Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Tag Archives: Publishers

Blog Conversation about Blog Conversations . . .


It was back on February 12th of this year that I raised the idea of Blog Conversations here. Blog Conversations

At first, they were only on Mondays and Wednesdays since I hadn’t yet finished the 95 Tales in my Story Bazaar—Fridays were added in June.

And, if you’re new here, the other days of the week are reserved for re-blogs from a bevy of valuable sources…

So, here we are on one of the Friday phases of conversation and I came to the conclusion that it might be a good time to consider what we can discuss in the future…

By the way, the last conversation we were having stopped today because there were no comments on its last post—that’s the way it goes—reader comments keep the conversations going—my creativity begins new conversations…

Yet, there are times in a blogging career when my creativity seems to have gone on vacation without me, this being one of those days; so, Creativity’s cousin, Cleverness, stepped up and said, “Alex, don’t strain that brain, look back at all the conversations so far, list them, and ask the kind folks out there to suggest more topics, eh?”

And, I said, “Whoa! How clever of you...”.

So, here’s the list of titles of discussions we’ve had, so far:

 

Aids for Writers

How and Why Writers Write

 Libraries

Different Types of Readers

Traditional vs Self-Published Book Promotion

Choosing What to Read

“What Should I Write?”

Word Histories

Grammar

Book Promotion

Genre

“Serious Writing”

Reading like a Writer

Truth in Fiction

Charming and Surprising Books

Traditional vs Self Publishing

Readers as Gatekeepers

Issues with Traditional Publishing

Self-Publishing

Escaping with Books ~ or ~ Escaping into Books

Now, I fully concede, any of those topics could be discussed again, and yet again; though, for now, I’m asking the Spirits of Blogging to come to my aid and inspire you to suggest other topics we might discuss here…

Are you game?

O.K.—remember, the general subjects that are allowable are Reading, Writing, and Publishing; but, any topic you can squeeze into those broad categories is just fine…

Will you help me…?

Can you spare a few minutes of your time dealing with a desperately complex world to offer your ideas?

I hope so…

But… If no one shares a comment with a topic idea (or, two…), I’ll shake my creativity awake and track one down……… :-)
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How Could #Bitcoin and #Publishing Be Alike…?


blockchain and publishing Fair warning:

Today’s post is probably only for geeks who live on the bleeding-edge…

Or, those striving for that lifestyle…

Plus, I don’t fully understand what I’m sharing

It starts with an article on Publishing PerspectivesBlockchain and Potential Implications for International Book Publishing

It continues with an article on the Alliance of Independent Authors site—Blockchain for Books

I’ll share excerpts from the articles; and, rather than urge all readers to go check out the full articles, perhaps I’m only urging the bravest amongst you

First, a definition (from the Alliance of Independent Authors article) of the key concept behind Bitcoin, Blockchain, which is what’s being touted as an amazing tool for publishing:

Blockchain is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured.

Unlike HTML, blockchain allows one person to transfer a unique piece of digital property to another in a way that 1) is guaranteed safe and secure; 2) open, visible and agreed by all; and 3) cannot be subsequently modified.

Next, an excerpt from the Publishing Perspectives article that lists what the Alliance of Independent Authors feels are the qualities of Publishing that Blockchain will impact:

“Copyright, which ALLi suggests can be superceded by blockchain, making ‘ownership indisputable’

“Smart publishing contracts, that will use automation to ‘simultaneously represent ownership of an intellectual property and the conditions that come with that ownership’

“Smart author wallets, into which ‘booksellers and wholesalers’ as well as ‘Amazon and other digital platforms and trade publishers’ will make author payments, as will readers who will ‘make micropayments for a single article, small video, or podcast episode’

“Privacy controls, in which ALLi’s interest is in its members’ ability to ‘forward a book, directly from author to reader, without any middle man, freely or for Bitcoin exchange’

Anyone who has understood the previous excerpts should write their own article about Blockchain and Publishing…

btw

The Alliance of Independent Authors‘ article goes into more detail on those last four “benefits” of Blockchain…

And, I should mention that the Publishing Perspectives article is heavy on the benefits to traditional publishing; but, the Alliance of Independent Authors champions self-publishing…

A bit more from Publishing Perspectives:

“It’s easy to see the upside that blockchain technology could have on the publishing industry, and we believe it’s likely that some of this change is going to happen in the medium to long term.”

