My Digital Decade, Part II: Author
(Writer, Editor, Publisher, Canoodler)
Writer I'm still not done with this topic before moving on to Editor, etc. I guess one never is, when one writes. Writing means the world to me. Writing is my life. If you are truly an author, you'll understand completely. The current theme has been: We're working harder, already, so we must figure out how to work smarter. It's easier said than done. A million or more writers are competing for precious slotsand I don't mean with editors or publishers.
I'm talking about where it really countswith readers. So, you think it's hard to reach editors and publishers? Think again. Ultimately, editors and publishers are trying to win the same prize you are: reach the reader. The problem is that readers are saturated 7/24 with a blitz of information (I've mentioned this beforeincluding the digital urinal that flashes messages as you whee). How to get a piece of the reader's attention?
Critical Mass Barring a sudden lightning bolt from heaven, and a spot on Ophrah's show, what can we do to make ourselves visible to readers? One approach that seems to be gaining favor is podcasting. That's creating audio clips and posting them online for readers to download. Currently, it seems to work if it's free and in a popular format like the iPod. Then there are the usual Web things that I've been struggling with for a decade now: metatags, the title bar, and all the rest of the suggestions offered by Google and the Google users. Beyond that, however, there is a concept called critical mass. Originally applied to atom bomb explosions (enough highly refined uranium or plutonium in one spot all at once, and Boom!, CM is a term with many useful applications.
What I mean here is that an author reaches a certain point where people start coming back to his/her work, and tell others about it. A useful example is this: ten individual books that are unrelated will generally tend to disappear soon, whereas a series of ten books by the same author, on the same theme, will tend to bring readers back. It will tend to get a reader who liked one book to try one or two others in the series. Ultimately, again, it all depends on having that magnetism that draws the reader to your work in the first place. Without a salable product that the readers feel impulsively they must have, all the rest is vanity. The best publisher, the best editor, the best spot in the bookstore, will not sell your book if your book doesn't have that joie de reader.
More in next month's rant. Thanks for stopping by, and have a great month!
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