New Year’s Resolutions
I was at a friend’s house last night, talking to someone who makes phone apps for a living. He was a very enthusiastic guy and we ended up ruminating on the future of print media. Of course I’ve already waxed lyrical about the Kindle (here, here, here and here) and we all know how smart phones and social media have changed the way we interact with the world. Up until now I’ve taken a backseat approach to self-publishing. Ever since I won a competition when I was 16 and got a tour of the Harpercollins offices in London, I have aspired to get that literary agent, the book deal and the stack of paperbacks (never hardbacks in my dreams, funnily enough) wrapped in brown paper and string (yup I definitely made that last bit up. Too enamoured by the old Yellow Pages advert methinks).
Before the internet self-publishing, or vanity publishing as it is often called, was exactly that: publishing something at a loss, simply for your own pride. But these days electronic publishing has low overheads. Although not as easily accessible as visual/ aural sensations like Youtube and Justin Bieber, it certainly has potential (assuming the Richard and Judy book club will start reading on their iPads). In Japan I remember hearing about mobile phone novels that were really popular, some being turned in TV series.
So writing is no longer about writing. I’ve known that for some time. It’s about networking, getting your name out there, reaching your audience, getting exposure. Thus, I’ve decided a resolution for 2012. Not just the age old adage of write more, that goes without saying. But also get myself out there more. Embrace technology, whore myself out to social media sites. I have a few lovely stories that I am really proud of which despite my best efforts, have not been picked up by any publication over the years. So I give them to you, dear reader, for your patience and to pique your interest.
The first, GENTLE reader, was written during university around the time we were studying 19th Century female authors. I performed it at Word Dogs, a spoken word event run by the GSFWC back in the 13th Note in Glasgow. If you like it, or even if you dislike it, let me know. And if you really like it and want to leave me a Christmas present, you have my blessing to do so!