They then go on to point out potential obstacles to implementing Blockchain…

One last excerpt from Publishing Perspectives, who I believe are clearly a trusted source of information:

“While much of the current hype around blockchain is certainly unfounded, there’s definitely great potential in this model.”

So…

Any readers who’ve gotten this far in the post and feel they understand what Blockchain can do for publishing, do, please, chime in with a Comment :-)
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“These are scary and uncertain times…” ~ “What’s a writer’s calling…”


These are scary and uncertain times... ~ What's a writer's calling...

Image courtesy of Antonio Jiménez Alonso ~ http://www.freeimages.com/photographer/Capgros-58778

One week ago, I published a post called “Words Are My Matter” ~ Ursula K. Le Guin.

I’ve been reading that book and can recommend it to all Readers, Writers, and Publishers…

The other day, I got to a particular essay that had these words:

“Where am I to find strength and hope in this world? In my work, in trying to write well. What’s a writer’s calling, now or at any time? To write, to try to write well. What work will make a difference? Well-made work, honest work, writing well written. And how might we create a community of purpose? I can’t say.”

The thoughts in that essay are explored by Maria Popova in her article, Inner Preacher vs. Inner Teacher: Ursula K. Le Guin on Meaning Beyond Message and the Primary Responsibility of the Artist.

Le Guin wrote it a number of years ago and the words I quoted up there reminded me of the import of a relatively new “community of purpose” called Main Street Writers Movement—which is actually for “Writers, readers, booksellers, publishers, editors, publicists, agents, and anyone who wants to participate in the literary conversation.”

The Founder of that Movement, a publisher in the state of Oregon, wrote what I can consider an answer to Le Guin’s words, “…how might we create a community of purpose?” — the publisher said:

“These are scary and uncertain times, but we must continue to use our voices and to listen to our neighbors’ words. By signing this pledge, you’ll become an official member of the Main Street Writers Movement, earning you access to literary community building tools, industry insights, and connections with #mainstreetwriters who are creating new opportunities in their cities. We’ll send you a newsletter once a month with ways to get involved and ideas to make a difference….Let’s honor and amplify our communities’ underrepresented voices. Let’s buy from local bookstores and small presses. Let’s leave our houses and dance in the streets to the sound of each other’s words.”

Obviously, some folks wouldn’t see important connections between a highly-celebrated writer’s words and the words of an Indie publisher…

Yet, there are two things I’m certain of:

1. Reading Words Are My Matter will give you the mental and emotional tools to decide what readers, writers, and publishers need in these times…

2. Joining the Main Street Writers Movement will help you gain a sense of Community which could help inspire readers, writers, and publishers to accomplish what is needed in these times…

One other thing I’m sure of is that reading Le Guin’s other essay, Staying Awake ~ Notes on the alleged decline of reading, could help you find, in yourself, the motivation to read Words Are My Matter and join Main Street Writers Movement
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#Writers Need All the Help They Can Get . . . And, so Do #Readers . . .


At different times and for different reasons, all writers need help—

Writers and Readers need help

Image Courtesy of Mikhail Lavrenov ~ http://www.freeimages.com/photographer/MikLav-51580

—with getting new ideas, with improving current ideas, with editing or revision, with the way to construct a book…

I’ve been extremely interested in a particular phenomenon that’s intended to help writers; however, it’s also intended to help “…readers, booksellers, publishers, editors, publicists, agents, and anyone who wants to participate in the literary conversation.”

It’s the Main Street Writers Movement {which will include this one at the top (and, others, I’m sure, in the future, since I tag my posts so they can be found in groups in the Top Tags widget, down a bit in the left side-bar…)}

In fact, the Founder of the Movement said this:

“The Main Street Writers Movement urges experienced writers to strengthen the national literary ecosystem through passionate engagement at the local level. Let’s honor and amplify our communities’ underrepresented voices. Let’s buy from local bookstores and small presses. Let’s leave our houses and dance in the streets to the sound of each other’s words.”

