Direct-to-web publishing

bookThe most direct way for writers to reach readers is online, direct-to-web. The tedious, expensive, exclusive and restrictive channels that worked in the past no longer do for some of us. They are overwhelmed, and the reality for most, who do make it through the system, remains that everyone gets their share except the writer – publishers, printers, distributors, et al. get paid but there’s nothing left in the bag by the time it’s passed on to the author.

I’m not crusading against the conventional publishing industry or taking away from the ‘value added’ they offer; for most writers having a publisher’s imprimatur on the jacket of their book will remain a truly validating achievement. And self-publishing by print on demand will also remain a popular route. I will certainly try to include both in my mix. But I also want a direct route to potential readers, one that avoids the barriers of getting printed versions of my books into their hands. For me direct-to-web is an avenue that has to be explored.

The main drawback to this approach, of course, is the majority of readers are not prepared give up the pleasure of ‘curling up with a good book’. For many literature is only such when it comes in a physical package that has covers wrapped around pages. eBooks are gaining acceptance, but not nearly as rapidly as it was once thought they would, and the obstacles to getting eBooks into readers hands are formidable, too. The thought of accessing books on mobile phones, iPads, and laptops hasn’t really occurred to a lot of people. Reading, it turns out, is much more than scanning lines of symbols and reconstituting an imaginative vision based on written language; it’s a patterned activity, as ingrained and comforting as the rites and routines of dinner.

Stepping outside what’s conventional means for writers not only promoting and selling their ‘books’, but promoting a new format for sharing material and being compensated. It means getting audiences to accept that there are alternative methods of accessing literature that might work better for both readers and writers.



The Idea

Writers, especially fiction writers, must venture into the realm of ideas. How open we are, and effective at representing ideas and their permutations in our work, determines how invigorating our stories will be. It’s important to be alert not only to the intellectual aspect of new ideas, but also to the emotional and the physical aspects. Our reactions to the ideas we discover in that fluid world of the imagination is as important as the ideas themselves.

A new departure, welcome aboard

Tomorrow begins my last week as Editor of the Ladysmith-Chemainus Chronicle. The last 15 months have been fun, I’ve met lots of fantastic people, but I want to zoom in on my more collaborative and creative sides. So I’ve gussied up my web site, reconnected the dream batteries, and am ready to switch on a new current.

Hope you’ll take a minute to poke around and find out what I’m up to. One of the things I’m really looking forward to is creative workshops…