Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Serious Thinking About a Digital World

Stay with me.  By the end of the process, I promise we'll be somewhere.  But I live like I write a novel so there are a lot of elements that seem unconnected now that you'll be able to resolve later.

There's a writer I've come across in forums and...elsewhere.  I think may even be a professor.  Really well educated smart and all that.  And writes novels like that.  Which don't appeal to me at all so I have no idea if they're lovely or drecky.  So a year ago this person had no regard for digital.  Again the sort of Ivory Tower Elite and the nameless rabble paradigm.  (Imagine a prole knowing that word!)  Then this person's publisher dropped them.  Then this person's agent dropped them.  Now suddenly digital is The Brave New World.  This writer can add content the publisher refused to add.  Freedom  is some fine awesome sauce, huh?

When the world changes for people like that, these are not cosmetic changes.  They're sea changes.  Did you know that phrase comes from Shakespeare? 

From Shakespeare's The Tempest, 1610:
ARIEL [sings]:
Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell
Again, big mistake letting the rabble near the printing press output.

We had another week with traditional publishers saying digital is no big deal, one said ebooks aren't exciting, another said the sales were plateauing.  It's all wishcasting.  By the end of the decade, the paper book as we consumed them at the start of the century will be a rarity.  Sure there will still be books--the coffee table books and what-not.

Here's something cool you might not have known about Gloria Stuart, the actress.  (Yes, I tweaked the photo)

"Five years after husband's death, Stuart became reacquainted with California printer Ward Ritchie (Ward Ritchie Press), whom she had known during her college years. Both widowed, they fell in love. She was fascinated by his antique hand press and asked him to teach her how to run it. She bought her own hand press and established "Imprenta Glorias", and began creating artists' books (books hand-made, labor intensive, usually with a very limited run). Stuart wrote the text, designed the book, set the type, printed the pages, and finished pages with water colors or silk screen or decoupage. Books from Imprenta Glorias are in the Metropolitan Museum, Library of Congress, Huntington Library, J. Paul Getty Museum, Morgan Library, Victoria and Albert Museum, Bibliothèque nationale de France, and numerous private and university collections."  (From Wikipedia)

People can have all the books they want to make.  But when people go to read or be entertained, it'll be digital.
Ya want to smell paper?  Make your own paper.  It's easy enough.

So Yippee we're free.  I started this blog 2 years ago with a Jack Bruce vid of I'm Free.  Now what.  The reality is we have to start being serious.  The rest of us, those who didn't hit the Kindle lottery.  We have a dragon to ride.

And I have Fed Ex showing up momentarily with my griottines.  Your what?  Diminutive French black cherries floating in a sea of kirsch.  Yum yum triple yum.  But you think this is unrelated to the discussion.  It is exactly a part of where we're going.  It's for my Valentine's cookbook. 

Just spit it out!  Gah!  You're keeping us on the edge of our seats.  I'm sorry.  I'm still figuring it out.  Like a novel, I know the end point (I think) I'm just not sure of how I'm going to wind up there.  Soon.

1 comment:

Suzanne Korb said...

Thankfully there's smellofbooks.com