She also said:

“These are scary and uncertain times, but we must continue to use our voices and to listen to our neighbors’ words.”

And, concerning joining the Movement (for which there are No Fees…), which you can do Right Here, she said:

 [Becoming] “…an official member of the Main Street Writers Movement, [earns] you access to literary community building tools, industry insights, and connections with #mainstreetwriters who are creating new opportunities in their cities. We’ll send you a newsletter once a month with ways to get involved and ideas to make a difference.”

But, once again, even though it’s called a Writers Movement, it truly is also for “…readers, booksellers, publishers, editors, publicists, agents, and anyone who wants to participate in the literary conversation.”

O.K., so that, apart from my normal work as a writer and my duties as a member of Humanity, is one of my top “passions” now; yet, this help for writers thing was also a factor in my writing today’s post because of an article by Jane Friedman called, Author Marketing Collectives: An Increasingly Important Component of Book Promotion.

It makes mention of a group called Tall Poppies; and, my Best Friend (from Australia, where the phrase is used to indicate folks who could use a lecture on entitlement…) feels the group is doing themselves a disservice with that name; though, they are doing quite well, probably because folks in the U.S.A. haven’t run into that phrase…

Now, that was a tortured sentence :-)

So…

The idea behind the group—

I’ll quote from the article:

“…our goals are different from a publisher’s goals. Of course, we would like to sell books but our primary objective is to give our readers access and personal interactions with authors. To that end, a Tall Poppy Author is invested in relationships and not only the kind of relationships where money changes hands. We want our stories to resonate and getting to know our readers help us do that. If a publisher has like-minded, committed, generous authors who enjoy social media it’s possible they could mimic what we do.”

Not sure about you, but this sounds to me like a group of authors who, all by themselves are doing something extremely similar to what Main Street Writers Movement is working to implement.

The only difference I detect is that Tall Poppies is a two-way street between a group of writers and their readers; while Main Street Writers Movement is a multi-dimensional set of paths between:

“Writers, readers, booksellers, publishers, editors, publicists, agents, and anyone who wants to participate in the literary conversation.”

I’ve contacted my local library here in Akron, Ohio and a large writer’s group in Cleveland, Ohio and will soon start calling local bookstores, et al.

 Thing is, the library and the writer’s group liked the idea of Main Street Writers Movement but couldn’t see what they could do with it…

I certainly won’t push them and I did recommend they read my posts about it; but, bottom line, I feel they were being insular—wanting to stay on their island, not even attempt to launch boats to make friends with other islands—remain isolated from “…anyone who wants to participate in the literary conversation.”afraid of “diluting their efforts”…

Yet, it’s my firm belief that More can be done with More people from More diverse pools of learning and desire…

Sure, it can demand better planning, smoother logistics, more time, and a firmer commitment to the “larger community”…

But, in a world tearing itself apart into a multitude of sects and causes and parties and nations and walled-off clubs, why not make more room for the transcendent call of the Oneness of Humanity?

Actually, since the mid-1800s and more strongly since the early 1920s,  humanity has been learning to Unify…

There are more groups now, working toward unification, then at any time in the history of humanity—it’s an evolutionary phenomenon…

So… before I spin off into a cloud of aspiration, I ask you to consider (even if it isn’t through association with Tall Poppies or Main Street Writers Movement) hooking up with other folks, merging some of the goals of your group with other groups to strengthen both, volunteering with one of the many organizations working for Human Unity…

O.K., I’m signing off  ’cause I’ve arrived smack in the middle of that cloud of aspiration :-)

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Book Fair Bonus Post ~ with Free Downloads :-)


Do you know about the Frankfurt Book FairFrankfurt Book Fair

It was held from 19 to 23 October this year (2016) and will be from 11 to 15 October next year.

It’s a pretty big deal…

Plus, you can Download All 2016 Frankfurt Book Fair Show Daily Magazines !

As they say:

“Our show daily magazines include coverage of the 2016 Frankfurt Book Fair discussions on copyright, freedom to publish, cross-media, rights and more.”

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If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
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Grab A Free Novel…
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