Books weRead' community is not as large as 'Goodreads' or "Library Thing' but it is growing in size daily and curently has around 3 million members. We urge all members to think about joining and participating in this community. It can be accessed and enjoyed ( largely ) without leaving AmeriCymru. Indeed if you are signed into the site and you visit the 'Book Club' tab you are automatically signed in to 'Books WeRead and you can check out what your friends on AC are reading ( if they have entered any selections ). There are a number of ways that we can raise the profile of Welsh authors and titles on this site:- ratings, reviews, discussions, adding author details etc etc. Does anybody have any particular suggestions as to what we might do here?

Lastly ( but not least ) please let us know if you have any other ideas  for promoting Anglo Welsh literature in the USA. We are all ears :)

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  • Interesting study today by a researcher from the Cardiff Business School who showed that Wales has declined seriously in its attempts to attract inward investment over the past decade -- partly due to a failure by the Assembly Government to project an effective image for the country.  Sorry, all you Government ministers, but we told you so .......  Since the WDA and Wales Tourist Board were shut down and their activities brought "in house" the efforts at marketing the "image" of Wales have been haphazard at best and pathetic at worst......  some of the comments on this forum are very relevant.  What is it that makes Wales "special"?  And if the Welsh Government knows, why isn't it telling the rest of the world about it?  One tactic has to be to increase the profile of Welsh literature and cultural activity generally -- the National Eisteddfod, yes; more Welsh films and landmark Welsh dramas on TV, yes;  more promotion of Welsh icons (and there are plenty of them), yes.  This is a cultural issue, and also a marketing issue...

    • Agreed 100%

  • Interesting discussion, with some great suggestions.  But Ceri, I don't see a Book Club tab......... is it only on the Navbar for members in the US?  I can see Bookstore there, but that's all.....

    • Actually we DO have a book club....but its been buried in the vaults and neglected for too long. Here is the url ( I also featured it on the front page ):- http://americymru.net/group/welshbookofthemonthclub

       

      You can find groups from the 'Community' dropdown on the main navbar on any page on AC :)

       

      See also SJ's help article on Groups in the Technical Assistance for New Members Group:-

      http://americymru.net/group/technical-assistance-for-new-members/fo...

      • Hi all

        We've been trying to promote Anglo-Welsh literature for 5 years now.  I set up the international 'Welsh Poetry Competition' in 2007 and we've had 2500 entries in those 5 yrs, and it's growing each year. This year we published our first anthology of all the winners.

        http://www.welshpoetry.co.uk/anthology.html  also available on Amazon although we only get 23 pence commission, more direct from us.

         

        The competition itself will launch again in 2012 with a new judge and we are always looking for new talent.

         

        We get entires from all over the world but it would be great to get some more from America that's for sure.

         

        Anyway, cheers for reading this far, have a look at what we do here

        http://www.welshpoetry.co.uk/

         

        Dave

        www.david-lewis.co.uk

         

  • Something to consider is Worldcat.org.  If you can get one library that is part of Worldcat.org (And I'm pretty sure that is all libraries nowadays), then it will show up there.  If someone else wants to borrow that book, their library can do an inter-library loan request.  If enough people request the book, more copies may be ordered at different libraries.  So the first thing would be to get some books into a few libraries, and the second would be to create more demand and thus more libraries would want to buy copies.

     

    Are most of the users on this site from Portland?  If they are spread across the US, and are dedicated, then I think you've got quite a shot.  If most are situated in Portland, then Portland has a good chance of changing but I doubt the rest of the US would follow suit.

    • Hi Almanzo

       

      An excellent suggestion. I must admit I hadn't heard of Worldcat before. Will check them out asap. Members on AC are spread all over the US, Canada, Australia and Wales itself of course. So....if we all acted in concert......

      • Worldcat is very useful.  I came across it while working in a college library.  There is a lot of controversy among librarians over it, because Worldcat apparently wants to control all the libraries and how they put their information out.  A very weird fight, but worldcat is definitely useful.  It came in handy earlier this year when I wanted to get ahold of a book called RImjingang, which was the first English language publication of a special magazine on North Korean human rights abuses.  At first only military institutions were buying copies.  As soon as I looked in Worldcat and saw that a copy was at a regular library, I pounced and demanded a copy from the local librarians.

         

        Anyway, the point of my rambling is that if people look there, they can see any library in the whole US that has copies of Welsh-authored and centered books.  And if we could manage to keep those in constant circulation, libraries are going to have to buy more of them.

        • Syniad da...and please feel free to ramble at any time :) Might be worth a blog post and perhaps even a dedicated group on the site?

  •  

    Not much discussion on this one, Ceri --  but for Welsh publishers and authors, getting into the American market is incredibly difficult.  Over the last decade I have written and published the seven novels of the "Angel Mountain" saga -- and sold a total of 60,000 copies in a very limited market.  The first novel, called "On Angel Mountain", has sold about 25,000 copies, which I suppose makes it something of a best-seller.  (I'm told that in Wales, if something sells 700 copies, it is counted as being a best seller......)

     

    But apart from a few orders from out of the blue, I sell virtually nothing in the USA, and even the Welsh newspapers have been reluctant to publish reviews.  I'm not complaining -- it's a tough old world out there.  But it would be great to reach all those Welsh folks who are living in the USA, and try to convince even a small percentage of them that these novels should be on their "essential reading" lists.  Any suggestions?

     

    By the way, here are two links that might be of interest:

    http://www.angel-mountain.info/index.html

    http://web.me.com/brianjohn4/brianjohn.co.uk/home.html

     

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