Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 4: Sat, Session 3

Keynote: How to Be an Author in a World Where Everyone is a Writer by Richard Nash.

Nash gave us a brief history of the publishing industry, starting with before Gutenberg and ending with today. After the printing press was invented, people began to write for self expression, rather than as a task. But writing was still limited to a few. After Pagemaker was created, anyone could write. As Nash said, "Far more people can now tell their story. The supply problem has been solve. We have not solved the demand side of the equation. How do we find the readers for the supply of writing?" There's been a 40 fold increase in the supply of books just in the last 20 years.

Then Nash talked about our "curve as a writer." One person may be willing to pay $10 to engage with you; another $5.00; another only $ .99.

I didn't quite follow his answer to "So how am I to be an author who is read?" related to this "curve." But he continued, "By reading in a world where everyone is an author. Participate in your culture. Engage in the society you want to speak back to." Read books, blogs, etc.

My takeaway on this was that we need to be engaged where our readers are, whether it is online or in person. We now have the tools to write, but only those who are engaged are going to successful in this world where there is more supply of writers than demand.

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