Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Tag Archives: Publishing Perspectives

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“Copyright, which ALLi suggests can be superceded by blockchain, making ‘ownership indisputable’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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Why Is There So Much Dystopian and Apocalyptic Fiction?


Perhaps I should begin by defining Dystopian and Apocalyptic (though, I imagine omnivorous bookworms are quite familiar with these “genres”…).

Dystopian Apocalyptic Fiction

Spotted outside @Waterstones in Bloomsbury, London ~ from @For_the_Wynn ~ https://twitter.com/For_the_Wynn/status/747829187772297216/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

I’ll start with Dystopian (in the Oxford Dictionary of English):

“…relating to or denoting an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad , typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one…”

Now, Apocalyptic:

“…describing or prophesying the complete destruction of the world…”

My short novel, Notes from An Alien (which can be bought but is still Free) begins dystopian, edges toward apocalyptic, then takes a few major turns to end up in places not initially imagined

Why is there so much dystopian/apocalyptic work out there [?] is an interesting question.

At the end of this post, I’ll hint at my own explanation; but, let’s start with an article at Publishing Perspectives (which deals, primarily, with the lesser of the two “evils”)That Long, Rocky Road: Why Is Dystopian Fiction Evergreen?

As always, I encourage you to go read the full article; but, I’ll share some excerpts.

First, a few opinions from John Joseph Adams, editor of a science fiction/fantasy imprint from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt:

“Dystopian fiction–and in particular Young Adult dystopian fiction–has been the trend for so long because it resonates deeply with young people. When you’re young, you see society as dystopian; everything is against you; things don’t seem fair; you get bullied…”

That seems to say that dystopia is only in the minds of young adults and not in our world

Adams goes on to say something that may mean he sees real life as dystopian:

“People may eventually get too beaten down by the combination of terrible things happening in the real world and terrible things happening to characters in fiction, and shift drastically to something like escapist fiction, or perhaps an even more direct response by shifting to utopian narratives instead.”

Then there’s Aliette de Bodard, French-American speculative fiction writer:

“I have done a lot of code switching between cultures, so I can see that each has a different view of what is dystopian.”

“In the West, the young’s fears aren’t of nuclear war—that is the fear of the previous generation. It’s the fear of pandemics or global warming, which can seem vague, but are real to the young.”

And here are Natacha Derevitskymanaging director of Pocket Jeunesse, the imprint for 4- to 20-year-olds of French publisher Univers Poche and Xavier d’Almeida, director of its Young Adult collection.

I’ll direct those wondering who said which excerpt to the full article at Publishing Perspectives :-)

The following statement could mean, again, that our world isn’t dystopian through-and-through; or, it might be interpreted as saying the future actually can be better:

“…for YA, dystopian stories have to have an optimistic ending. It is also important that they have a realistic theme – which can be related to something that is happening in our society.”

And, one final excerpt from the article:

“It is not really growing any more. We’ve been waiting for another type of book for the last two years. These could be more realistic, issue-based books, but we don’t know how popular these books could become.”

So, there you have four folks who are deeper into the mainstream book world than I am.

I’m merely a published author who writes a blog; but, I do have a dystopian novel (and a few such short stories) and I certainly have played with apocalypse

But, before I say why there’s so much of this fiction (and keeping in mind that enough dystopia can easily tip the scales into apocalyptic states), I should share the word history of apocalypse (my bolding):

French from ecclesiastical Latin apocalypsis from Greek apokalupsis, from apokaluptein uncover

Interesting, isn’t it?

A word we use for the end of the world comes from words that lead to the meaning “Uncover”

A close study of human evolution shows that all shouts of complete doom have echoed through time as transitions to new levels of human endeavor—each Winter of humanity has melted into a new Spring

So, I think the two brands of fiction under consideration are prominent because writers sense the Winter/Spring Transition coming

I’ll close this post with a brief statement from the Prologue of my novel:

“You’re about to read the story of a People who went from a 500-year InterWorldWar and nearly complete loss of hope to enduring security. May the truth we discovered bring you courage to face the necessities of building a path toward global peace.”

