Tonight’s guest blog post is brought to you by journalist and blogger Fred Willard.
The Merits of Digital Publication in the 21st Century
Although most people possess a rough idea of what journalism entails, it actually has a very specific definition. Journalism, properly defined, should sound something like this: the preparation and dissemination of auditory (news), visual (newspapers), or audiovisual (broadcast news) public media aimed at conveying current factual information, usually in a terse and easily digestible format.
As marketers are quite familiar of, journalism can sometimes entail messaging a general audience or it may involve trying to reach a specific demographic. For instance, the New York Times or Washington Post has a very different target audience than Fox News. The biases follow accordingly. Nonetheless, the internet is really changing the face of news. From downloading articles to smartphones or reading “the paper” from Huffington Post, tomorrow’s news definitely contains a digital dimension.
Although the internet brings increased visibility and perhaps readership to journalists’ stories, it also brings on novel problems and merits. For instance, CNN correspondent and Sunday show anchor, Fareek Zakaria, recently received an unwelcome blotch on his resume when he was accused of failing to attribute his source. See, today’s access to information makes people feel as though they can copy and paste snippets of other’s articles; in fact, this is still called plagiarism. Nonetheless, in today’s digital cyberspace, there is an increased opportunity to become discovered for good work or work that sparks the public imagination.
Amazon’s New Employees
Sites like Amazon are increasingly hopping into the self-publishing game. Young and talented authors from around the globe are submitting their books through Amazon in hopes of becoming the next E.L. James and Fifty Shades of Grey hotshot. You see, E.L. James published an erotic novel in 2011 that caught on. And it caught on in a big way. The book sold millions of copies and put previously unknown E.L. James on the popular culture map through frenzied word of mouth.
Amazon and You
Other authors are emulating the formula that made Ms. James an overnight sensation. Here’s how the game works: Amazon takes a commission for offering budding writers the flexibility and easy publication of its online services and purveyance. Using a somewhat mysterious algorithm, Amazon then lists your book based on views and popularity. Additionally, your book can skyrocket through work of mouth or sales; the latter is really the actualized version of adequate word of mouth.
Self-Publication for the Win!
The real beauty of Amazon, though, is two-fold. In addition to being assured quick and reliable publication, much of the time and effort that previously went into marketing the finished novel or non-fiction piece can go into more writing! In many ways, the basic mechanics of Amazon’s review system work like eBay’s do it yourself review infrastructure. Customers qualitatively say what they enjoyed about the book. Quantitively, Amazon customers report satisfaction with the book on a five star basis. The next E.L. James is waiting to be hatched!
Thank you, Fred.
Fred Willard writes about his career in journalism, blogging, marketing & public relations at www.howdoibecomea.net.
If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me with an outline of what you would like to write about. If it’s writing-related then it’s highly likely I’d email back and say “yes please”.
The blog interviews return as normal tomorrow morning with historical and crime fiction author Colin Falconer – the six hundred and twenty-third of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.
If you are reading this and you write, in whatever genre, and are thinking “ooh, I’d like to do this” then you can… just email me and I’ll send you the information. They do now (January 2013) carry a fee (£10 / €12.50 / $15) for the new interviews on this blog but everything else (see Opportunities on this blog) is free.
If you go for the interview, it’s very simple; I send you a questionnaire (I have them for novelists, short story authors, children’s authors, non-fiction authors, and poets). You complete the questions, and I let you know when it’s going to go live. Before it does so, I add in comments as if we’re chatting, and then they get posted. When that’s done, I email you with the link so you can share it with your corner of the literary world. And if you have a writing-related blog / podcast and would like to interview me… let me know.
Alternatively, if you’d like a free Q&A-only interview, I now have http://morgensauthorinterviews.wordpress.com on which I’ve rerun the original interviews posted here then posted new interviews which I then reblog here. These interviews are Q&A only, so I don’t add in my comments but they do get exposure on both sites.
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As I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do. I welcome critique for the four new writing groups listed below and / or flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays. For other opportunities see (see Opportunities on this blog).
The full details of the new online writing groups, and their associated Facebook groups, are:
- Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group (http://novelwritinggroup.wordpress.com / http://www.facebook.com/groups/508696639153189)
- Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group (http://poetrywritinggroup.wordpress.com / http://www.facebook.com/groups/388850977875934)
- Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group (http://scriptwritinggroup.wordpress.com / http://www.facebook.com/groups/319941328108017)
- Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group (http://shortstorywritinggroup.wordpress.com / http://www.facebook.com/groups/544072635605445)
We look forward to reading your comments.