Most writers, even aspiring writers, know that the publishing business is experiencing a tsunumi. The latest rumor that Borders is about to shut down is only one piece of bad news. Publishing houses are folding, staff is thinning, agents are retiring, etc. etc. Even magazine articles are becoming harder to peddle; three U.S. publications I once wrote for have folded in the past couple of years. When I sold my first article to a place in Canada, the check diminshed upon cashing. In addition to the currency difference, I was charged a change charge. A bit discouraging.
However, there is good news if we can keep up with change. Writing, I used to tell my students, is fun. You should know the hate stares I would get from some of them. Yah, right, they were thinking, and so is jumping off cliffs. I will have to admit that we are a somewhat strange bunch, wishing to share our joy of this form of communication with others.
This year, I sent out a New Year message to all my children and their families–I call these periodic missives “News from Headquarters.” My husband says something different: There goes Mom writing again. What makes writers so hooked on writing anyway? Must be some kind of deficient gene.
So most of us persist in our literary efforts, dutifully figuring out how to format our manuscripts for ebooks–or in my case learning how to find someone to format them. Just getting an ebook reader for myself provided me with a major step into technology. Seems I’m always racing to catch up with yesterday.
This new way of doing things includes marketing–the nemesis of many writers. It’s kind of fun in a masochistic sort of way. Bumbling my way through technology, I’m always amazed when I do something right. Facebook, for example, is quite nurturing in the way one can publicize one’s work and one’s person.
Once in a while I Google myself as has been recommended–just to see what the search engines are saying. Astounding how many Ann Brandts there are in the world, all lined up and ready to be noticed–some with literary works to be sold and some who are doing amazing things to benefit mankind. I even found one who had died. (No wonder a couple of my friends recently called inquiring about the state of my health.)
An article in Time Magazine about Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, calls other Internet venues “empty wastelands” where you wander alone from page to page.When you get to some spots where writers are hawking their wares, so to speak, there is what the Time article describes as “a howling mob of strangers.” With facebook, on the other hand, in addition to the face-to-face (hence the name facebook) interaction online, it’s easy to set up your page and profile. If it’s easy for me, believe me, it’s Easy.