A Futuristic View of the Publishing Life
Blogger: Mary Keeley
My daughter made up a crazy, mixed-up story for her two young children. My granddaughter laughed with delight at the silliness of a school bus taking her to her brother’s school and the messed up order of the rest of her day. My grandson stopped his mom early into the story with a pained expression and urged, “MOM! Stop! I don’t like things to be out of order.” Which reaction best describes your comfort level with new and different?
Take, for example, new technologies. The long lines that begin forming the day before Apple stores open their doors to release a new product attest that some people embrace these changes easily. I confess that isn’t me. Initially, I experience angst about making this sort of change, imagining all that could go wrong in transferring data, losing files, and then having to learn how to use the new device. But I’m working to improve my comfort level because many of these tools soon become necessities for functioning in business.
Not too many years ago authors needed only to email an overview or synopsis to their publisher for consideration of a new contract. Unpublished authors could count on a publisher’s editorial department to do the heavy polishing and proofreading and the marketing and promotions departments to do the majority of that work. How times have changed. But authors have adjusted. Looking back, I see how I’ve grown in resiliency. I’m sure you can see where you have grown too.
I recently read an article in the ABA Journal about Google’s newest techy device, Google Glass. Essentially, it is a computer in a pair of glasses. The point of the article is that our laws cannot keep up with technology. Several real occurrences were offered to illustrate the point, and issues of possible privacy violations were introduced. It made me think ahead to potential ramifications for writers and professionals in the industry.
These wearable computers will contain all your files and documents. No need to heft laptop bags or tablets. I like that idea. But as with anything new, some amount of risk is involved. I am no techy, but I can imagine the need to find new ways to protect electronic manuscript documents, contracts, and correspondence. For example, a techy friend suggested these devices might soon have the capability to scan a person’s face and obtain personal information.
Most publishing contracts contain clauses requiring authors to allow the publisher to use the author’s image in their promotional materials. Agents will have to be diligent to ensure contract language provides full protection for our clients and their intellectual property, especially until laws catch up with technology. Whether you traditionally publish or self-publish, having an agent is more important than ever.
These are exciting times for authors. Resiliency and an occasional, imaginative glance to the future help all of us to embrace and navigate change.
Are you an embracer of change or a reluctant adjuster? How easily do you think you can learn to embrace change to stay current with publishing opportunities? Are you aware of other new technologies that might affect writers or publishing in general?
A futuristic view of the publishing life. Having an agent is more important than ever. Click to Tweet.
Resiliency helps authors navigate constantly changing technology. Click to Tweet.