Tuesday 31 August 2010

Emoticons, Book Packaging, ebooks .. what was the future, is now the past?

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 ..

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


The Exception said...

Your blog would be a great history book - not the dry history that we learn in school but the fun little facts that add spice and flavor to the day!
it is interesting to see how everything is going digital. I ahve yet to figur eout how this impacts the blind... ATm machines are not possible nor is anything like the internet on a smart phone. The move toward audio is great - but the more we make things digital and the more we make them small - the more difficult it is for those who can't see or depend on reading software...
I love books and bookstores - and yet I am beginning to wonder if gazing at titles and picking up volumes and the pure smell of the pages is a thing of the past.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi TE .. thanks .. you're a star - one day I shall do something & that day is getting closer!

Everything is just changing .. we turn round and life has changed.

Interesting your comment about the blind .. I too wonder .. have you a particular interest in the blind - perhaps a family member?

There are computer programmes set up for the blind, as well as adapted keyboards .. ie for hard of sight ... the little dots as central points on the letters "j" and "f" ...

Technology is improving so much for the people who want to get round their impediments .. so many brave people ..

For the blind - I guess the audio books and podcasts would be the thing .. but I certainly don't remember as much as I should unless I write (take notes) it down .. as the extra aid.

I agree there's nothing like a book shop - with far too many tomes of wonderment to pick and choose from - easier to see and select in a shop .. unless a book is recommended - which is what Seth is saying .. we recommend to each other to buy via the net & we do.

Great to see you here .. and thanks so much for the kind comment .. who knows what the future holds for us ..

Have a good week .. Hilary

Chris Edgar said...

Well, in a way, I guess we're returning to the oral tradition of prehistoric times with the new emphasis on audio. Except I guess now historians won't have to figure out what we said 1,000 years later by piecing together parchment fragments written by someone who heard our stories fourthhand. :)

Karen Lange said...

You always have such good and interesting items to share with us. Thanks so much! Thanks also for the links.
Have a wonderful week,

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I agree with The Exception..You should be writing history books. :)

I love your take on emoticons! You're right...we may be going backwards...or maybe they had it right in the first place???

Have a lovely week, Hilary!

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Absolutely great post. I couldn't take my eyes off it.

I am an IT person and in the years I have worked in Technology-oh my- the changes. I am intrigued. But I still have a manual typewriter in the attic and my first electric in a closet. OH YEAH! I don't want to use them, however. (I wanted to put a happy face here, but will refrain.) :) oops sorry couldn't help it.

Have a great week.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Chris .. thanks for coming by .. you’re right oral is certainly up there – we have the opportunity to be listening to something all the time, usually with an earphone permanently plugged in. Will the youngsters of today be able to identify sounds of nature .. or will they be completely unplugged from the natural world, which will follow them to adulthood?

Well .. they might be piecing together even smaller cross-shredded snippets of paper! .. whether as you say that information is valid or not 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th hand in its telling or just made up – we won’t know.

Thanks good to have your input – life will be ‘the same’ or similar, I expect! – Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen – just very glad you enjoy the bits of info I piece together and expect you know most of the links ... one or two perhaps not. You’re a published writer .. so you probably know all the ins and outs .. but it’s great that you’re here and commenting – thank you! Appreciate the visit – Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sharon .. thank you for the thumbs up .. I will be doing something with my brain and a book or books or some such entertaining historical perspective sometime in the not too distant future.

Glad the emoticons element rang a bell .. just thought I can’t leave them out and the ideas seemed to link through .. where are we going?! Well you wonder if the Sumerians and Egyptians had the right ideas all those years ago .. except our learning curve has been interesting since – I’m glad I’m here now and can talk about these ‘developments’!

Thanks Sharon – you too .. enjoy the week ahead .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Teresa .. thank you ! Just glad to hear it resonated .. well you certainly will have seen the changes come and go .. but you’re in the right place – even if nostalgia hangs around .. with your antiques in the house still!

Happy faces – I suppose .. I’ll have to learn .. but as Chase says – do they tell you anything .. so far I don’t use them! I struggle to text!

