Ladeling Up a Little from Inside Scoop:
Articles about Acting and Writing
by Hollywood Insiders and Published Authors
Copyright © 2007 Marilyn Peake
All rights reserved under International
and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. Published in the United
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Any resemblanceto actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
A DDP First Edition March 7, 2008
From The Prologue of Inside Scoop:
Articles about Acting and
Writing by Hollywood Insiders and Published Authors
K.L. Nappier provides an intriguing
discussion of the modern and future world of publishing in her article, Barbarians at the Gate: The Future of literature,
Rumor versus Reality.
This is great information forall writers!
With a continued look toward the future,
and embracing modern technology, K.L. Nappier provides information about how
to promote books through video trailers in her article, Promo Ammo: What Is A Video Book Trailer & What Can It Do For You?
K.L. Nappier’s Article
Barbarians at the Gate:
The Future of Literature, Rumor versus Reality
As if the path of the aspiring writer wasn’t
rocky enough, for the past decade we’ve been hearing about the
demise of literature; or, at least, literature as we know it. All this
wailing and teeth-gnashing: "No one reads anymore!" "Quality is headed
My brothers and sisters, don’t you believe
a word of it.
That the literary industry has been going
through an upheaval is undeniable. And, during upheavals, it’s
natural for anxiety to set in...especially among the old guard. After
all, let’s face it, as we become older, we like our routine more
and more. I know that’s true for me. And it’s as true for
institutions as it is for people. The traditional publishing houses, centered mostly in New York, have presided over the industry since the 19th century. How comfortable with routine would that make you?
Imagine ruling such a fortress of literature
for 150 years or more, then waking one morning to the dawn of online
publishing and countless, agile barbarians storming your gates. I don’t
know about you, but that would scare me silly. And while I figured
out what to do about it I just might indulge my inner Cassandra, warn
of dark days to come and lament the passing of the good ol’ days.
New York has long gotten over itself and
gotten down to work. The doomer-gloomers are being shown the door and
the traditional publishing houses have "merged" from the ashes of the
‘90's restructuring. Some survived, some didn’t. But those
who did are sleeker, teched-up and ready to fend off the barbarians.
Still, rumors of literature’s demise
persist. Here are two persistent literary rumors I find particularly
1.) "The reading public is in decline."
Oh, really. I guess that explains the explosion
of online publishers since the 1990's, both ebook and paperback. And,
of course, whether you’re a fan of them or not, the continued
success of bookstore giants Borders, Barnes & Noble and their ilk
seems to fly in the face of this "conventional wisdom" as well.
Reading is not on the decline. It’s
just taking on new shapes. The classic book form long ago added cassette
tapes to the line, and now is adopting new family members: CD’s,
ebooks, audios, podcasts. That tastes change, that trends shift is
nothing new. That there is a deluge of different media entertainment
competing for the reading dollar goes without saying.
Yet, for all that, both traditional houses
and online publishers alike haven’t slowed their search for good
writers in the least. Why would that be, if the book reader really
was going the way of the Dodo?
2.) "There are few quality reads to be found
among the small and independent online publishers."
This one certainly plays into the hands
of the traditional houses, and it wouldn’t surprise me to learn
the old guard encourages it. I say this is a case of the pot calling
the kettle black. Go to Amazon.com (increasingly becoming the old guard’s
shill), pick any one of the traditional houses and sample the bulk
of what they publish. Compare them to what you find at your favorite
online publisher. Get back to me with your opinion on this.
If anything, good reading is on the rise
as the reputations of small and independent publishers grow among quality
writers. The online publisher’s business model allows for bold
moves and experimentation. And that allows them to take chances with
fresh, new talent when the traditional houses can’t or won’t.
One of the primary reasons you don’t
hear about the great talent available in online publishing is that
the mainstream publicity machine of this still-young venue remains
undeveloped. And that is something that needs to change. Hopefully
it will as the industry matures.
Nevertheless, slowly but surely, the word is getting
out. Case in point:
The First Annual Muse Online Writers’
Conference, open to writers and readers alike, was 1000 attendees strong.
One thousand attendees to a completely new conference and concept!
Even as the barbarians’ publicity
machine is beginning to warm up, we’re getting noticed. Chris
Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of "Wired" magazine, has expanded a 2004
article, "The Long Tail," into a book that was released earlier this
year. It says many things about the Internet and business in general
but includes intriguing information about online media, including book
selling. What he had to say about this and more in an interview on National
Public Radio last July adds light to this exciting new dawn.
So bask in that light, my brothers and sisters.
As Dylan sang, "The times, they are a-changin’."
And, in this case, the change is very, very good.