Books are changing…and it’s okay!

March 6, 2011 § 2 Comments

In 1980 about 66,000 patents were granted.  In 2010, 244,000 inventions got the go ahead.  Check out the stats on : http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/ido/oeip/taf/us_stat.htm

Nice to see that American are busy entrepreneurs, isn’t it?  We novel writers are particularly challenged because we all write books, whether they’re print or e-pubbed, long or short, sweet or raw…we write books.  What’s to invent?  Some of us are adding pictures and videos to our on-line books, so readers enjoy action scenes along with written words.  And it won’t be long before the reader has more say in an interactive kind of novel.  What I’m talking about is a collaborative effort…the author providing a story, with you, the reader/watcher manipulating some of the vital elements of the novel in an effort to make the experience deeper and richer.  Some will mourn this advance, much like they worried about e-books.  They’ll say the writer is the owner of the story…the characters and events should stand as they are.  I say, bring on all the new approaches.  Want to know why?  Evidence shows us that technology might bring more readers to the fold.  An example: teenagers are reading more because they like their new e-readers.  Check it out on: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/05/books/05ebooks.html

My point is simple.  Reading is a thinking, creative activity…we all want people to read a lot and widely…and technology can help rather than hinder this goal.  As an author, I’m an entrepreneur, writing stories crafted for hungry readers.  It’s a team effort.  Without readers, I am a hobbyist, not an author.  My job is to find unique ways to reach my readers, engage them, lead them through my book’s journey, then entice them back for yet another ‘read.’

A new invention to help pull in readers?  I say, bring it on!

 

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§ 2 Responses to Books are changing…and it’s okay!

  • Jamie Ross says:

    Well, hold on there, Rolynn! The concept that the writer owns the content of her own work is ancient. One of the outcomes of that concept is that, if you and I read Moby Dick, we can discuss what it means to us from common ground. If we read mobydick.com and I change the outcome to suit me, you and I can never share that experience. If people want to write their own version, they can self publish. This is easier now than ever before (though still not “easy” as I’m sure you can attest). Just my thoughts and my truth. I hope that others weigh in on this topic.

    • Excellent points, Jamie! My bottom line…to increase readership: to pull folks off the TV, computer games and text-messaging. I want them to read lots of well-written stories, both fiction and non-fiction. I’m saying we authors might have to choose more clever ways to intrigue readers with the written word. I’ve discovered that my stories are not static entities. As I revise, I manipulate characters, plot elements, setting…you name it. Why shouldn’t I offer a novel with three different endings? You get to pick the one that satisfies you. The point is, once my book gets published, it’s yours to do with what you please…to interpret it from your unique view. It’s not mine anymore.

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