You too .. enjoy the rest of the half week ahead .. thanks for stopping by .. Hilary

Sibyl - alternaview said...

I agree with some of the other comments...you really could put together an AMAZING history book. Your attention to detail and the most interesting details really is so creative and impressive. I think I read in your prior post that Seth was not going the publishing route and couldn't believe it, but now I know for sure it is true. It really is amazing how things change and evolve over time. I thought those references to other bloggers you shared was great. I will definitely have to check them out. Thanks for another great read.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sibyl .. thanks so much .. I really appreciate your comment and thoughts. I love bringing out the little snippets that will amuse and interest – they always spark a light & are likely to be remembered for a while .. as talking points perhaps ...

I realised that perhaps I hadn’t done justice to Seth’s moving on post (as such) – so when others seemed to be looking at the ebook, publishing, podcast route .. I thought I reiterate it and tie it in with emoticons that I’d left out of the previous mix.

Then ‘stringing together’ the whole thing with some references to author-information bloggers seemed to make sense .. and I just thank goodness others are keeping an eye open as to what’s going on in the techie world .. so we have some semblance about ‘our (blogging) world’!

Wonderful that you’ve enjoyed it and you’ll definitely find some interesting information at the others’ sites .. enjoy their content ... Have a great week .. Hilary

Arlee Bird said...

It would be sad in my eyes to see the demise of the printed books and I don't think I'll see it in my lifetime. I plan to be keeping the books I currently own though so I'll still have those.
I have long been resistant to emoticons, e-speak, and text-speak. I find them faddish and annoying, although I am beginning to the see the subtle benefit of them. Expressly when expressing humor. I find myself sometimes taken the wrong way when I'm trying to be funny--maybe I need the subtle reminders --lol :)

Tony Eldridge said...

Great Post, Hilary! Thank you for mentioning my blog. The information you packed into this is amazing. I am adding this to my round-up on Friday. I think a lot of authors will benefit from reading it as well!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lee .. I don’t think they’re going to disappear – but what will the future generations be doing? Historians and librarians have to be around don’t they – to hang on to these things .. and if you see the British Library’s “King’s Library” (see Wiki) .. it is extraordinary .. and those books won’t be lost to posterity.

I’m glad to find a fellow resister to emoticons et al .. but I’m pleased when I can express myself in words & everyone understands .. rather than having to put :) etc numerous times!! To think I’ll need to look up the actual icon I need to use to say something is a bit like learning a foreign language .. still I expect I’ll go in that direction!

Good to see you here .. I always thought lol .. was lots of love .. obviously not! As I learnt recently! Had to check though earlier in the summer! Have a good week - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tony .. great to see you here – it’s a pleasure to add your link in – I’ve learnt lots from reading and clicking through to informative resources you highlight .. always interesting to learn because one day I’ll need these & if I pick up tips as I go – they might stay in the memory bank .. but I know where to come to – for a search.

Thank you so much for putting me in your Friday round-up .. that’s wonderful .. this isn’t my normal sort of post – but the ideas sort of flowed with everyone writing about publishing etc .. so it was fun to draft this follow-up to my previous post .. about ‘glyps Ps & Qs and murder’ .. and my first ever story .. ‘published’ over on Davina’s blog .. “A certain “Type” of Murder”.

Great to see you – have a good rest of the week and thanks for stopping by .. Hilary

Anonymous said...

Hi Hilary. Another fun, interesting, enjoyable post. : )
I enjoy stopping by your blog because I know I'm always going to learn something new. Thanks for taking the time to share all this wonderful information.
Why couldn't learning in school have been as fun as your blog posts?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susanne .. thank you! The most important thing is you enjoyed it .. and learnt something. Me too – I wish history had been this interesting in school – I was hopeless at it .. couldn’t get to grips with it – the only thing I remembered was 1066! & I didn’t live in Sussex then!

So just delighted that I’ve entertained you .. and thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment – it’s never too late to learn is my motto now – as every day I learn some extra fact or two .. enjoy the rest of the week - Hilary

Patricia said...

what a very fun post Hilary,
I will have to come back and do all the links...I think we are returning to an oral tradition, just not so in person...or maybe there are the video cameras?

Glad to hear you are more settled and sorry about you mum, and know that she still needs you

Thank you for your nice comments on my post.

Lori (JBN) said...

Hi Hilary,
This is great -- I love talking about publishing, books, completing projects, all that jazz. And your posts are always so enlightening!
I found a new favorite emoticon, too (why do love them, I have no idea...)--> *\0/*
I'm a cheerleader at my heart, though never was on a squad of sorts.

I'm not sure if this counts, but the only "official" book of mine that was published was my thesis. It was a lot of work, about 300 pages, and maybe has only been read by a dozen people. But, I don't care. I'm proud of it.
And, thinking about the process, I just wrote it chapter by chapter and it all fell together -- lots of work, but I was passionate about it.

Now, if I could only apply that experience and those principles to my next book...hmm... ;)
Thanks, Hilary!

Mason Canyon said...

An amazing post that makes one stop and think. Everything is going virtual and if books are all to become e-books what happens when there is no batteries to run the machines anymore? Guess I've watched too many sci-fi movies lately.

BTW, I agree you should be writing history books. I learn so much from your post.

Thoughts in Progress

Mandy Allen said...

Just amazing how you bring such a variety of subjects together coherently and in an way that captures the interest of the readers. As I said on Barbara's blog, a book in the making, Hilary.

Enjoy the journey.


p.s. Mum's home tomorrow!

Chase March said...

Thanks for the link love!

It's cool to see my comment sparked a brand new post from you.

I am an unpublished author (as of yet) but I so want to see my words bound into an actual book.

I actually print and bind my blog posts up each year but I do that just for me.

The printed word on paper is amazing and beautiful.

Of course, I wouldn't be prudish and not have an e-format available either. I think digital books are the future but that there will always be a few people who would rather have ink on a page as opposed to characters on a screen.

Regular books are probably gonna get a lot more expensive and several people stop buying / reading them on the path to the digital life.

I also like the potential e-books have. If I want to reference a song in my story, which is something I like to do, I could probably have a player embedded so the reader can also be a listener.

The future isn't scary. It's full of potential. But I will miss printed and bound books if they ever become extinct.

Davina said...

Hi Hilary. There was a problem when I submitted my last comment so I'm not sure if it went through. Luckily I'd copied it before I hit "publish". Going to try again.

Hi Hilary.
I agree with The Exception. Your blog is like a history book... or a trip through a museum. I use the emoticons all the time; just the basic smiles and winks though. It was only recently that I learned how to make the smiley face with sunglasses... typing the number 8 followed by a closed bracket 8)

If books are indeed phased out I will miss them.

Sorry your mom is still having trouble hearing, Hilary. Nice to hear that you are both settled, though.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Patricia .. thank you .. and it’ll be great if you can find time to come back .. there is so much change .. I don’t remember so well, without being able to take notes! Re the video – that idea is not brilliant either .. being none too photogenic – I need a make over!

Yes – settling down .. and now nearer my Ma – which makes it easier .. & I know she needs me – I’m sorting things out – so I can just sit with her .. even if she’s asleep.

That’s a pleasure visiting your blog .. and hearing the ladybird news etc .. seeing the local pictures .. Great having you here .. you’ve probably listened to Seth’s TED talk? One day I’ll catch up .. have a good day today.. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lori .. Happy Birthday – I didn’t get to Tess’ blog yesterday .. catching up & today I’m fresher! So I will do the drum roll with gungy, gooey, creamy cake over with Tess and all your mates .. and join the fun there.

But I found you a birthday present – who would have known .. *\0/* Ms Cheerleader of the hearts .. I think that would be perfect!

Writing a thesis counts as a major prize .. 300 pages .. what was the Subject?! Amazing achievement – as you say .. just doing it and being read and being part of the academic process .. I guess it forms part of the University Library archives now?

That’s what JD says .. and as we all do .. chapter by chapter, step by step .. lots of work – but passion takes over ...

