Preparing to serve on panel for “Publishing, A Seminar for Writers.”
The publishing world is changing rapidly, creating a large amount of uncertainty with publishers and writers, and redefining traditional publishing, distribution, and promotion. We hope to focus on these changes and give writers some creative ideas on how to deal with these changes.
Question 1: What are the major changes going on in publishing today and how does it relate to writers’ motivations and ambitions?
RS: I recently re-visited YouTube and Billy Collins’ ANIMATED POETRY, which has attracted over 600,000 viewers. One major change is a) the growing size of the audience for poetry, but also b) the tendency of this audience to go online–rather than to the bookstore–with the expectation that they will be entertained along with whatever else they’re wanting or expecting from poetry. As for ambition, well, I’ve never met a person who hasn’t, at some time in his or her life, written a poem and thought, fleetingly, of seeing it in print. And now the technology is such that they too can be published on YouTube and elsewhere and, failing that, they can start their own online literary journal. Samples of where you can go online to see these major changes at play:
BTW, I especially like Collins’ poem “Forgetfulness,” with animation by Julian Grey of Headgear.
What if we are seeing the start of something new, the oral tradition, storytelling–and BTW lyric poetry, too, tells a story–combining now with everything else the Internet makes possible? Hell, it’s been going on for years and the technology will continue to evolve and likely change the nature of what we call “reading” and what it means to be a literate person. I’m hopeful… we’ll see poetry and fiction, sound and visuals, in combinations and with effects that will broaden the audience for poetry and, at the same time, encourage writers to work in collaboration with computer scientists, wizards of the keyboard, animators, musicians, actors, illustrators and others, including people in the sciences–those, for example, who are exploring the nature of consciousness. Like neurologist Oliver Sacks, author of The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat.
As an illustration of what I’m personally up to:
“Shelby the Dog” – re-defining the nature of the word persona.
I am indebted to my friend, J.J. Webb, creator of Cruzio Café, for the following:
New Literary Magazines
for the latest on new issues & descriptions of traditional hardcopy, literary eZines, News Sites and Blogs,
Mike Neff’s Web del Sol
Coverage of marketing and web-publishing since 1994. Includes ‘mini-chaps,’ i.e., chapbooks in digital format.
Poets & Writers, primary source of info and guidance for writers, with emphasis on creative writing programs.
Don Selby & Diane Boller’s Poetry Daily
2006 Poetry Daily Web Site Statistics:
Total pages viewed: 13.6 million
Total visits: 6 million
Unique hosts: 3 million
Total Hits: 96 million
As for the second part of the question, i.e., “How does it relate to writers’ motivations and ambitions?” on a practical level, writers with websites, can easily direct orders to their publisher, to independent bookstores, Amazon.com or, if they prefer, fulfill orders themselves via PayPal. Local examples: