I recently read an article about Jacqueline Wilson (link) and amongst the views attributed to her was that she believed that “Electronic life has wiped out books.” This seems like a strong statement but what is the truth behind it? According to the Washington Post (link) there has been over a 16% decline in adults who read at least one literary work per year from 1982 to 2015 from just under 57% to 43.1%. I find that quite shocking as the percentage in 1982 already seems low.
Apparently there are more things to amuse us nowadays. With our smartphones we can surf the web or read our emails, play games or watch more television programs. I am a fan of television series and do watch a number of films and programs a week but one important thing I find with the cinematic art form is that while it may exercise your brain with issues brought to the fore, it doesn’t drive your imagination.
Surely imagination is the well spring for creativity. Without imagination our whole society would struggle to function. How would we develop, how would we grow without that capacity to think what would be and then working out how to get there? And surely books are the playground for that creativity.
I’m not saying that books are the only playground for any of the creative arts will do that. Sculpture, basket weaving, drama, embroidery, painting, etc.. are all pastimes that will drive the imagination. But when we simply hover over what I would call static detail, that which is fixed and cannot be changed, then our imagination will die.
I don’t think Jacqueline Wilson is totally right, well, not yet. But she certainly has hit the nail on the head with how things are heading.
Well I haven’t been attacking the blog due to my previous successes.After completing the Kickstarter, I have been engaged in looking at proofs, setting up publishing accounts, checking t-shirts, pondering over prints and most recently sending out the eBooks to my backers. Next on the agenda is to get the book up and live in its various formats on the myriad of sales sites available.
One lesson I have learned over the past week is that this is an important perod to just take a breath and when proofs arrive, sit back and check. Take a pause. Don’t ram-stam at them. Instead try and allow yourself some time to consider what’s in front of you. Even when working with the best artists, formatters and editors, errors occur and this is a chance to nail them before you commit to any significant amount of stock.
I’m also learning, slowly albeit, that the real effort and drive to get a book out there comes after the writing. As much as the editor will work you hard, it is nothing to managing everything and pulling all the pieces together to produce a book in the right format at the right time.
But the journey has been a fruitful one. I have a book winging its way through the UK postal system which I will be handing out to my Kickstarter backers. Hopefully it will also be on local bookshops shelves. I still have many things to complete from my Kickstarter with regards to marketing and these will occupy my Christmas run in. But already I’m having to think about the next one. Actually next three in fact – two more in this series and another in a lighter fantasy style about mermaids arriving at a Scottish Island. I actually have two books beyond second draft, one at first draft and a short story in the writing as well as another novel. The plates are a-spinning but it’s a lot of fun!
G R Jordan author, poet, and top Dad apparently!
This image has had me on tender hooks for the last week. Everyday, several times a day, this image pops into my mind and in the most strangest of places. Feeding chickens and my mind says “Is it here?” Fending off aircraft from each other in the air traffic control tower and the weather is poor. There’s a doubt whether the aircraft will arrive. All that goes through my mind is “If the aircraft with mail doesn’t land then my book won’t land either!” Even changing the little one’s nappy and all I can think is “where’s the book?” when normally all I think is let’s get this done quick!
This was definitely a new phenomenon to me. For those who don’t know I have published an eBook of poetry and am now in the process of self-publishing it as a paperback. Trust me the eBook was easy by comparison. I went with Indie publisher Smashwords and they laid out a whole scheme of how to format the book. I followed that and once it was prepared it was a matter of a day to then actually publish it. Then it jumped onto their site and soon after onto various eBook sellers. No long wait, no grinding nerves. Downloaded it and checked the copy almost instantly.
However the printed word is not so easy. To be fair I went with Createspace and their software and instructions were good and I had the book draft ready fairly quickly. But now they are sending out the proof and it is taking a while. Again to be fair they are in the USA, I am in the UK. They took probably less than 24 hours to get the book printed and underway. But I didn’t pay for the fastest delivery as it was extremely more expensive though I did go for the intermediate postal service. If I had any hair left to tear out it would be gone, so praise Him as I am a baldie! The song is right, the waiting is the hardest part.
So now I having waited the great dread is coming upon me! What if there’s a mistake? Did I miss a comma, an apostrophe, a full stop!? How come the smallest things cause the greatest anguish? So please any would be writer’s out there who long to see their precious manuscript make that leap from computer type to embalmed delight take it from me – while that wonderful cargo is in the post plan a holiday, somewhere far, far away! Possibly Mars would do. Failing that take the second star to the right and straight on til morning. And Mr Postman, if you return to sender……………….
Four Life Emotions, the eBook is available here. Look out in the coming months for “I am Thunderstorm” my first kid’s book and also “A Lighter Shade of Dark” a collection of short allegorical stories, both appearing in eBook and paperback format, details when available at my Smashwords homepage.
Originally Published 16 June 2014 on blogspot