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Publishing Podcasts Galore !


Back on the 8th of November, I shared some marvelous free downloads from the Frankfurt Book FairPublishing Perspectives Podcasts

So, here come the freebies again in an article on Publishing Perspectives called, Podcasts for Frankfurt Book Fair’s Publishing Enthusiasts, And Beyond.

Here are some excerpts (you might need them to decide if you want to click that last link...):

“…there’s good listening for publishing people just about everywhere these days on the international podcast scene.”

Alert!

You may want to scroll down past the pictures of Christopher Kenneally and Orna Ross to this header:

International Books- and Publishing-Related Podcasts

Here are bits of the blurbs for those podcasts:

“…this podcast carries author interviews, behind-the-scenes information, and master classes from the literary scene in Hong Kong.”

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“This is a science fiction and fantasy podcast from Pakistan…”

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“This is an interview-based show in which local and international guests talk book publishing, especially in the Indian market.”

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“This is a weekly ‘novel podcast’…”

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“…both an online audio archive and a radio-style pan-African poetry show.”

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“…writers from across the Penguin Random House division’s output.”

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“Each podcast includes a compelling mix of readings and conversation.”

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“This podcast is from the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies.”

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“…for those who still are wild about Harry, this Potter podcast from the fan site…”

Rough estimate—10 hours of listening…
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#Wattpad Expands Reach ~ Attracts #Publishers


I’ve written about my experience with Wattpad a number of times—the Top Tags widget (down a bit in the left side-bar) shows 23 posts (naturally, this one’s there, too…)Wattpad

In fact, I have eleven Wattpad Author Interviews here

I thought it was time for an update on the phenomenon called Wattpad when their blog had a post called, 300 Million Story Uploads and One Big Thanks.

Two excerpts:

“That number [300 million] is more than five times larger than the New York Public Library’s entire catalog and almost double that of the Library of Congress.”

“At Wattpad, we know that everyone has a story to share. It’s why we support over 50 languages and connect storytellers and audiences from virtually every country in the world.”

As a matter of fact, there have been over twice as many readers of my short novel, Notes from An Alien, in the Philippines than in the U.S.A.; plus, it has strong showings in India, the UK, and South Africa (…last count, there were readers in 34 countries…)

A fascinating look into ways Wattpad’s expanding was covered in an article in Publishing PerspectivesCanada’s Wattpad Studios at BEA: A Few Words With Aron Levitz—where it’s said:

“Established authors, of course, have seen value in experimenting with Wattpad, notably Margaret Atwood. More recently, news from The Bookseller’s Charlotte Eyre in London is that British children’s author Jeff Norton has launched a novel, ‘Star Pressed’, on Wattpad. ‘…rather than going down the traditional publishing route, Norton’, Eyre writes, ‘had more than 340,000 reads on Wattpad of an earlier work, ‘Metawars: Fight For the Future’, also published by Hachette.'”

So, they have 45 million monthly readers, loads of writers (at all levels of experience and expertise), and now publishers are urging their authors to serialize backlist books so new ones will sell better

One example of this new trend is detailed in a recent article, again at Publishing PerspectivesMarketing Experiment: A Canadian Publisher Spins an Old Title on a New Platform.

These comments from Dundurn Press‘ publicist Michelle Melski:

“We approached Don Easton about the project, but he immediately jumped on the idea. Since the 10th book in the series is about to come out, ‘A Delicate Matter’, we wanted to do something to mark the occasion and to introduce the Jack Taggart mystery series to new readers.”

“…Don is adding all of the chapters himself. This way he can get to know his readers and respond to their comments. It’s also an interesting experience to have an author get feedback on a book in real time, as someone is reading it.”

