Thursday, February 12, 2009

New Thing #374

At the risk of sounding like a total Luddite, not a day goes by when computer technology doesn't feel like science fiction to me. As someone old enough to remember microfiche and the card catalogue, I'm still astonished at the speed with which I can get information. I've noticed that we can't even get through a dinner party without consulting the internet.

So I was especially amazed when, as guest lecturer at a class on publishing at Portland State, I discovered that the teacher now has a computer with internet access at the front of the classroom connected to a large screen. This was particularly helpful in giving examples like my friend Bruce Holland Rogers, who syndicates his short short stories, or Attack of the Theater People being featured on creditcards.com, of all places.

I don't even know what creditcards.com is. Or does. But I was psyched to make the same list as gazillionaires like Stephen King, Stephanie Meyer and Janet Evanovich.

Adam Gopnick recently pointed out in a New Yorker that writers are living in a time not unlike the early 18th century, when the system of patronage was on the wane, but the system of royalties has not yet emerged. With publishing in a free fall (Harper Collins just ditched Collins and a good deal of Harper, making me wonder whether they'll now be known as Har), the future belongs to those who can figure out how to make a living with the new technology.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

Here I am pointing in a very spastic way at the home page of my charming website.

8 comments:

Layne said...

I ususally feel like a Luddite, too. Just last night, I successfully installed a router, and now finally understand how a laptop works. I'm such a 21st Century Fox.

Colin Matthew (TheBookPirate.com) said...

That was an interesting presentation you did. I totally ditched my Bible class to see it.

The Frog Queen said...

With my wedding vows, I got my very own IT department. People are sometimes surprised about the techno babble that I know, I learned it all through osmosis. :)

No brilliant money making ideas, I still have my day job.

therese said...

No worries, Marc! I attended a two day presentation about what's anticipated in the publishing world, in this new age, of a global web and techno jargon. You are already there and beyond...

Are there e-book versions of your novels? If not, that's your next step, adding the ebook format for those kindle-type readers.

Everything else, you are already doing. A very active web presence that brings people back for something new. Lots of cool links to tantalize those who visit your web/blog.

The one thing recommended you may or may not want to consider is contests and prizes. I can give you more information about this is you want, you know how to contact me. :) I've known some that have had mixed results with these and may be more work than worth.

I think you're already a notch above most since you have "platforms" and "other markets". We're all sitting in a pause at the moment, waiting where the cookies will lead, but you're still at the head of the pack. I think that will show and there's this old proverb, "be careful what you wish for..."

Fantastic Forrest said...

I lurv those classrooms. I've taught college classes with these amazing, George Jetson-like consoles that have allowed me to display things from the internet, DVD's, videos (remember that ancient technology?), powerpoints, and good old fashioned paper stuff using the document camera overhead doohickey.

My children's elementary school classrooms have all that and more. And they know how to operate it.

As long as you continue to produce your brilliant work, you'll be in demand. I see that your books are available via kindle. Sounds like you're keeping up with the changes, Buck Rogers!

viejecita said...

The Kindle and such are OK for books one is only going to read once, and then forget, or for dictionaries and such.

But once you know you love a book, you have to have it in a proper format. To hold, and to caress, and return to again and again. In solid binding, acid-free paper, good print, and pages sewn in signatures.

That is how I want to have your books. And that is why I felt a bit frustrated with "Attack of the theater people"coming out only in paperback

Marc Acito said...

Thanks, viejecita. I had no control over the decision to publish Attack as a trade paperback original. It makes me feel good to know you feel that way.

Noah, Post-Diluvian said...

You look very fetching in this picture.