Getting Published, part 5

Writing is a creative effort not wholly unlike acting or painting or music.  In all of these, it’s manditory to keep polishing the craft, overcome the disappointment of rejection, and forge on.

BUT!  Actors, if they don’t make big-time, can take bit parts on TV, do commercials, and act in Little Theater.  Painters display at craft fairs, in restaurants and small galleries, and even along sidewalks.  Musicians play in local music groups and perform in restaurants and night clubs.

What does the writer do for validation?  Sure, writing itself is a wonderful experience–a big “high.”  But to receive validation most of us need to be published in something more than “Letters to the Editor.”  We can find satisfaction and a career in journalism or writing magazine features, as I have done in the past.  But, sooner or later, a surprisingly large percentage of us will feel the urge to create a BOOK!  Assuming we do write that book and try the top publishers for a time with no sales…what next?

Well, publishing options are enormous and increasing daily.  Did you read about the woman in Japan who wrote a novel on her cell phone?  It was the number one best-seller in Japan during 2007.  Twenty million people read it on line and on cell phones before it came out in hard cover and sold millions more copies.  It’s now being made into a movie.  I read about Mika and her novel, “Love Sky,” in The Christian Science Monitor last February, and, a few days later, saw in the New York Times that five out of the top ten novels in Japan in 2007 were written and published on cell phones.

Talk about new technology!

Okay, how many of you writers out there would rather hold a “real” book with your name on the cover in your hands?  Downloading a book to your Kindle or even your cell phone may be the wave of the future, but there are those confounded tiny screens and, well, real books made of paper feel and smell so nice!  Though my own books are available as e-books, those are a small percentage of sales and, call me old-fashioned, but I still prefer reading books printed on paper.

A recent article in the New Yorker magazine assures us that books will endure.  It says, in part:  “New technologies don’t triumph just because they work well; they have to solve a real problem.  And for most people the physical book offers no problems at all.  The book–portable, intuitive to use–is an almost perfect technology.”  (Don’t you love that!”)

The article goes on to opine that it isn’t books that are in trouble, but publishers, partly because they have been so slow to adopt new technology like Print on Demand.

Next:  The plus and minus sides of Print on Demand.

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