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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Publishers, What Are They Good For?

I am attending the Surrey International Writers' Conference in...wait for it...Surrey, BC. I'm learning a lot at this conference: ideas for crafting, editing, promoting, publishing and selling my books. I write children's picture books, middle-year fiction (ages 8-12), and literary fiction. I am here to learn a little bit about each of my chosen genres. I am learning...in between bouts bewilderment. But, despite the angst that follows, I will admit to being more determined/inspired than ever to slog ahead--writing my Hart (heart) out.

I attended this conference once before, 5 long years ago. Much has changed in the publishing industry and media in those five years.

Being a writer can feel overwhelming at times like this. I am considered fairly media savvy--my thesis is in Online story within Cybercommunities. I blog, twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest (why Pinterest, I have no idea at this time).

Mix Hart: Me, myself, and I, off to the Banquet at SIWC 2012
We had a great table, I sat with Elizabeth Lyon and Andy Ross and Gigi Rosenberg.
Yet, it is not enough. To be a writer these days, you have to be an expert at technology/social media/self promotion as well as an expert in technological design and statistical analysis.
Not to mention, one must not only be an expert self editor, but authors are expected to pay big money and have each of their books professionally edited before they send them away to agents/publishers.

No longer is the craft of just being a writer enough. Becoming an expert writer through practice and workshops, to perfect your craft is a tiny amount of what a writer must be in the 21 Century.

Writing, alone, takes all the hours of each day, yet, a writer must find the cash to pay a professional editor, long before they carve at least an extra six extra hours out of the day to edit, promote and sell their book. If the publishing business is in peril, it is because they are doing little to nothing to help out writers, using Amazon as their slush pile--a pile filled with self-published books by new writers who have put every last cent, and every minute of their lives, into getting their book into that pile.

I will put all I have learned in to practice--slowly and surely. Or truthfully, my style is quickly and impatiently. I'm okay with all the work--it's the spending my own money to make money that freaks me out. Maybe it's time to become an expert grant writer too...

*And on that note, I will announce that this blog, Modernista Mama is ready for some changes. I have to grow with the media. I've been blogging for five years+. What started out as a family journal has grown into a Mom's blog. Now it is time to get a little more organized. So, expect to see a few changes in the next few weeks, as I attempt to modernize the Modernista Mama.

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