Getting a work published has never been an easy task. While computers, E mail and the internet have all lessened the mechanics and logistics of submitting a manuscript, finding a potential publisher is still a very daunting task. And with the proliferation of the internet comes of course the proliferation of unscrupulous individuals looking for anyway to separate you from your money. In trying to sell Elysian Dreams I ran into many. What’s an author to do?
Around the turn of the century… the 20th century that is… it was common for writers, especially those as of yet unknown, to serialize their work in newspapers and magazines. Edgar Allan Poe, O Henry, Mark Twain and F Scott Fitzgerald all at some point in their career utilized the pages of popular periodicals to showcase their latest work before it went into formal print. While affording the writer and editor weekly reader feedback, serialization placed unknown works into the hands of many who, save for the likes of the Sunday Times or Colliers Magazine, may never have heard of the author. These weekly treats naturally boosted book sales.
Today, newspapers only carry what they consider to be news worthy; literary mags are a dying breed, and the weekly periodical has morphed into non-syllabic photo montages for the attention deficit pop culture set. Once again enter the Internet. Blogging is the new journaling, where a potential audience of multi-millions can read your thoughts, hopes, dreams, ideas and ravings at the click of a key stroke. And once again, the struggling author can reach the multitudes that otherwise may never have heard of him or her.
Is this a good thing?
Let’s save the politics and policies of public blogging for a later discussion.
For now, it is with great anticipation and some trepidation that I have decided to serialize. In the grand tradition of publications long past, starting next Sunday, February 5th, and continuing for the next few Sundays, you will be able to read one of my short stories. If the experiment goes well I may publish more work in this fashion.
And so check back next week. Read. Enjoy. And most of all comment. Keep those cards and letters coming in as they say. There is only one true measure of an author’s success… and it’s not sales. A writer has done their job well when they have made the reader think. As always… let yours truly know what you think. After all, that’s what blogging is all about!