Today henandinkblots welcomes guest blogger Mercy Pilkington, a young adult author and a staff writer for GoodEReader covering ebooks and publishing. In real life, she’s an English and science teacher at a juvenile correctional facility.
There hasn’t been a better time to be an author since Gutenberg figured out how to make duplicate copies of a single page without requiring clerks and scribes to hunch over desks with feather quills clenched in their arthritic fists. But just like in Gutenberg’s day, the one thing that is making the work of being an author more rewarding than ever before is technology.
When e-reading devices first became the literary It Girl back in 2006, critics called them a flash in the pan while supporters argued that it was finally going to be the end of paper. Everywhere, people either hailed or despaired of the death of the publishing industry as we know it.
As the dust has settled a little on digital reading, we are finally able to clearly see that digital and print are probably going to survive hand-in-hand. There are great reasons for both, as well as established reading audiences for both. But now, there are also writers for both formats, authors who have the know-how and desire to self-publish their works electronically, as well as authors who support the digital editions that come along as a way to reach out to a broader audience through their traditional publishers.
Something we can always count on wherever technology is involved is change: bigger and better equipment, flashier formats, new concepts to enhance our lives. And reading is no different. Enhanced ebooks incorporate unlimited full-color graphics and videos into a book, audio embedding means an author can weave a soundtrack into the book as it is read, even juvenile content now offers interactive features that teach reading and vocabulary while narrating a story.
And the technology hasn’t just taken over the books, but the work of being an author as well. Social media gives writers a share some of the work of building a fan base and promoting titles. Blog tours translate into greater access for developing an online presence. Even now, book signings don’t have to mean setting up a card table in a bookshop and waiting for fans to buy print editions of your works; now, a four-way recorded video chat allows fans to “meet” their favorite authors and ask questions while buying highly personalized digital copies and having them streamed instantly to their e-readers.
These changes have given authors so much more to do in terms of choice and control throughout their careers. The real benefit to the wealth of change taking place in the industry as a whole means the technology of books has made this era in publishing the best time to be a reader as well.
Check-out Mercy’s blog at LorcaDamon.com.
If you are interested in being a guest blogger on Henandinkblots, please contact info [a t] henandink.com
About Erzsi Deak
Erzsi Deak is the founder of Hen&ink Literary Studio, a writer, and an editor. With nearly 30 years of experience on the international stage, she is most happy connecting individuals around the globe who can make things happen – no matter where you find yourself or what hat you are wearing. She is an editorial agent, pushing her authors and illustrators to go the extra kilometer to achieve sometimes surprising insights and results. A two-time SCBWI Member of the Year awardee, she speaks on craft, “the market,” and current industry topics. She is pleased to announce that the new MAB Media will publish PERIOD PIECES: STORIES FOR GIRLS as one of its launch books in 2015. Her first picture book, PUMPKIN TIME! (Sourcebooks, 2014, illustrated by Doug Cushman) has just been picked up by the Scholastic Book Clubs. Thanks to technology, she can work from France and be in New York and London at the same time.