“We always encourage our authors to consider using Wattpad as a promotional tool and have posted chapters of books there before, but this is the first time we’re serializing an entire book. Everyone here is excited about the project and we can’t wait to see what we learn at the end of it.”

About all I can add is that I, too, am excited about my project on Wattpad ( 4 books completely uploaded and the most recent book getting a new short story every Saturday you can also read those shorts here every Friday at the Story Bazaar } :-)

The most fascinating thing about Wattpad, to me, is that the readers and writers participating there enjoy the experience for Free

And, finally, a somewhat balanced look at the Wattpad phenomenon
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“Looking for Truth in Time of Hype” ~ Are Writers Doomed?


Three things before I get fully underway with this post:

Looking for Truth in Time of Hype ~ Are Writers Doomed?

Image Courtesy of Michal Zacharzewski, SXC ~ http://www.freeimages.com/photographer/mzacha-39017

This is a link to posts on this blog by or about Roz Morris

This is a link to posts on this blog by or about Mark Coker… 

This is a link to posts on this blog by or about Porter Anderson

All three of those people are involved in an article on WriterUnboxedLooking for Truth in Time of Hype.

Porter Anderson wrote the article—Roz Morris is frequently quoted—Mark Coker is also quoted

Porter Anderson Knows Media—Roz Morris Knows Writing—Mark Coker Knows Publishing

The article is primarily for writers struggling to make their way in the rapidly shifting BookWorld (with all the hype about “Branding”, “Platform”, Traditional vs Self-Publishing, “Promotion”, failing bookstores, etc., etc., etc.).

Here come the excerpts (but, if you’re a writer, you really need to read the full article…):

‘There’s Never Been a Better Time To Be A Writer’

Roz Morris’ comments on that quote:

“I’ve seen this mantra frequently over the past few years in blog posts, conference reports and news items. And I don’t disagree there’s been a lot to celebrate.”

“But from what I see right now, this time is also tougher for authors than ever.”

“Indie authors feel it in their book sales. Hands up, who is in a forum where the chief discussion is “what can I do about my dwindling sales?” “Anybody else had a dismal month?” “Should I drop my book’s price, put it on Kindle Unlimited, write something more popular, send out more emails, spend $$$ on a marketing course?”

“The traditionally published authors I know are faring little better, with shrinking advances, ill-supported launches – even the authors who have awards to prove their worth.”

A quote from Mark Coker:

“The market for ebooks has pretty much gone flat. And so we have a problem here…. There’s a glut of high-quality, low-cost books, more books than readers will ever possibly be able to read.”

Then, Porter Anderson comments on Mark’s quote with:

“That’s something, coming from a man who says his company is:

‘Publishing 360,000 books working with over a hundred thousand authors in small independent presses around the world.'”

A bit later Porter says:

“Publishing a book was never a contest. Presenting one path or another as a cause or a movement has never panned out as anything but…hype. The real goal, by whatever means you pursue it, is to get your work in front of the right audience and, we must hope, find some decent remuneration for all you’ve gone through to do that.”

And, if you do read the full article, you’ll know how important this comment from Porter is:

“You’re no traitor to the ideal of a publishing success if you speak candidly about the struggle. We all need to hear this much more than we need to see great phalanxes of grinning indies, sunglasses flashing as they pull down those “good livings” off their books.”

Then, Porter says this (which generated one Official Slew of Comments…):

“How frequently do you think authors feel they can share their experiences honestly? Do you feel the pressure to make it seem you’re doing better than you are? If you tend to sugarcoat your own experience for others, do you find that it’s helping your sales? —or your outlook?”

And, since I’ve been covering Reading, Writing, and Publishing on this blog for over 5 years, if you want more info on any aspect of those excerpts (or, what you might read in the full article), do put a few keywords in the search bar in the upper right or check out the Top Tags widget further down in the left side-bar—you more than likely will find more information :-)
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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…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
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* Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com