A group of AUT creative writing alumni created their own indie publishing company, Cloud Ink Press, to give new authors a voice in the industry.
The company, an indie publishing collective, consists of Master of Creative Writing alumni Alana Cooke, Annabelle Grierson, Thalia Henry, Mark Johnson, Dione Jones and Helen McNeil. Programme mentor and AUT lecturer James George serves as literary advisor of Cloud Ink.
Dione Jones, Cloud Ink’s financial manager, admits she found the process of writing a novel much easier than marketing it.
“Because we had all done the Master of Creative Writing, we were all quite comfortable with producing a manuscript and we just thought it would magically appear as a book. We then came to realise how important publishing is. Marketing is the vital part, and that’s much easier to do in a collective than it is individually,” Dione says.
Founding member and Cloud Ink author Helen McNeill had the experience of publishing a novel independently and as part of a collective; the latter of which she found much easier.
“I published my first novel independently. I personally didn’t really know what I was doing. I relied on the advice of others. Cloud Ink Press published me the second time. It was like having a cohort of peers that were helping me do it. Because I was the first, we were learning a great deal, but we got taken seriously in the industry” she says.
With the collective now boasting seven published pieces of writing, project manager Mark Johnson is focused on where the collective is heading.
“We want to create a unique, compelling voice and commentary on social issues, creating pieces of work that are every bit as compelling, ground-breaking and worthy of those as large publishers.”