Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Not “Self-Publishing” Because You Lack Technical Digital/Electronic Knowledge?


I’ve written about many kinds of publishing—Traditional, Independent, “Aided”, and Self-Publishing.

Some folks use “Self-Publishing” to refer to Independent and “Aided” publishing as well, and this post is really about all three

A writer could go the Traditional route by only using a pen and paper then  hiring someone to use a word processor to put it in proper form for agents and editors.

“Aided” and Self-Publishing could also be done by hiring someone to do the word processing but the job of promotion/marketing would also demand technical skills with computers and, usually, social network interaction.

Independent Publishing would demand hiring an office full of technical staff.

Or, certain rare individuals could do all the work themselves; except, of course, with some of the best Traditional Publishers

I use “Aided” publishing, do my own word processing, have found two editors that I don’t have to pay, and take care of all my own Internet promotion.

I got to thinking about the writers who are Digitally/Electronically Challenged when I read a post by Joel Friedlander about his being on a powerhouse panel at a recent writers’ convention: 2012: Best of Times for Writers, or the Worst?

The convention was in San Francisco. The panelists, including Joel, were: Mark Coker (Smashwords), Brian Felsen (Bookbaby), Jan Johnson (Turning Stone), and Jesse Potash (PubSlush). It was moderated by Carla King (Self-Publishing Bootcamp).

If the writers at that convention were even slightly interested in the potential of “Self-Publishing”, that particular panel would have been very worth attending.

I urge you to go read Joel’s post for the details but, for the purpose of this blog post, I’ll let you know that the panel was very poorly attended.

Apparently, most of the writers were at another location at the convention—waiting in line for a brief contact with a Traditional Agent

Joel speculates on the low attendance at his panel:

“I thought about some of the writers I know. Many are quite technophobic. Just learning Word is a major accomplishment. I know people who can write prose that will melt your heart, but they never figured out how to attach something to an email.”

He then asks two questions with which I’ll close this post (hoping for your comments…):

“Do you think there will be writers who are pushed aside by the technical requirements of the new era in publishing?

“Or will there always be publishers to take care of the business end of things for writers who want no part of it?”

And, why not go to Joel’s post and leave him a comment, too :-)
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7 responses to “Not “Self-Publishing” Because You Lack Technical Digital/Electronic Knowledge?

  1. Simone Benedict February 24, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    To the first question my answer is yes. I’m not sure on the second one. For myself, I know the word program and I can attach to an e-mail, but beyond that I’m not a whiz with the technical stuff. I think maybe there comes a point when a person has to just close her eyes and jump?

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai February 24, 2012 at 11:18 pm

      Thanks for your response, Simone, but I must ask a question.

      You say there comes a point where one must jump.

      Is that jumping into more Tech knowledge and experience or jumping away form it?

      Like

  2. Simone Benedict February 25, 2012 at 1:14 am

    I meant jump into.

    Now that I read Joel Friedlander’s article, I have a few more thoughts. Well, no I have one. That is maybe you should reconsider what you said in a previous post about not wanting to be a publisher. I believe you should.

    If not, are there people writers can hire to jump through all the technical and social media hoops for him?

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai February 25, 2012 at 1:45 am

      Dear Simone :-)

      There are people one can hire to jump through any publishing hoop.

      And, if I ever attain an income much larger than $1,000/mo., I just might consider being my own publisher

      Like

  3. cmmarcum February 25, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Questions: If a writer goes to one of these conventions, stands in line for an agent and gets the agent to notice them, what does the agent do? Do they accept a dead-tree novel, thus ending the day with a truckload of paper that has to be carted away? Or does the agent give the writer an email address and ask for one in exchange? What does the agent say when a writer tells them that they don’t have an email, blog or twitter account? Do they just frown and say: Next.

    Speed dating–I like that analogy. :)

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai February 25, 2012 at 4:22 pm

      C. M.,
      Those are good questions which I have no solid answers for.

      I would imagine the agents would establish email submission to follow the conference—I would if I were an agent

      The writer with no email question made me think the whole SpeedDating Agents idea would make a good piece of fiction :-)

      Like

  4. Pingback: The Connected Writer « Notes from An Alien

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