If you’ve done it once .. a *\0/* can do it again .. I’m sure ... Yeah .. great thoughts from a wise old bird .. smiles and love to you for your birthday week .. Happy days .. and peaceful ones for you .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Mason .. thank you .. yes I hadn’t thought about the batteries or electricity that we need to power these things .. if the plug is pulled then what = stone age? & my cave drawing thoughts are about right?! I’m not sure I’d like to read or watch SciFi movies on the demise of our times & our inventions ..!

Thank you – really good to see you here and for the idea to write history books .. just glad we’re both learning!

Have a good rest of the week - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Mandy .. good to see you .. and thanks for this wonderful comment – just delighted to know! Yes – the book/s are there in the background, gently brewing ... and I am enjoying the journey – thank you!

That’s good to hear about your mother .. I do hope her return is happy and comfortable and you’ll both enjoy being near each other .. without the limitations of hospital. I’ll be thinking of you today .. with thoughts - Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Chase .. yes – it did .. I hadn’t thought about Emoticons, but they obviously tie in with glyphs etc .. and the other aspects. I hope you picked up that Lori has taken up a new Emoticon .. *\0/* for cheerleader .. one you could use at school too? So your spark ..set me off and now Lori!

You do so much with your journalism, radio shows, interviews of Olympic stars and DJs, music stars .. etc .. I am always amazed at the scope of your posts .. let alone the fact you’re teaching too .. inspiring for the kids to know about I’m sure - what can be achieved in a day.

Then your wonderful walks and runs through various parks ..showing us the pictures .. I loved that stair run up to the viewing platform .. great idea.

You’re right for you .. the fact you can embed video and songs into your stories using technology makes it logical for you to go that route – so many opportunities .. as you say. I don’t think we’ll be losing books soon .. but there will be so many alternative ways of reading etc ..

That’s good that you keep a hard copy to hand of your blog posts – I have a number of mine printed out, as I used to send them to my uncle .. with my ideas I may start printing them out again ..

It will be interesting to see how things develop .. have a good weekend .. and good to see you here .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Davina .. blogger is behaving strangely now-a-days .. I get lots of ‘copies’ through .. but end up with one comment and my reply on the blog – not the 5 I tend to see! Also .. some I have to go across to IE to actually post a comment to them .. just don’t understand – but it works & so I just get on with it. Your comment did come through twice .. and I’ve found that too: I think it hasn’t ‘taken’ – but the comment shows – again I have no idea why.

I remember seeing you learn the sunglasses – was it via Jannie? Or BB even! I just haven’t got in the habit of emoticons .. I guess I maybe using them a little more now – getting brave! Did you see Lori’s new one .. taken from the post?!

Thank you re the thumbs up comment .. there must be an emoticon for that?! (Just glad I’m not typing dieresis all the time!? I can spell emoticon!)

I shall miss books – but I don’t think we need to worry somehow .. the future – well now?!

Mum is fine – it is tricky though .. but Mum has another move soon – upstairs .. so more change! All the best and have a great weekend .. and your story with the nine words is coming on Sunday .. and Jannie’s last minute one tomorrow – lots to look forward to .. enjoy the days .. Hilary

Talli Roland said...

Things are changing so fast now - I love the things are opening up so much now in the publishing world. I don't like that publishers might be unsure which move to take hence moving so slowly. Why can't humans embrace change, I wonder?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Talli good to see you – as you mentioned in your recent post .. you have a better understanding of this world – as you’ve published.

Yes – “why can’t humans be more like us” .. to paraphrase .. one of my favourite singing two-somes .. Flanders and Swann ... & accept change more easily?!

Have a good weekend .. Hilary

Talli Roland said...

Hi Hilary! Me again! :)

Forgot to say thank you for the shout-out! Much appreciated!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Talli .. that's ok - good to see you again.

Your post deserved a link .. as it relates so well to this post & is another informative post about publishing starting out - set out clearly.

Thanks for coming back .. have a good evening .. Hilary

Southpaw said...

Nice correlation from past to present to future. Blogging is an interesting medium. I can’t wait to see where it goes next.

Anonymous said...

