And So We See The Future

March 2nd, 2005 · 4 Comments
by Booksquare

Richard Curtis concludes (we believe) his series on Publishing in the 21st Century with a look at how computers have transformed the industry. Yes, children, it’s not just the fact that editors and agents are accepting submissions via email (and we do so appreciate those who do — though we may be less appreciative of those who reject via email). Curtis spends a lot of time focusing on blogs as the writers’ platform, and suggests that a good blog is an increasingly critical component of the publication process. He goes so far as to say:

When traditional publishers talk about author platforms, they often refer to circumstances that have little to do with whether or not the author is a good writer – indeed, with whether he or she is a writer at all. Does he own a chain of fitness salons? Does she have a hit television series? The appeal of blogs from a literary viewpoint, however, is that many of them feature interesting thinking, entertaining writing and other literary values intrinsic to authorship. Theoretically, at least, in a blog universe interesting writers will be better rewarded than uninteresting ones because more readers will click on their web sites. For this reason, it’s not fanciful to predict that the next generation of bestselling authors will come not from Big Publishing but rather out of the turbulent processes in the blogosphere, which, like superheated gases in distant galaxies, produce young stars.

And, yes, we totally chose this quote to capture the part about galaxies and stars. We hope, however, that this comment does not send a thousand writers into the blogging night. Read what Curtis is saying. No, read it. Think about it. Discuss. Focus a lot on the concept of platform. Consider the idea of package.

And remember, it’s about tools, not rules.

File Under: Tools and Craft

4 responses so far ↓

  • David Thayer // Mar 2, 2005 at 11:01 am

    Mr. Curtis foresees the day when we can all be platformed, branded, and be like Jose.

  • Brenda Coulter // Mar 2, 2005 at 11:08 am

    Sorry, I can’t help myself. Somebody needs to tell the guy that stars are not made from “superheated gases”. They’re formed when nebulae (clouds) of mostly hydrogen are disturbed (say by a collision with another nebula) and begin to rotate. It is only when the cloud collapses in on itself and begins to rotate faster that the gas heats up.

    Yours for truth in cosmology,
    An Astro-nerd

    P.S. Yeah, okay, I’ll go read the article now.

  • Steve Clackson // Mar 2, 2005 at 11:44 am

    While Blogs may be the new literary cafe and maybe not as squalid as Hemingway’s small apartment on rue du Cardinal Lemoine. I doubt we will find many Ezra Pounds’ or Gertrude Steins’ wafting between our tables as we finish our “colorless liquids or Cafe Crèmes.”
    I can see us now reminiscing about past blogs as if they were road trips with F. Scott sharing experiences of rooms with no sights or sounds other than the hum of our hard drive and our monitors staring back at us.

  • booksquare // Mar 2, 2005 at 10:19 pm

    Interesting comments. I admit to being uncomfortable with the idea of platform. I write fiction — exactly how much platform is required to make stuff up? On the other hand, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how writers represent themselves online, especially via their blogs. Blogs are the latest thing in a long line of things that effect catching editor or agent attention. They are different in that they reach so many so fast.

    I think there will be at least one Gertrude Stein. I hope that anyway.

    And thanks for the reality check, Astro Girl! You totally messed with my delight in overblown phrases and metaphor !