“Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Revolution: Will Be Downloadable, Apparently

Gah! Scooped yet again. As reported first – as always – by Gerard Brennan on Crime Scene Northern Ireland, The Artist Formerly Known as Colin Bateman has launched an innovative little marketing ploy, by which the first chapter of his latest opus, MYSTERY MAN, can be downloaded by texting ‘MYSTERY’ to 64888. Now, I’m not sure if that applies only to UK mobile / cell phones (those in the Republic of Ireland can text ‘SUMMER’ TO 53705), but either way it’s a nice little idea, and a good example of a writer and / or publisher using technology in a proactive way, rather than wasting their time wailing about the demise of the traditional book format.
  Speaking of which, says he, segueing unsteadily into a kind-of related topic … Writing in The Times yesterday, Nicholas Clee had a very interesting piece about the impact of technology, and particularly digital technology, on the publishing industry, a sample of which runneth thusly:
“Practices that have been normal in the book industry for years are becoming unsustainable … This is where digital technology, such as the EBM [‘Espresso Machine’] and electronic devices, including the Sony Reader, comes in. Printing thousands of books that sit in warehouses or on booksellers’ shelves, only to be pulped, is unsustainable. But remember the long tail: there may be a demand, albeit “niche”, for these texts. It makes sense to create digital files that can be downloaded or printed according to demand.”
  It’s a long-ish piece, but well worth the time of any writer …
  Speaking of which, says he, segueing unsteadily, etc., The Guardian this week also had a smashing piece on how the future is going to look for writers, suggesting that the impact of the interweb means the era of the ‘gifted amateur’ is about to return. To wit:
“A misleading idea has arisen, however, that writers generally can earn enough money to do nothing else. The idea is ignorant of history, of TS Eliot keeping himself comfortable on academic stipends and a publishing house directorship, of Angus Wilson superintending the reading room at the British Museum. It may be that we have it because authorship is now so visible, with the author turned into a small celebrity. But we can all be authors now and publish ourselves on the web. What you might call the moral and aesthetic case for writing - to think, imagine and describe and then communicate the result to an audience - can be satisfied online. It just doesn’t make any money. The age of the gifted amateur is surely about to return.”
  So – no change there for yours truly, although I might want to work a little on the ‘gifted’ side of things. Sigh, etc. Ah well, upward and onward …

1 comment:

bookwitch said...

You keep appearing on television. What does that mean?