Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Why DIY?

It's been a hectic week already as yesterday I engaged in a flurry of emails and ideas about Pulp 2.0 Press and building both our catalog of offerings and our business.  It has been a learning experience to say the very least as I now have a plethora of PDF homework printed out and notebooked for study and guidance.

School is always in session, gang. At least until you're dead.

But what's come out of this flurry of publishing and marketing is a wealth of practical, no-nonsense knowledge about what works and what doesn't and why.  Constant testing, constant challenging the status quo...and constant bloody noses and sore backsides.  But damn, if our little company isn't figuring out what's going to work for us and our readers. 

And that's part of the importance of doing it yourself.

If you were a writer who only submitted the final manuscript and weren't involved in the process of design, format, marketing, distribution, publicity and printing then you would only see the smallest tip of the whole iceberg that you were heading toward.  Now there's certainly something to be said for specialization, but if you only see one small aspect of your business then you're vulnerable.  You're missing tools in your belt that you could possibly use to do your job better.

In the past several months, I've had to learn the basics of InDesign, PR "hotspots" for publicity, scheduling, book marketing (not too much of a stretch as it is very analogous to DVD marketing) and a whole host of other things related to the business of publishing.

And now I've embarked on learning to format for Kindle, EPub and soon IPad.  I won't be an expert at it by any means, but I will have a greater understanding of the process and will be able to budget my time accordingly.  I'll be able to make them better reads tuned to the format in which they're being read ... and we'll be able to sell our books in any format you want ...

And that, kids is the win for both of us.

This doesn't just apply to book publishing either.  Not in today's new IPad world.  Soon we'll be integrating all sorts of applications into our "books" making them fully-functional multimedia ventures.  As you read you be able to click on video, or sift through evidence photos (if you're reading a mystery or crime thriller) or hear  witness statements - a whole host of things.  Using all of the media buffalo to tell the story.

But the storyteller (you) has to figure out how to best use these tools.  How to put them together in new ways to maximize the entertainment value.  How to communicate with others you will partner with to accomplish this task.  That's going to take you sitting down and using the tools yourself, getting comfortable.

And that's another of the reasons why DIY is so important.

(there will be more to come)

So do yourself a favor and get out there and make your own damn media.

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