Hilary, being an artist, I identify strongly with emoticons. I love that they're not necessary but that they add a little visual clue, a little "support" to what's been written. They make me think of comic strips and cave drawings all at once. Emoticons have a rich heritage! :D

As for all the various media out there, my preference would be for books. There's nothing like the intimacy of holding a beautiful, perhaps weighty, artifact in your hand while you read. The tactile sense of your fingers on paper as you turn the page to whatever comes next. Fantastic!

Having said that, I do admire the other media that you've listed, if only for the different and stimulating ways that they can present new ideas, or even old ideas in a fresh and engaging way! I'm playing through a videogame at the moment that is equal parts cinematic storytelling and innovative gameplay. It's an interactive experience that I otherwise couldn't have if videogames did not exist.

It's a wonderful time to be alive. So much emotional and intellectual stimulation everywhere you look! Fabulous! :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Holly .. you're right - where next? and as you say we'll see .. I'm sure it'll be a mixture of written, sound and vision .. with artistic touches - interesting times.

Thanks for coming by - have a good weekend .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tony – you’re right to bring me up there .. I forget about the artists amongst us .. because I’m not one! However I can see exactly what you’re saying .. and cave drawings probably were the comic strips of their day?! They always add the visual clue and that’s exactly what the artists added to their humorous drawings in past centuries .. I was thinking Edward Lear, and the drawings for Alice in Wonderland, Pooh etc .. So thanks for highlighting this in the comments.

Books .. yes – we can see more with the book .. and feel the spine, the cover binding, the smell .. and if hand-painted the beautiful illustrations inside – or as you say just turn the page to read what will happen next.

You see – you’ve raised another point – I know nothing about .. video games .. and its so good to hear your description of the one you’re playing at the moment .. cinematic storytelling and innovative game play .. and interactive to boot – I’d have never thought of a video game like that!

It is wonderful to be alive - & thank you for adding these two extra dimensions to the post .. really appreciated .. – have a good weekend .. and I love your summary .. so much emotion and intellectual stimulation everywhere .. when we look, as some of us do.

Great – have a wonderful weekend .. Hilary

Sara said...


RE: Seth Godin: I don't really want books to not be printed. That would sadden me. I love the feel of a book, the texture of the paper, the look of cover and even turning pages. I'd miss this.

I also loved your take on the emoticons, which I didn't know about either...yet, I use one all the time:~)

As my favorite history teacher, I think you make a good point about history repeating itself.

I often think blogging is very much like my grandmother's social visiting in her community. She would stop at friend's home and either visit or leave her calling card.

We basically do the same. We stop by someone's site and leave our comments, like calling cards. Then people visit us and do the same. We also have a sense of community with those we visit frequently.

Very interesting post, Hilary. You taught me a lot today...thanks:~)

Have a wonderful weekend:D

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sara .. thanks for your interesting and long comment – always good to have. I don’t think we will lose our books, but two generations on .. who knows?! I too love my books .. and sitting quietly watching the bulbul!! if I could, while taking in some wonderful written information.

Thanks – I had no idea about emoticons – hence my button pushing across to Wikipedia to find something out – which surprised me!

You’re a star .. just glad my history takes are enjoyable .. the world does seem to go round and come round again ..

What you’re saying about your grandmother rings true too .. and as you say we are doing the same – the one difference is that by blogging we are recording that (if anyone keeps them?!) living history and thoughts now .. in the present time. Our calling cards could be around for a long time ..

Thanks for coming by and it’s great to see you here – we share & that’s what your blog is about: “A Sharing Connection” and I love what you do there ...

You too .. enjoy your long weekend and if this is a grin with big smiley eyes above .. then it’s here :D
Enjoy it - Hilary

Vered said...

I can't imagine a word without printed books! But of course, it is the future and it can't be stopped.

Liara Covert said...

One level of experience is that past and future are pure figments of the human imagination. To sense everything is happening now invites you to recognize what you choose to focus on at a given moment and what that offers to teach you. Love how you invite readers to reflect on the nature of how they perceive the external world and their own judgment.

Curious that history is often recorded and taught by the conquerors and other perspectives are often left out or deliberately omitted. The truth is always in the beholder, whether or not he chooses to sense and accept it is another thing. Those people who sense a connection to past lives and reincarnation hae a sense of deja-vu to places they may not yet have visited physically in this lifetime.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Vered .. how right you are .. words without being printed – strange thought. Certainly we can’t do much about the future .. what will be – will be! It’s interesting though ..

Great to see you – have a good Labour Day Weekend with the family .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Liara .. thanks so much for coming by – especially now with all your extra responsibilities .. it’s always good to have your views and take on life.

Life .. as we know it .. is happening now and we all need to take more cognizance of that .. absorbing life’s lessons .. the birds are singing and the sun is shining – nature rules. Life as we know it could be so different .. if things hadn’t happened the way they have and the way each of us adapt to our circumstances.

You’re right .. I’d thought of that .. and it makes sense as far as the conqueror goes .. and way back then .. it would have been difficult to leave records of the vanquished views – our take on life was different.

However – quite a lot of differing views did get through .. eg Galileo and many others , and/or were on the fringes of acceptance ... before over time the realisation creeping in that their ideas were right and offered value to society.

Again you’re right the truth is in this moment as we each see it .. and that connective past which many now recognise is a part of our life ..

Thanks Liara .. great to hear from you - especially at your special time .. wonderful – have fun - Hilary

Evelyn Lim said...

Very interesting post. I have been meaning to find out more about the publishing industry as it now stands. You've included a number of links which I intend to check out. Thanks!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Evelyn .. thanks – I’m sure you’ll find some interesting reads and ideas here .. all down to earth thoughts.

Your creative abilities could certainly be transposed into some wonderful ideas that could be published, or produced as products in varying formats. Good luck with the search ... and have fun - Hilary

Paul Maurice Martin said...

Whatever the format, getting published by a trade publisher, especially for general interest nonfiction but more and more in other areas as well, is all about "marketing platform."

Self publishing almost never works - unless you already have a platform - but there are more wannabee writers than ever and a huge self publishing industry featuring a lot of hype and scams has sprung up around this.

The best single source I’ve found online for accurate info on the publishing and self publishing industries are author Victoria Strauss’s sites – “Writer Beware” and her blog. She seems to be a real crusader in the area of protecting writers from all the sharks in the waters and giving reality-based info.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Paul .. thank you for this pertinent comment .. and guidance – especially as you have published your book “Original Faith”.

I looked at the blog http://accrispin.blogspot.com/ Victoria Strauss writes as AC Crispin & they’re a watchdog group .. so I’ve subscribed – thanks for the link over.

Self Publishing a book as a one off .. is probably right .. but how about starting small with an ebook, and other ideas, and then building your brand .. then you have your marketing platform – ready for the actual book.

It certainly is a minefield out there for getting the right information and the right route to take – let alone having the actual book or products ready to go.

Thanks Paul – really good to see you here .. I hope the Labour Day Weekend will be peaceful for you .. all the best Hilary

J.D. Meier said...

Very nice write up and I like the way you covered multiple perspectives.

I think a key theme showing up in book publishing is that the gap is shrinking between intrinsic value and market value. If it's overhead, it has to go.

Barbara Swafford said...

Hi Hilary,

Every time I visit your blog, I learn something new. Like the typewriter story. As I typed the word "typewriter", I made a mental note of how it uses the top row of keys. Amazing.

Personally I like the feel of books and even though I think it's wonderful how we can be "published" authors by using the ebook format, in some ways it's not the same as having a hard cover book to hold, which bears our name.

Times are changing. As much as I wouldn't want to be left behind, sometimes it's difficult to conform to where things are headed.

P.S. Thank you for the link love. I truly appreciate that.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi JD .. thank you - you make I’m sure what is a very valid point about the value – and its worth in terms of intrinsic value and market value .. cutting the overhead. Any extra costs are unnecessary and costly.

Different routes will need to be found to get books to market .. a small book shop here selling discounted books .. has just shut up shop .. it was a great little drop in shop to have a look around for something interesting.

Thanks for coming by – enjoy the week ahead .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Barbara .. Many thanks – Chase told us that .. I had never heard it before – the typewriter story – right or wrong .. who knows! But it was an American firm promoting the Qwerty style keyboard .. so possibly quite correct.

