Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Ten techy, publishing-y things I didn't do a decade ago

I've not been here - apologies. It's not you, it's me. My small bint is unwell and life is chaos. I'm not even sending out invoices, so life will be poverty-hobbled as well as chaotic soon.

Here is some light relief because I'm not thinking about speaking publisher or any of that.

Ten techy, publishing-y things I have done in the last five years that I couldn't or wouldn't have done a decade ago:

1. Write a picture book text on my phone
2. Write part of a book on my phone and submit it to an editor as text messages from Eurostar
3. Check what time it is by typing 'what time is it' into Google [OK, that's more lazy than anything to do with publishing - that's an extra!]
4. Pitch to a publisher on twitter
5. Pitch to a publisher on Facebook
6. Argue about ebook and app rights
7. Write a proposal for a picture book app
8. Work on a book trailer for YouTube
9. Refuse to submit hard copy of a manuscript
10. Send a PDF along with the Word document of a manuscript to show which special characters and symbols are used where
11. [because 3 was a cheat] Read a book on my phone/iPad.

Which things do you do now that you didn't do a decade ago? Please tell me!



  1. Read The New York Review Of Books on my Kindle

  2. So sorry to hear about small bint and hope she gets better soon. I may have sent mss by email a decade ago, though I doubt it but I certainly would have had a hard copy in my possesion, nicely printed out. I've just sent in a picture book text I haven't even printed out....Not got an e reader though.

  3. PS...I also wouldn't have been reading my daily newspaper online but it's hard to get deliveries in this part of the world, right? I buy paper newspaper when I can but otherwise it's all online.

  4. Oh yes, Adele, I'd forgotten sending in books that have never been printed out! Thank you for that one. I was certainly sending MSS by email a decade ago, but they were still insisting on paper copies as well at that point.

    Brian, I'm impressed that you red the New York Review of Books in any form.

  5. A decade ago? That was the very start of my writing career. I did not have the internet at home so I didn't waste hours on Twitter. I didn't (obviously) keep a blog. I had a website courtesy of the British Fantasy Society, but someone else built it and I hardly ever saw it or updated it. I don't think I used email, though I may have just started to. I normally spoke to my editor on the phone or face to face, and posted my manuscripts as double-spaced wads of paper and/or files on floppy disks. (My computer could not cope with files much bigger than a chapter, and a picture would cause it to crash. I actually wrote my first novel on a typewriter!)

    I knew no other professional writers and consequently had no idea how small my advance was or how amazingly well my first book was doing despite this. Neither was I so paranoid or depressed, which is of course the downside of knowing what everyone else is doing.

    Strangely, I had a dream last night in which I visited a beautiful green valley where the people who lived there told me they didn't have internet access or a telephone, and I felt an immense calm descend over me... now I realise that was a decade ago!