Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Technology, your book, and success

By Dennis Mellersh

Technology, such as the Internet and self-publishing tools, can be a tremendous asset in helping you with learning how to write a book and about publishing your book.

However, this benefit also has a downside in that it can create unrealistic expectations on the part of some new writers.

The perception seems to be (a) that because of the ease of use of these new technological tools, virtually anyone can now write and publish a book, and that (b) this was not possible before the boom in online information technology.

Of course, this is not the case.

All that has ever been required to write a book is writing instruments, such as pencils and pens, and a writing surface such as paper.

All that has ever been needed to have a book “published” is having sufficient money to pay a printer to print and bind the book.

But being able to write a book using either traditional or contemporary technology only means that a book can be written. Not necessarily a good book, or an excellent book, just a book.

Similarly, being able to easily self-publish only means that the book can be produced. It does not mean the book is being published in the true sense of that word, as it would be when a publisher pays a writer for the rights to publish (editorially improve, print, market, and distribute) the writer’s written work.

Although technology is giving more and more people the ability to write something, self-publish it, and distribute it, such technological capability does not come with either the built-in skill to write well, or the built-in savvy to successfully gain a paid readership for the writing, such as with a book.

New writers still have to learn the craft of writing, whether it be fiction, non-fiction, or poetry, if their writing, and their books, are to be well received by an informed reading audience.

The ‘win’ today is that because of technology such as the Internet, more and more people are becoming readers and interested in books. And more and more people are: learning how to write well; writing books; and are successfully reaching this expanded audience through self-publishing.

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