I too .. love the feel of books .. just unpacked mine .. so now I can refer to them in my searches. I must try and read an ebook .. but the short ones I’ve glanced through I scan and don’t really take in, then forget! Audio books .. those too I must try properly as such ..

Times are changing – as you say .. so fast too .... but we’re keeping in touch and I think that’s all we can do and learn from others, who are kind enough to give us tips of sites, and ideas about publishing and its routes’ ..

Thanks for the Blog Registry ... it’s a great idea and I’m delighted I’m on there .. I’ll be over to add some small amendments from the entry I made earlier in the year ..

It’s a pleasure .. you do so much for us all .. Have a great week - Hilary

BK said...

I have often found it a wonderful experience to be able to share my thoughts and reflections through blogging; it gives me a channel to communicate with the world.

Wishing for the best for your mother and thank you for dropping by Hilary. Have a great day!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi BK .. it is a wonderful experience this blogging life – and I’m so pleased you can share your views and thoughts around the world .. it’s great to be able to communicate with Singapore!

Have a good rest of the week ..and thanks for your thoughts re my mother .. Hilary

Theresa Milstein said...

I agree with the exception, you do really bring a subject to life! I look forward to your posts.

It's amazing how being able to read and communicate has changed so dramatically, especially since computers. And we still need to see where this revolution will take us.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Theresa .. thank you very much .. I’m just so pleased to hear that you learn something.

As you say – the change we’ve experienced in the last 30 years has been extraordinary since chips came along! Ah another subject I didn’t mention?! We’re at the beginning of this epoch .. how far will the revolution take us .. and what next .. we perhaps can guess some of the things .. but there will be unexpected happenings ..

Interesting .. just have to wait and see! Thanks for being here - Hilary

Davina said...

I was pretty excited to learn how to do the sunglasses emoticon, lol. I guess I don't get out enough.

JaneBeNimble shared the process with me on Barbara's "Blogging Without A Blog".

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Hilary--Have you read the "REALLY ROTTEN ...." bOOKS? We don't have them in the US, but I've bought a few when we visit family in the UK...They are full of fun facts, written so kids can enjoy them.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Davina .. thanks – yes I remember your excitement .. can you put it into your blog Shades of Crimson comment please .. & I’ll give it a go.

Sunglasses .. we needed them yesterday – today grey and damp, but looking to lighten up. Thanks for reminding me about the sunglass hieroglyphic! Enjoy today .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sharon .. thank you for that thought – I have a few ideas .. and I have seen the “Really Rotten ... books”, and looked at others .. so I’m sort of going in ‘a’ direction.

It’s a matter of getting out and about and trying ideas, which is my first port of call over the winter and consolidating the writing and blogs into some sort of format – I’m on the way .. it’s finding that uniqueness that will appeal .. I’m sure I can do kids, as well as adults, who need stimulation and can interact re the particular ‘story/idea’ ..

... it’s been the stimulation that I achieved with my mother and my uncle – the spin-off of ideas from them .. they were involved and not passive ... something so important if you’re ill, getting older and more infirm, or bedridden ... because then you can laugh and talk with them ...

Thanks so much for the great thought – lovely to hear from you - have a good weekend .. Hilary

Mark said...

As always very interesting. All is temporal, isn't it. Our concepts of books are changing it is true. Thanks for the wonderful links, I will be checking some of them out as I would like to take my 500 plus posts and pull them into some coherent type of book. Thanks!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Mark – thanks for coming by and I do hope the links help .. certainly Stephen Tremp and his Breakthrough blog .. following his process is very interesting .. as are the others for their informative ideas etc.

500+ posts that’s amazing – well done & well worth putting into book form or some form of publication .. especially in our temporal time! It will be interesting to see how you go – particularly as you’ve already podcasted some of your posts ...

Have a good week – and it’s a pleasure .. especially if the post helps .. Hilary

Evita said...

Hi Hilary

Oh I feel so out of the loop... I had no idea about Seth Goddin. Have not read a thing on that front. I know his work is awesome, but to date have only had the chance (or should I say took the chance) to read one of his books - Tribes.

