Seth Godin announces he’s moving on .. he’s not going to publish another book in the traditional way – can that be right? Did you know he was a book packager in the mid 80s? When someone who has been at the forefront of spreading ideas – punching holes in the proverbial boundaries .. making those safe havens seem like leaking sieves .. people will no doubt sit up and take some notice .. will they change, will they be hanging onto his shirt-tails .. or will we, as humans tend to, wait and see .. and then react?
Seth’s blog post sets out his thoughts and recently on various blogs I visit there have been some thought provoking posts about the industry – how it works, the process that an author is trying, which is the best method for publishing be it an an ebook, or book .. etc etc
Theatrical release poster – Julie & Julia .. one persistent blogger (Julie Powell), now respected author, food journalist .. with a film under her belt ...
To tie this in with my last post on the ‘Qwerty’ keyboard and the changes we are making in our written words today – the introduction of texting and the globalisation of the typeface infrastructure – all of which are evolving in front of our eyes .. where will it go?
Audio is now coming to the fore – podcasts, audio books .. etc – whereas millennia ago, humans depicted their world in caves .. so we know today what their animals looked like, before evolution took hold, or before cross-breeding became a serious agricultural business from Medieval times onwards.
Example of an audio studio for professional readers
The written word has already changed enormously – originally being written as the oxen worked the field .. so you would read right to left, then the next line would be left to right; there would be no punctuation and each word just flowed into the next as scriptura continua. Think how it has all evolved ... clay tablets, papyrus scrolls, skins .. until Gutenberg invented the printing press 500 years ago.
Then the books varied in size .. huge tomes, or tiny delicate folios with brilliantly illuminated manuscripts for the royal ladies, or the Church and noble ranks ... until some form of standardisation set in. Thank goodness for books and written records ... those men and women of far off times certainly remind us of our history.
How would life be .. if our brains could not envision drawing? Or the brain wasn’t clever enough to remember and write things down .. those erudite men of ancient times did not wait for tomorrow they recorded every day – true diarists, journal writers ...
Woman holding a book (or wax tablets) in the form of the codex. Wall painting from Pompeii, before 79 AD.
We know about Ps and Qs, diacritical marks (though my description would be those ‘funny’ marks .. some I might know individually .. grave, accent, umlaut – but as a collective noun ‘diacritical’ is a new word for me), now as Chase March, a primary school teacher in Canada, mentions we have ‘emoticons’.
Off I went to look – because this is an area I ‘know about’ so vaguely .. that I do not use them or know how to and don’t know what they mean – so I had to look up “:)" smile sweetly!
Chase also mentioned something I hadn’t realised (it’s been a long time .. since I typed ‘the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog” .. which is a pangram, if you didn’t know – again I didn’t .. it is a phrase that contains all the letters of the alphabet), which is, and elaborated a little more on the post:
Of course, I heard it (the keyboard) was laid out this way at first so that the word "typewriter" could be spelled out quickly using only the top row of letters. This way, salesman could demonstrate the product, impress buyers, and drum up business.
I don't think we need emoticon keys either.
What does this really say? :)
I'm happy. I'm smiling. It seems pointless most of the time.
Appropriately summed up, I think. However going back to early times .. hieroglyphics were the first writing signs used – so what is so different with today’s emoticons? We seem to be going backwards?
MentalFloss.com - Google image by Alex Williams
Emoticon, that portmanteau of a word ... emotion (or emote) and icon, can be traced back to the nineteenth century being commonly used in casual and/or humorous writing; while the recent digital forms on the internet were suggested for more regular use in a message in 1982, quickly taken up by ARPANET users.
Surprisingly in 1857, the National Telegraphic Review and Operators Guide documented the use of the number 73 in Morse Code to express “love and kisses” .... sadly later reduced to the more formal “best regards” – someone wasn’t LOLling in those days?!
These historical delvings are rather fascinating .. and are we creating a new ‘written’ language for the future based on glyphs? Going back to today .. and the signs of the times (or the needs of the times may be more appropriate) is the book publishing world changing dramatically for ever .. will we lose books? How will be we publish in the future?
Patented drop down menu for composing phone mail text message with emoticons. US patent 6987991
Jannie was surprised to hear that Seth Godin was ‘moving on’ .. per his blog post about the book distributorship and the ramifications of our times, and here we can see how he has always jumped through the hoops.
Barbara, Blogging without a Blog, recently asked her readers whether we would “Turn our Blog into a Book”, and if so would it be an ebook and how ... for those of us on the edge of this world – it was an interesting read, with Barbara’s commenters coming up with lots of useful information and ideas.
I love it when bloggers are so generous with their knowledge .. because we can learn so much from them and let our own thoughts sift through ... Talli Roland, an author now residing here in London, has written and has published travel guides, she also gave us a beginners’ guide as to how her own publishing experience worked, and why her guides were unavailable in her home country of Canada.
Eslite Bookstore in Taiwan
Stephen Tremp of Breakthrough Blogs – sums up his blog .. “Take one blog, add murder, mayhem and a wormhole, and you’ve got BREAKTHROUGH. Welcome to chaos” .. brilliant elevator pitch - however, more importantly, his methodical approach to the publishing world, letting us follow the process with him has been hugely informative – and perhaps helping us avoid those dreaded pitfalls along the way, when our time comes.
BREAKTHROUGH: The Adventures of Chase Manhatten
He’s written a number of posts on publishing .. and is still investigating – his most recent post is a Marketing Survey on Readers, which as he says will help him when he begins promoting his books ...
This post (put out 4 July 2010) about self-publishing in 2009, starts us off on his new quest to iron out the limitations he’d come up against, from then on Stephen introduces us to different routes .. giving us guidelines on possible Dos and Don’ts – a really interesting series, which he’s still following, as am I.
JD Meier of Sources of Insight, when he wrote his first Blue Book for Microsoft .. saw it as "where there's a will there's a way" and has many practical examples for us to follow - an excellent resource for us 'To Do Something Great' - day 27 of his 30 days to get results series.
Tony Eldridge of Marketing Tips for Authors also has some excellent ideas, giving us a weekly round- up, summarising a few of the marketing ideas he thought were useful and which we might find interesting.
Then there are plenty of you who have written books .. and know the process ... or knew it then? I daren’t start listing ... self-development, spiritual, cookery, fiction, romance .. we all have a dream inside us ... one with words, with pictures, with video ... will our books be on walls (instead of caves) in the future? An untapped blank canvas? Banksy might have something to say about that ...
The cover of Banksy's 2005 compilation: Wall and Piece. (Banksy is the pseudonym of a prolific British graffiti artist, political campaigner and painter (on walls).
Bloggers seem to have a way with words .. we are also writing a story, or the story is writing the blog .. the picture tells the story ... the video gives the added visual punch .. we’re all treading those boundary lines .. guiding our creative passion to run free – wait no more .. decide your route and let us watch as you fulfil your dream – publish and be damned .. whatever way .. be a part of history, leave a legacy .. there are no blank canvases amongst us bloggers and story tellers ....
Enjoy the process ... happy days! Please don’t tell anyone .. I said go and paint walls with pretty pictures, emoticons, or a book .... actually - perhaps a good idea for The Turbine Room at the Tate Modern?! - shown right
Dear Mr Postman .. my mother mostly sleeps on .. but frustratingly cannot hear - & I suspect that probably is going to be the future .. which is very sad and difficult, as she cannot read either. Still I’m a little more settled now and I must give her more time ..
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories