Book publishers actively market and promote authors, of course, particularly the big names, but for thousands of writers it’s a figure-it-out-yourself world of creating book trailers, Web sites and blogs, social networking and crashing on friends’ couches during a tour you arrange.
“Being an author has become much more of an ongoing relationship with your audience through the Web, rather than just writing a book and disappearing while you write the next one,” says Liate Stehlik, publisher of William Morrow and Avon Books. “You have to be out there in the online world, talking and participating.”” —On Web, A Most Novel Approach
To look at schoolbooks from 1890 or 1910 can be scary; the level of literacy and general cultural knowledge expected of a ten-year-old is rather awesome. Such texts, and lists of the novels kids were expected to read in high school up to the 1960s, lead one to believe that Americans really wanted and expected their children not only to be able to read but to do it, and not to fall asleep doing it.
Literacy was not only the front door to any kind of individual economic and class advancement; it was an important social activity. The shared experience of books was a genuine bond. A person reading seems to be cut off from everything around them, almost as much as someone shouting banalities into a cell phone as they ram their car into your car—that’s the private aspect of reading. But there is a large public element, too, which consists in what you and others have read.” —Ursula K. Le Guin, Notes on the alleged decline of reading
Promotionally, the Internet is like the Wild West: boundless, lawless, and full of opportunity for the inventive, the hungry, and the risk takers. Unfortunately, “hungry” and “risk-taker” are not adjectives typically associated with an industry whose end product is best consumed by a reader curled up beside the fire. Books are sedate; they go well with tea. Like knitting.
Yet knitters are actually thriving online, thanks to the platform, advocacy, and community provided by innovator Etsy.com. Good stories, like mittens, will always be welcome in a decent home. The question is, can independent publishers get them there?” —If New Media is a Giant Killer, Will Independent Publishing Get the Golden Eggs?
like everyone else?
Your worries will only worsen
when you find
that the path to conformity
is different for each person.” —Black Stars in a White Night Sky by JonArno Lawson