Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Changing the Way We Think As Writers

We writers have our work cut out for us. I went to a panel for Social Media Week called Literature Unbound: Radical Strategies for Social Literature. It gave me a lot to think about, as if my head wasn't full already. The speakers showed us how they were using technology to present content. I love when people challenge the norm.

Red Lemonade- a publisher that works like an online writer's workshop
Findings.com- lets you capture, store and share quotes from any text
Open Utopia- a Social Book
Small Demons- a site that wishes to index all books. They also want to open it up so users can index books.

This got me thinking of my book and how I could use technology to present it in unusual ways. I talked before about Byook and J.K. Rowling's Pottermore but Byook hasn't released anything new for a while and I have no idea what's going on with Pottermore. I'm having trouble picturing this new way of presenting content but we seem to be going in that direction.

Print books aren't going anywhere anytime soon but I can't ignore that almost every time I read PW's E-Newsletter there's an article telling us paperback sales are down while eBook sales are on the rise. The Barnes and Noble in Union Square shrank their music and movie section to create a Nook section and much of the second floor has puzzles and games now.

At this point, there's no denying this is happening or hoping things will go back to the way they were. Your book outside of the print version may be something you'll have to think about. I know I'll probably have to down the line given my brand as a writer and what I know about my potential readers. You can't deny that, if done right, this whole social reading thing could be a brilliant marketing strategy.

I'm still on the fence about it. On one hand, I'm a huge nerd. I love playing with technology and love the idea of Byook and Pottermore but I can't imagine how I'd apply it to my book. All the above sites are brilliant ideas but I still can't imagine books acting like social media. How do you manage the rights for this? It's a lot to take in.

I'm attending a panel tomorrow called Innovative Ways to Build Community Around Books. This will give me more to think about- haven't decided if this is a good thing.

This is definitely an interesting time to be a writer.


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