Mark Shaw wants to see writers get their words into print. And, understanding that most aspiring authors aren"t rich, he"s lending his expertise for free. Shaw, who has written 10 books on everything from a holocaust survivor to an airplane racer, began working as a literary advisor last year when he opened Six Dogs Books in Fountain Square.
Bis Whitacre, Mark Shaw and Amy Lain want to help you into print.
At first, Shaw charged a fee for his advice - often waiving it when writers were short on cash. But making money came second to his goal of helping these people feel the joy of seeing their work published - a sensation Shaw describes as "wonderful." So he decided to start a non-profit organization dedicated to making that happen. "I had written about a book a year, working with publishers of every different size. I had been through the wars. And I wanted to give back a bit of what I"d learned about the publishing process," Shaw says, sitting in his freshly painted offices behind the small bookstore dedicated to selling the work of Indiana authors. After finding a private funding source for the operating budget, offices and two staff members, Shaw"s Books for Life Foundation first became a reality in March. He hired the last of his three-person staff in July. Shaw"s latest book, Book Report, provides its goals and guidelines. At $17.95, Book Report is the only expense a client will encounter when working with Books for Life. "None of this is based on income. We don"t care how little or how much money you make, everybody is welcome," Shaw says. And any kind of writing is welcome. Right now, the foundation works with about 30 writers who are trying to sell everything from science fiction to screenplays to art books to religious poetry. "What happens is many people are creative and can put the material together. But they don"t understand the process of sending things out to publishers," Shaw says. "There are many important voices not heard because they don"t know the right steps. "We want to help optimize their chances of being published." The Books for Life Foundation and Six Dogs Books are located at 1060 Virginia Ave. Shaw, Amy Lain or Bis Whitacre can be reached at 916-1305. Or log onwww.booksforlifefoundation.com