The end of August and the start of September was a new and exciting time for me, as we got settled finally in our new house, so life is taking on a more "normal routine.

But I know too that I need my time to connect with nature and myself recently a little more than usual.

So back to your post, I have several book topics that I am very passionate about writing, but I am not pushing anything. I know I will know, when the time, if ever, is right.

As for the whole keyboard thing and the English language... it is interesting isn't it as to how it is all evolving.

Ideally, I think we will communicate more telepathically in the future, but for now, I guess technology is calling the shots.

I think the emoticons are cute, but I am not one to know what they mean, or to use them, except for the smiley face and wink. I think we needed to integrate them into our typing world, as during writing we cannot express emotions the same as when talking directly, so many messages got misunderstood, unless someone added a symbol of emotion to them.

Hope your September is unfolding beautifully! And also wanted to let you know that I have posted Simon's video answers to the reader's questions, some of them which were yours, if you would like to hear his replies.

Wishing you a great week!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Evita .. I think we all get out of the loop .. I must jump back on to the blog loop shortly! I haven’t read any of Seth’s books .. though I have the Purple Cow somewhere – now packed, not unpacked!!

I know – you’ve had the most amazing time .. seeing your dream come true .. and getting settled into nature and being able to be with mother earth. Just enjoy your new way of life – which I know that you will do .. and your time will come to write your book or books and the how will be there too ...

Re our communication – yes I’m sure we will have the telepathic cross over at some stage in our evolution .. but as you say technology is calling the shots for now.

I’m poor at using emoticons .. another key stroke or two & my brain has gone on in its word format .. so I’d have to go back to insert! I hope I get my emotion over in my words .. but we’ve got some amazing communicators and writers around us ..

I did see the post re Simon – so thank you .. just hadn’t got to read it .. as I needed time & there’s been a few things going on – so it’s tantalising me .. waiting for some space – probably later in the week ..

You too .. have fun in your new home .. see you soon .. Hilary

Anonymous said...

Wow! I got mentioned in your blog. I'm honored. I know most of these other bloggers, and will check out the couple new ones to me.

And I see this is dated two weeks ago? Has it been that long since I was here? Well, I was offline for about a week, but still, I'll make it a point to stop by more often. Have a great week!

Stephen Tremp

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Stephen .. thanks .. and yes I did mention your blog because I find the information you’re giving us to read about is so helpful in the publishing route that so many wish to travel.

And you’re right – it was two weeks ago .. I’ve been slothlike .. not away like you. It’s great that you take the time to come over and comment – always grateful to see you here.

Your recent post by L Diane Wolfe is extremely interesting .. especially as she teaches a three-hour seminar on publishing .. she has to know the options! It’s just wonderful how bloggers share things .. makes such a difference ..

Have a really good week .. and good to see you - Hilary

TALON said...

I've often thought the same about the emoticons and the acronyms and the similarities of hieroglyphics. And though I don't text (I don't own a cell phone and I don't tweet or any of that) I do find I use the odd smiley face or wink-y face and then have to shake my head at myself because I sort of don't like reading emails with lines like: c u l8r. I feel like I'm back in grade one with the picture stories that you had to sound out. So, yes, we're not only going backward, we're getting childish, too!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Talon .. there does seem to be a tie in somehow – a reinvention .. and like you though I own a phone .. I’m not a great texter .. and in fact I don’t use emoticons – it’s a different thought process for me to use them! I struggle to translate c u l8r ... at least you separated it out! You ‘got it’ right .. going backwards .. and childish .. where is the future – we shall find out in a few years!!

Enjoy the rest of the week .. and thanks so much for commenting here .. Hilary

TALON said...

Hilary, I'm so sorry your mother is sleeping so much and can't hear you...but I can't help thinking she can feel you there...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Talon .. thankfully she can now hear again .. and announced a while back "I'm back" .. interesting .. and she does remember all that's happening .. it's extraordinary .. and in fact I'm so lucky because of it.

Also she wakes and knows I'm around .. so all is well .. and she certainly thanked me well and truly this week ..

So yes - extraordinarily fortunate to have this wonderful situation - at such a difficult time ..

Thanks so much for your thoughts .. Hilary