Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What does it mean to be published now?

Last week in the Fictionaut forums, a question by David Ackley (which picked up on yet another thread on the theme of "previous publication" in the age of the internet" lead to a longer thread: Fictionaut Forum / What does it mean to "be published" now? What's your definition of "publication?" Some quotes from the answers:

"They mean people are aware of you. That your work is being read, discussed, passed around..." - Darryl Price

"An editor reads it, accepts it, puts it out for the world..." - Linda Simoni-Wastila

"To me, publishing means that my piece is out there to be read in a format where I am incapable of personally making changes to it." - Magda Sullivan

"Getting a story published anywhere out there is still one of the great thrills of a lifetime, for sure" - Barry Friesen

"The thread also includes notes on the changing state of the literary world, or rather: the way the technical development changes a lot of things, including publishing. - "I am very excited about what electronic technology offers writers and readers. I am concerned that there is little quality control. In the end, having so much out there makes it more difficult to actually get your stuff read." - Linda Simoni-Wastila

"With anybody being able to put up their novel for sale on Amazon Books in five minutes flat, and anybody being able to put stuff on their own blog at will, publishing's become fully democratized. Ha. ... There's so much wonderful writing that the public never gets to see, because there's no model yet, during this long transition, to attract eyeballs to specific work." - Barry Friesen

The thread now also is moving on in blogs, like in the blog of author Marcus Speh, who notes: "While I’m affected (and saddened) by some of the experiences shared here, I don’t agree with the negative views on the demise (?) of either publishing or bookshops. .. The replacement of one paradigm by another, of one world by another, never is a pleasant process. It isn’t pleasant for people on either side: those who are left behind feel left out and dismissed; and those who build the new world share all the discomforts, uncertainties and fears of the pioneer."

Again, the theme lead to a thread which is online here: What does it mean to be published now? Some quotes from there:

"On “publication”, I’m bemused by the panic about the “changes” — it’s clear that e-publishing is going to be a giant part of the future reading experience, but is this really so different to our past? It used to be that stories were told around a fire — maybe even before fire — and this continues. .. Any old arse can write a book and publish to The Whole World! But in truth it’s no different to the man with a tale who takes it to the pub and wets a few palates before beginning because on the internet like any other stage or place or piece of paper, it’s all about storytelling, and all about the people who hear or watch us – and people haven’t changed." - Martha Williams

"One of the things I would LOVE to see being slapped into the garbage can is this idea of “vanity” publishing. Technology has given us all the tools to put out, truly INDEPENDENTLY, a brilliantly made (and hopefully written) project, if one is willing to work hard." - Lx


Writing & Reviewing
It seems to be a time of taking a fresh look at things, and of pondering - parallel to this theme, the review debate is also ongoing - and probably is also induced be the change of parameters - not only is the process of writing democratized, but also the process of reviewing. More on that theme, here: The Art of the Book Review + the Book Reviews Rage

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